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(this blog originally appeared on asug.com)

While I was unable to attend the ASUG Developers Tools Day 2008, on Thursday, December 11, I spoke to a couple members who did attend and got their reactions and comments.

I’d like to thank Butch McNallyfor setting this interview up. Due to a production requirement, Butch needed to cancel attendance at the last minute. He was able to attend a few sessions virtually, and we talked about ways to improve this capability for future meetings.

Networking: “we met people from all over” (Michigan, Tennessee, Kansas, Ohio, Indiana).

While neither Julie Bark or Kevin Williams from Eastman Chemical attended Hacker Night, they learned of the dedication of the event organizers, who apparently worked tirelessly into the morning hours attempting to build installs of the latest software on PCs. Talk about brave! In some cases security or space prevented total success, but I’m certain everyone learned a lot in the process. Both Julie and Kevin said this was their first ASUG face-to-face event.

Kevin said a great gem from Tools Day was “Acronym Level Setting”. As applications develop and mature, it’s inevitable that shortcut phrases evolve. Having an expert cut through the alphabet soup and tie meaning to these abbreviations goes a long way toward better understanding and decisions. Quotes: “liked everything about it; well organized; speaker was great”, “information was at the right level, for beginners and experienced”

Julie said her top session was Web Dynpro for ABAP. The combination of lecture and hands-on demo clarified a lot of the mystery for her, and gave her direction for future work. Quotes: “very beneficial … enjoyed the demo … not too many slides”. “Quite impressed with the facilities”.

I asked several times about negatives, or “where can we improve” and both Julie and Kevin had a hard time thinking of any issues during the event. What the group came up with is that we should plan for more of these in the future, have them in other locations (Nashville was mentioned), and that we should find ways to make more interactive web sessions, rather than the standard 50 minute lecture, 10 minute Q+A.

My favorite quote: “We don’t understand why more people … weren’t there!”

Earlier blogs on planning this event:

Developers Tools Day – Last Call for a free event

Tom Jung on ASUG Developer Tools Day (U.S.) [UPDATED 03-Nov-2008]

Our thanks to SAP for providing 3 execellent speakers: 

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