TechReady 1 - 2005: Day 2 Sessions Update - Anders blew my mind!

Okies, this afternoon, I was really geeked out!

I went along to a presentation by Anders Hejlsberg, a Distinguished Engineer with Microsoft who is undoubtedly the man behind C#, and while I am not able to say anything about the content of the presentation, I really wanted to do my best to describe the experience.

It was held in one of the larger presentation rooms, and the turn out was expectedly impressive. I had told my Melbourne DPE counterpart and .NET Architect Evangelist, Nigel Watson (btw, send Nigel an email and chastise him unrelentlessly for not attending to his blog as regularly as he does his eyebrows), about my intentions to attend Anders’ presentation, and his assurances were well founded.

Again, while I can go into the specifics of what I saw, I just remember some postcards from the edge (you know, when you recall your memories of an event, and you get little flashes, almost third party images) of me holding my hands to my mouth (like a small child does in eager anticipation/fear/excitement), and at one point, clapping uncontrollably (people around me were a little concerned). In fact, I’m pretty sure that if Anders had uncovered a pit of hot coals, and encouraged the attendees to walk across them, I would have done so with my shirt tied around my head.

Now, it’s been a while since I got to get code deep; like compiler internals deep. And while it is my job to get stuck into all things .NET, I unfortunately have to go broad, and don’t get the chance to get any lower than the API. Being at Anders’ presentation was surreal; I love C# and the .NET platform (well before I joined Microsoft), and being in the presence of the man who dreamed and created it (C# wasn’t his first language claim to fame either…Turbo Pascal, J++, Delphi where his love children) was the bomb.
But what was even better was to watch him not only demo the next big things for the language, but to also lift up the hood, and explain how all the magic works. I imagine it’s like anything we get passionate about that relies on an element of human magic. When you see the magician perform the trick, you delight in the moment. But when you get to see the magician prepare the act, and realise just how ingenious the whole process is, that’s when you really get a sense of how amazing the magician is, and what possibilities exist for us to aspire to.

So in short, I was blown away (no apologies for the oozing either, it was an amazing prezzo and experience), and have been inspired to a new career goal; to work on at least one generation of the C# language (hopefully with Anders).