During 11.09.2008 and 14.09.2008 I attended the fifth annual event dedicated to Microsoft professionals from the industry and academic environment. I also attended last year and wrote a bit about the experience here. A change from last year’s event was the fact that this year, the professionals invited were almost as many as MSPs (until now, only a handful of MVPs had been invited). The location was Vatra Dornei. Possibly due to the fact that the bootcamp was held later than last year, it was much colder (and so we were "encouraged" to stay indoors or dress "heavily").
We all received a book on blogging and one on how to overcome disadvantages that prevent you from continuing your path on the road to (more) success (yes, it sounds a bit cheesy, but the book might be insightful). Keeping the inspirational note, the event’s T-shirt featured Microsoft’s Blue Monster, and the attached slogan: "Change the world or go home".
The first day was dedicated to MSP presentations. We started with some laughs as each university team lead stepped up and presented last year’s achievements in a rather "fashionable" way…
An interesting point was the demo competition. Myself and Adi participated with a project named XNA Streaming (Cata will, again, correct me into saying it’s XNA Framework Content Streaming) that uses WCF to transmit a set of data from one XNA Framework application to another one, the aim being to obtain the same "content" on each machine. I’ll get back with a post on how we did it (for real this time 😛 ). The only competition was Mihai Nadas, with Acoustic Fingerprints. The two ideas were really nice (as nice as the one that won last year’s competition), but I was a bit disappointed by the lack of competition. The outcome? Both projects were declared winners, and each won an XBOX 360 for their MSP team.
The rest of the day was filled with more presentations on being a good technology evangelist. No fun in the first day… well, at least not "organized" fun. We managed to spread across the hotel’s lobby and use it’s wireless network to play some LAN games in the evening.
Saturday morning there was a common session for MSPs and professionals on where Microsoft is going in the next year. After lunch, we had a bit of luck as the rain stopped and we went "out in the open" for some ATV, horseback riding, biking and Tyrolean traverse. Things went ok, considering it got quite cold, I had to ride a 700cc ATV with no helmet and one ATV crashed by tumbling through the air (I’m not kidding) and into someone’s yard, but no one got (seriously) hurt.
In the evening, we had a few games of Mafia. It’s quite a tradition at the Community Bootcamp, possibly because there’s never a shortage in supply of great players. It was my first time playing the game and I enjoyed it.
On the last day, each team had a private talk with the academic program leader, Todi. After that, we had lunch and went home tired, but (at least a bit) happier…
The main attraction for (part) of our university’s team were the squirrels in the park near our hotel. Apparently all Romanian squirrels answer to the name of Mariana, and they come to feed if you start making noise by knocking 2 nuts against each other. I can say that the squirrels respond well to food, as for the Mariana part… I’m not so convinced. Or maybe it’s (somehow) my fault that they wouldn’t answer my calls.