Final Day of My Far East Trip

I said yesterday that the Metropolis session had gone very well. Got the score back – 7.71/9 speaker satisfaction and 7.83/9 content satisfaction. Not bad, esp. given that it was a translated session. Today, I presented Data in SOA, and I thought it well also. This time, I did it without the translator at the audience’s request. We’ll see how the scores come back. I thought it was encouraging that attendance at the architecture sessions steadily improved. Gurp’s session yesterday afternoon had more people than my Metropolis session and today’s session had more people still.

After the session, I spent some time answering questions. After Metropolis, there was one guy from China Mobile. This time, he was joined by two dozen other attendees. And again, Mr. China Mobile had some great questions that really made me think. He pointed out that often architecture is focused on the non-functional requirements of a system (perf, scale, reliability, etc) that are very technology platform dependent. As the platform evolves, the decisions made in implementing a system become obsolete, which makes it very hard to evolve a solution to take advantage of the improved platform. He’s right. The reason he’s right is that we don’t a good mechanism to capture the design decisions made during the development of a system, just the outcome. Software Factories can really help out here.

After the presentation and Q&A with the attendees, several of the speakers and I were treated to a trip to the Great Wall of China. One of the other speakers was Stan Lippman, whom I had never met. As for the Wall, what can I say but wow. We climbed for about two hours – glad I put on my sneakers! We reached at least a local summit, where there is a quote from a Mao poem stating that you can’t be a real man until you’ve climbed the Great Wall. Well, I guess that makes me a real man now. The wall is over 45 degrees in several places that we walked. I sure got a good workout today.

I’m exhausted, but I figure I can sleep on the 12 hours worth of plane ride I have tomorrow so I’m heading out (after a shower) to do a little shopping. I’ve had a great trip and met with some great people – both MSFT employees and customers alike – but I sure am looking forward to being home.