10 Reasons to attend VSX DevCon 2008

Next week, September 15-16, Microsoft will host the first developer conference for VSX (Visual Studio Extensibility) open for anyone to attend (in the past it was for Microsoft partners only). The event is also referred to as VSX DevCon 2008, web site for the event: http://msdn.com/vsx/conference.

I will be attending the event, hosted by the VSX Team, the great group of people I use to work with at Microsoft (see just a few of them on the VSX team profile page).

Here are 10 of many great reasons to attend the event if you can:

  1. The cost of registration for both full days of the event is only $100.
  2. Developers always like to hear two words: free food.  Registration includes two days of breakfast and lunch. There will also be food at the Monday evening event Ask the Experts & Partner / Publisher Fair social gathering (where there will be more free stuff and giveaways).
  3. All attendees receive free stuff including a free copy of the Wrox book Professional Visual Studio Extensibility, a $49.99 retail value (currently $31.49 via Amazon.com).
  4. Receive a copy (or a second copy) of the first edition of VSX CoDe Focus magazine, published late last year which is a full 76 page issue of CoDe magazine dedicated to the topic of VSX. While the contents of the magazine all are online in HTML and PDF download at http://www.code-magazine.com/focus/vsx/ and in WPF format in the free Xiine client application, it’s cool to get a printed copy if you don’t already have one.
  5. There will be several hundred in attendance at the event from around the world including developers who are VSX experts, some new to VSX, VSIP (Visual Studio Industry Partners) who create 3rd party products for Visual Studio, and many people from many Microsoft teams. Networking with others at the event will be worth the time aside from the great sessions, speakers, attendees, and Microsoft employees.
  6. The event includes an excellent list of speakers including some of the key architects of Visual Studio, key members of teams who work on the VS platform and ecosystem, as well as some of the top experts from the VSX developer community. Refer to the Speakers page for a complete list of speakers and bios.
  7. VSX DevCon 2008 also has amazing list of 24 VSX sessions of content over the two day event. See the detailed Sessions page for the specifics. The sessions are split into two tracks, intro and advanced. Refer to the Agenda page for the timeline details.
  8. Not only can you learn about how to extend Visual Studio, but there will be lots of information about the cool Visual Studio Gallery website at http://visualstudiogallery.com. The site currently has over 700 listings including many free applications for Visual Studio as well as a many 3rd party VS products. For more information about the VS Gallery website, check out Mike Yeager’s CoDe magazine article Extending Your Development Experience with Visual Studio Gallery.
  9. The keynote speaker is Rico Mariani who leads the team of architects in the VS division at Microsoft. Rico is an incredibly technical, educational, and entertaining presenter. Expect the keynote to include some information about the next version of Visual Studio (code named VS10, or Dev10 including other components like the .NET Framework) as a prelude to additional announcements at PDC next month. Important to VSX and the VS ecosystem is the future of extending Visual Studio within the VS roadmap plans at Microsoft.
  10. VSX is a growing community with an increasing job market demand. This means that those VS/.NET developers who learn how to extend Visual Studio using the VS SDK will open the door to an increase of opportunity in their own development work/company, possibly get a better or expanded job that includes VSX development, or as a consultant find new clients and raise rates based in the increasingly high demand for VSX developer expertise. For more information about VSX in general, check out Istvan Novak’s CoDe magazine article Visual Studio Platform and Extensibility.