Japanese Launch of VB 2005

OK, well, now that I’ve had a chance to recover a bit from the jet-lag from flying back and forth from Tokyo in just three days, I thought I’d give a short update on how the launch went there.

Executive summary: Great!

This was my first experience presenting outside of the US, and it was very interesting. My main presentation on VB 2005 was simultaneously translated, but everything else was done sequentially. So I spent a lot of time saying one or two sentences, pausing, saying one or two more sentences, pausing, saying one or two more sentences, listening to the reply in Japanese, waiting, then hearing it in English. Rinse, repeat. The translators that I worked with were great, so it wasn’t difficult or anything, just a little… different. I did my PDC presentation for a small group of people and it took about twice as long as the original did. I’m also not sure how much of what I was saying got across — all the technical stuff did, for sure, but I think so much of the inflection and all gets, you know, lost in translation.

The special keynote that I did for VB 2005 seemed to go over well, although the fact that the audience was much more reticent that I was used to was a bit disconcerting at times. At first when I wasn’t getting any applause when demoing some of the cool VB 2005 stuff, I started to panic that I was doing something wrong, but then it smoothed itself out. Everyone seemed very excited and had lots of questions about the new version, VB6 migration, the future, etc. Overall, a wonderful experience!

My main regret was that I had to leave right after the conference was over… it would have been great to have been able to spend some time in Japan getting to see something more than the hotel I was staying in. Alas, the confluence of the conference and the impending Thanksgiving holiday made that impractical. Thankfully, I did get a chance to hang out a bit with Cameron Beccario, which was a treat. I tried to convince him to come back and help us out with LINQ, but he’s still pretty settled in Tokyo, unfortunately…

If you read Japanese, feel free to check out my special MSDN website that they put up for me. I’d also highly recommend the VS User Group (VSUG) website — I got a chance to talk with their founding members, and it looks like a great organization! (They said that usually user groups start in the US and then create a Japanese chapter — this time they’re starting the group in Japan, but are open to having a US chapter join. <g>) All in all, a great trip!

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