Monday, January 10, 2011

Delphi Developer Days 2011

With his blog on December 16, Marco Cantù officially announced our 2011 Delphi Developer Days tour, Delphi Developer Days 2011 with Marco Cantù and Cary Jensen. Over the past few days we have posted our full agenda and session descriptions online, and this seems like an ideal time to talk about Delphi Developer Days in some detail.

Delphi Developer Days is an intense, two-day Delphi event that is like a cross between a small, intimate conference and a rigorous training seminar, and this year we will be visiting four cities in North America and Europe in April and May. Each event consists of 18 different presentations, some of which are presented jointly by Marco and me, and others are breakout sessions, where we present different sessions simultaneously in separate rooms.

For the joint presentations, we have chosen topics that we feel are of interest to all Delphi developers, such as the future of Delphi and preparing for 64-bit computing with Delphi. We also include several open question and answer sessions, where all Delphi topics are considered.

With respect to the breakout sessions, a lot of thought went into which sessions we should offer, and which sessions to present against one and other. For example, we included a collection of topics that cover earlier versions of Delphi, as well as sessions that explore some of Delphi's latest features. In addition, when one session is covering Internet/multi-tier/network topics, the other is not. A breakout covering some of Delphi’s most current features is balanced with a talk that applies to many versions of Delphi. It was a balancing act, but we think we did pretty well.

Furthermore, we have included a wide range of topics, including DataSnap, VCL component development, recent Delphi language enhancements, REST and jQuery, and debugging, just to name of few. And since we know that a number of our attendees from previous Delphi Developer Days seminars will be attending, we have included a lot of new topics. In fact, this years topics only include one session that is a repeat from last year. This talk is Marco's talk on VCL (visual component library) component development. I presented this topic last year, so even if you were in my session, you might be interested in Marco's perspective.

We are very happy with the agenda, and actually hope that you have difficulty choosing which of the breakout sessions to attend. But you will still not miss a thing, since the course book that you will receive when you attend Delphi Developer Days includes detailed coverage of every breakout session (and joint sessions as well). And I am not talking about just any course book. In addition to being Delphi trainers, developers, and conference speakers, Marco and I are both book authors.

Marco is the best-selling author of more than a dozen Delphi books, beginning with Mastering Delphi (Sybex, 1995), and continuing with his popular Delphi Handbook series. He is currently working on his next publication, Delphi XE Handbook.

I, too, am an author, having published more than 20 books. My next book, covering Delphi's ClientDataSet, will be available this spring. But the point is, we like to write as well as code, and when it comes to Delphi Developer Days, we take the time to write down our presentations so that you have something to take home with you after the event (letting you concentrate on our presentations rather than taking notes). In fact, the sessions in our course book contain more information than we can cover in our live presentations, but that’s all the better for you.

For the past two years, the Delphi Developer Days course book has been about 500 pages in length, making it longer than most Delphi books. We don't know the final page count yet, but this year's course book will be similar. And, no, you cannot buy the course book separately (sorry). Only attendees of Delphi Developer Days 2011 receive it.

Seating availability for Delphi Developer Days is limited, and this decision was intentional. Specifically, each city is limited to no more than about 34 attendees (we'll add cities, if necessary, but we won't increase the attendance). By doing this, we ensure two things. First, by keeping the total attendance reasonable we ensure that everyone gets an opportunity to speak with us, as well as each other. However, we don't want it too small. This size seems a perfect number for encouraging interaction, sharing different viewpoints, and supporting stimulating interaction.

Another aspect of Delphi Developer Days that is the result of much thought is the locations we selected. In short, we specifically choose hotels located near large airports and/or train stations. Our Washington DC/Baltimore location is close to the BWI (Baltimore/Washington International) airport, and there is a free hotel shuttle from the airport. (The hotel is about three miles away.) From New York, Philadelphia, Washington DC, and other cities, you can take the Amtrak train to BWI (there is a free shuttle between the Amtrak station and BWI).

In Houston, the hotel is right next to Houston Intercontinental Airport (IAH), one of the largest airport hubs in the US, and this hotel also has a free airport shuttle. Our Frankfurt location is a short 2 kilometer city bus trip or taxi from the Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof (the Frankfurt main train station), which itself is a short and inexpensive train ride from Frankfurt Airport. Or, it’s a 20-minute taxi ride from Frankfurt Airport (FRA).

In Amsterdam, our final city, it's even better. Delphi Developer Days 2011 Amsterdam is in the historic Park Plaza Victoria Hotel Amsterdam, which is across the street from Amsterdam Central Station (there are trains between Amsterdam Central Station and Schiphol Airport (AMS) four times an hour, the trip takes less than 20 minutes, and the cost is less than 4 Euros)

Our attendees come from all over the world, and we’ve tried to make this as simple as possible. So, no matter where you are coming from, you will have an easy time getting to Delphi Developer Days events.

Attendees to Delphi Developer Days receive the Delphi Developer Days course book, the source code shown in our sessions, and lunch on both days. You also get a chance to win products donated by our many sponsors. Last year there were more than 20 official sponsors of Delphi Developer Days, including our platinum sponsors, Embarcadero Technologies and Sybase (an SAP company). We expect this year to be similar, and attendees have a good chance of winning something.

I want to share with you another aspect about Delphi Developer Days, but it is more of an intangible. Marco and I are good friends, and really enjoy being able to offer an event like Delphi Developer Days to you. We share an enthusiasm for Delphi, professional software development, and learning. As previous attendees to Delphi Developer Days can attest, it’s fun. Sure, we cover a lot of information, but that’s all part of the fun.

We are currently offering an early-bird discount for Delphi Developer Days 2011. Attendees who register and make payment by March 5 for the US cities, and those who register and make payment by April 5 for the European cities, will receive a 10% discount. We also offer an additional discount for 3 or more attendees from the same company (same physical address), as well as an additional 10% discount if you previously attended a Delphi Developer Days event in 2009 or 2010.

We are excited about the Delphi Developer Days 2011 tour, and hope you are, too. It’s going to be the “Delphi Event of the Year.” Here are more details:

April 11-12, 2011: Washington DC/Baltimore, Maryland (Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, BWI Airport West)

April 14-15, 2011: Houston, Texas (Clarion Inn at Bush Intercontinental Airport)

May 12-13, 2011: Frankfurt (main), Germany (Holiday Inn Express Frankfurt-Messe)

May 16-17, 2011: Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Park Plaza Victoria Hotel Amsterdam)

Visit for more information.