2006 ESRI Developer's SummitSo what did I think of the first day? I was very impressed with the turnout. Rob Elkins posted that it will be close to 800 developers at the summit. Let me just say it is standing room only at practically every session and everyone seems very happy to be among other developers. The keynote for day was was good from the standpoint that we got to hear Scott Morehouse and what he thinks should be important to GIS developers (Geodatabase, Geoprocessing) and some 9.2 product demos. The .NET ADF that Art Haddad demo’d caught me eye especially the tasks (think widgets) that you can create and deploy using the ADF (what a great video idea to show how the new AJAX ArcIMS/ArcGIS Server ADF works). The sessions were good and as I said packed. I’m of the thought that they are a little too long and more Q&A should happen, but if you showed up late for any you’d be standing in the door because of the crowd. Even the Birds of a Feather sessions were much more crowded than anyone anticipated.

I got sidetracked during lunch and showed up at the .NET SIG a little late. I wish we had more time for Q&A with Art and the .NET team because there seemed to be quite a few questions that could be answered due to the next session starting. I think next year it would be nice to have some sessions only devoted to Q&A were users can just “grill” the teams and get community feedback. I did hear one ESRI employee remark that they were surprised no one was at the developer island asking questions during the day. I think that was because so many people were at the individual sessions that there wasn’t anyone mulling around trying to kill time.

I’m not ready to give my final grade to the Developer Summit just yet, but a couple things are clear to me after today. First, the response from ESRI developers is huge. This only validates the need from more real developer sessions and continue this focus on developers. Everyone I talked to seemed to be so happy to be around people that speak the same language as they do. Second, I think they should make it a 3 day affair. There is just so much going on that there were sessions that occurred at the same time limiting my ability to get more out of the summit. 3 days probably would be perfect. Three, there are just so many .NET developers using the ESRI platform. The Java SIG is tomorrow so I’m interested in seeing how many Java programmers there are at the summit, but it sure has a .NET feel to it (and according to the unscientific poll during the .NET SIG 50/50 C# vs VB.NET).

A couple things to keep an eye out. I bumped into Jesse and Sue from Very Spatial and we talked a little bit about the summit. Maybe my conversation will be “podworthy” so you might want to check that out sometime next week. And Art Haddad was video taped for Channel 9 by Microsoft. I’m not sure how long it will take for that to show up, but I’ll post when his video is available.

Tomorrow should be a pretty good day with both Microsoft and IBM being part of the Saturday Keynote. I missed out on the ArcWeb Services session today so I’m bummed about that, but I’ll try and learn more during the Business Partner Conference. There is more .NET Web Application sessions and a Microsoft AJAX session that I’m sure will be standing room only. I’m glad I’ve gotten to meet some many people who read my blog. Everyone needs to make sure they let ESRI know how valuable this summit has been to them and what if anything could be improved. It is hard to believe that we sat in the small .NET SIG at the 2005 User Conference and talked about this Summit happening. Kudos to both Brian Goldin and Rob Elkins (Rob posted some pictures of the summit on his flickr account if you’d like to see what is going on) for getting this thing off the ground.