Diary of a trip to the UK & Ireland – Day 3

Dateline London 14-April 2010

MagicRoundaboutYesterday (Tuesday) was terrific.  The drive from Bristol to London was punctuated by a quick side-trip to  drive through the Magic Roundabout (you didn’t think I could resist, did you?)  It was brilliant.  You can go all around, but you don’t, and it is not at all confusing or difficult. It is very straightforward.  First I drive from the entry at the bottom of the map to the first exit (pointing directly to the left).  Then I reentered and cut across the center to go out M4, which I realized later is the yellow arrows in the illustration in yesterday’s post.

Then, on to London. Now, I drive in Boston and have been a cabbie in NY, but nothing quite prepared me for London, downtown, rush hour.  I opted to put the car in a car park and walk around, but the spots were fairly tiny (of course, right after passing up one spot as too small, I watched a woman younger than my daughter effortlessly back into that very spot in her minivan!)

The presentation was co-sponsored by the London .NET User Group, the London Silverlight User Group and Microsoft UK.  They rented out a cinema (movie theater) and nearly filled it. It was great fun,  and my favorite review was this from twitter:

At @jesseliberty talk on SL4 MVVM
Very entertaining presenter but completely bonkers

Who could ask for more?  Folks here are incredibly friendly but there is a bit of a difference in audience reaction. As it was explained to me, “You Americans seem to feel that when you have a thought you have to act on it. If you like something, you applaud and cheer.  We feel we can have an opinion without immediately expressing it.”  Fair enough. But I’m pushing everyone to feed my need for constant approval

Today, a quick side trip to Acton (named after my town in Massachusetts) and then on to Cambridge (named after the town where we have Harvard.  I understand they have a college in their Cambridge as well. How cute.)

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

About Jesse Liberty

Jesse Liberty is an independent consultant and programmer with three decades of experience writing and delivering software projects. He is the author of 2 dozen books and multiple Pluralsight courses, and has been a Senior Technical Evangelist for Microsoft, a Distinguished Software Engineer for AT&T, a VP for Information Services for Citibank and a Software Architect for PBS. He is a Xamarin Certified Mobile Developer and a Xamarin MVP, Microsoft MVP and Telerik MVP.

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8 Responses to Diary of a trip to the UK & Ireland – Day 3

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  2. Florin Neamtu says:

    @Jesse Liberty
    Well, I was indeed frustrated and I exaggerated immediately after the session with my comments. I do apologize! I should have paid more attention to the technical details and the intended audience of the session; I actually did only after I’ve read your latest post on the audiences. And no worries about Silverlight 🙂 it does deliver and fits greatly into TDD and no unfortunate pick of a session could diminish the qualities of a great product in my eyes.

  3. Silverlight Fan says:

    @Florin Neamtu

    At least he turned up to your presentation… He turned up three hours late to the North presentation… I’m assuming he finally turned up. I left despite Black Marble’s heroic efforts to keep the audience entertained.

    • I’m sorry you did not get my personal apology. It was entirely my fault, but no way intentional: I’m afraid every document that I had said that I was to begin talking at 19:00 not 14:00 and so until they reached me an hour away, I thought I was quite early. I’d be very happy to try to make it up to you, perhaps I could arrange for the publisher to send you or your company a copy of one of my books, or perhaps I could buy you a pint the next time I’m in the area. In any case, please do accept my apology; I try to be very reliable about arriving early for presentations

  4. Florin Neamtu says:

    Was that a “presentation”? I’ve been there and I still don’t know why you bother to come to London … I have to be frank – you haven’t said anything interesting about TDD, MVVM and Silverlight – and I was REALLY curious to see TDD and MVVM in real life, or if not code, then talk about design options, solutions, how exactly Silverlight fits in – it’s a HUGE topic and extremely important … after all you “sell” Silverlight to users so they buy Microsoft tools; I’d expect that’s why you came to London. Very sorry, but it was supposed to be a technical presentation, everyone in the street can make childish jokes about UK and US and call them entertaining … after attending the presentation I was left with the impression that you’re NOT kidding at all about Cambridge being named “after” the town in US – you may even believe it if you think people left from that presentation (the smart ones left early!) with something useful (just to make sure I’m saying it: when Cambridge and Acton were named, US didn’t even exist).

    • Let me see if I can unpack your critique and address your concerns. I take my presentations very seriously and try very hard to have them have substantial content; my specific job is to increase developer satisfaction with programming in Silverlight (which I’ve obviously failed to do in your case).

      Now, my comments about the US and UK were intended only to leaven the technical material with a bit of humor; always a risky business as what one person finds funny another finds an annoyance. Your implication that I’m so stupid that I do believe that New England towns are named after English ones reflects what must be a very high level of frustration in not seeing what you’d hoped and I am honestly sorry about that. But please consider that there were 300 people in the audience; and that for a substantial number, this was their first exposure to MVVM and Test Driven development.

      In a technical session at a conference (e.g, at Tech Ed) then I think one needs to aim at the 300 level, but when introducing topics such as TDD and MVVM to a mixed audience, some of whom have very limited experience with either approach, I thought it would make more sense to talk about the approaches and why they might be valuable, rather than to dive into technical implementation details. I hope to provide the kind of depth you were looking for in tutorials and videos over the coming months.

      Nonetheless, I do apologize to you for causing you to feel your time was wasted. I do regret, however, that you didn’t tell me this in person; perhaps we could have gone out with a few others and talked in more depth. Perhaps next time.

  5. Heath Jones says:

    Hey Jesse – glad to see you found your rental after leaving the cinema last night! 🙂

    ‘Cheers’ again for the presentation (theres that UK thankyou word we talked about). Oh and dont forget to check out these awesome films:

    Snatch – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0208092/
    The Bank Job – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0200465/
    Trainspotting – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117951/

    All the best and we’ll see you again!
    Heath

  6. It was a very interesting presentation!! and yes, bonkers!!!
    I was born in the “magic roundabout” town!! Live in Bristol now, but saw you in London!!

    Yeah you stole a few place names huh…tut…Americans!!!

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