Marquee de Sells: Chris's insight outlet for category 'conference' via ATOM 1.0 csells on twitter

You've reached the internet home of Chris Sells, who has a long history as a contributing member of the Windows developer community. He enjoys long walks on the beach and various computer technologies.

June, 2012, Florida: Best TechEd Ever!

This month in Florida is going to be my 2nd TechEd ever and I’m sure the best by far. The number of things I get to do is staggering:

I honestly can’t remember when I’ve looked forward to a conference more. I’ll see you there!


Data at PDC 2010

There are lots of great data talks at PDC 2010, all of which are available for online viewing:



DSL Developer's Conference

DSL Developers Conference
applied topics in domain specific languages

April 16-17, 2009, Microsoft Campus, Redmond, WA


Spirit of the Developer's Conference

The goal of the DSL Developer's Conference is to cut away all the unessential conference baggage and concentrate on why we're spending time at a conference in the first place -- the talks by industry experts and experienced practitioners. By doing so, we can keep your wasted time to a minimum. In fact, if you don't go away with your head hurting from all the new ideas you've heard, we've haven't done our job!


What 2 days of practical, applied DSL sessions from industry experts and practitioners
When April 16th, 1pm-6pm (registration at noon), April 17th, 9am-6pm
Microsoft Research Building 99, Room 1919
14820 NE 36th Street
Redmond, WA 98052

(on the other side of 520 from main campus)

If you're flying, you want to target the Seattle-Tacoma Int'l Airport (SEA).

Cost $0 for 1.5 days of sessions (half the bargain at twice the cost!)

Sadly, It's Over

But you can see the videos and download the slides here!

There were countless blog posts and tweets.

Fabulous conference, folks. Best DevCon ever!


This site, and all its contents, are copyright © 2001-2009, Chris Sells and Microsoft, Corp. All rights reserved. Please contact with any comments or suggestions.


DSL DevCon: More Attendees Than Ever

This year's DevCon for DSLs has 25% more attendees than any other previous DevCon. In this economy, I'm amazed by this.

And it's not just people from the US or even the Pacific Northwest. Not only do we have people from all over the country, but folks are coming from Canada, the UK, Scotland, France, South America and one attendee, Tomas Petricek, a student at Charles University, is coming from the Czech Republic.

Luckily, as we slide into home, there are still a scant few seats left if you'd like to register, but be quick before they're all gone!

I so miss this conference. Why don't I do this more often?!


Did you register for the DSL DevCon and not hear back?

Apparently even more people have registered for the DSL DevCon than I thought. If you've sent a registration notice and having heard back from me, then you aren't registered. Please register again or email me directly:


DSL DevCon: The 13th Talk

Magnus Christerson, the Vice President of Product Management from Intentional Software Corp, founded by Charles Simonyi, is giving the very last talk at the DSL DevCon, so make sure to stick around!

Also, seats are filling up FAST, faster than any of the other DevCons. Make sure to register now if you're coming! And don't forget, it's free!


DSL DevCon Speakers and Sessions Announced!

Apparently there is quite a bit of pent up demand for this conference, as there were more than 50 session proposals for only 12 slots and we've already filled half the seats with just pre-registrations.

Sessions include an M deep dive by Paul Vick, DSLs in Groovy by Guillaume Laforge, DSLs in Eclipse by Markus Voelter, a functional vs. dynamic DSLs smackdown by Ted Neward, a DSL for Pixel Effects from Adobe and last, but certainly not least, giving the keynote for the entire conference, the undisputed Duke of DSLs himself, Maaaaaartin Foooooowler-er-er-er!

Come to Lang.NET and stay for the DSL DevCon or just come to the DevCon, but whatever you do, sign up for the FREE DSL DevCon right now! All 5 of the other DevCons have sold out and I expect this one to be no different.


DSL DevCon Pre-registration

There's been such a flood of DSL DevCon talk proposals that I've had a hard time keeping up (although feel free to let those nice folks in Eclipse, XML, Java and Unix land if you know who they are!).

Also, there's been a huge amount of interest in attending the conference itself and some folks even worry that the conference will sell out before they can register (the first five DevCons have all sold out and those cost money!), so they've been asking me to put 'em on a list. I'm still working out the logistics with the nice Lang.NET folks, but if you'd like to pre-register for the DSL DevCon, drop me a line and I'll put you on the list. It will be my job to make sure that anyone that pre-registers gets to go.

Tell a friend!


Call For Speakers: DSL DevCon

Are you interested in presenting a 45-minute talk on some Domain Specific Language (DSL) related topic? It doesn't matter which platform or OS you're targeting. It also doesn't matter whether you're an author, a vendor, a professional speaker or a developer in the trenches (in fact, I tend to be biased toward the latter). We're after interesting and unique applications of DSL technology and if you're doing good work in that area, then I need you to send me a session topic and 2-4 sentence abstract along with a little bit about yourself.

I'll be taking submissions 'til February 9th, 2009, but don't delay. Passion and a burning story to tell count twice as much as anything else.

And don't be shy about spreading this announcement around! I've got good coverage in the .NET and Windows communities, but don't know very many folks in the Java or Unix or hardcore modeling worlds, so if you're in that world, let those guys know! Thanks.

The DSL DevCon itself will be in Redmond, WA on the Microsoft campus April 16-17, 2009, right after the Lang.NET conference. Lang.NET will be focused on general-purpose languages, whereas the DSL DevCon will focus on domain-specific languages. The idea is that if you want to attend one or the other or both, that's totally fine. We'll have 2.5 days of Lang.NET on April 14-16 and then 1.5 days of DSL DevCon content.

Oh, and the cost for both conferences is the same: $0.

We're only accepting 150 attendees to either conference. Every one of the five previous DevCons have sold out, so when we open registration, you'll want to be quick about getting your name on the list.

Submit your DSL-related talk idea!


Lang.NET + DSL DevCon = Joy

This year, we’re thinking very hard about putting the Lang.NET conference and the DSL DevCon at the same venue (the research center on the Microsoft Redmond campus) in the same week. The idea is that people interested in general-purpose language design and development can come to Lang.NET and the people interested in domain-specific languages can come to the DSL DevCon and for folks interested in both, the DSL DevCon will start right after Lang.NET, so folks can stay a little longer and come to both. Also, the conference chairs on both conferences will make sure to keep the content unique across the two conferences.


We think that’s a good way to make sure the conferences complement each other and helps keep people’s schedules sane and their travel costs lower. However, I have two questions for you:


1.      Traditionally, Lang.NET is 3 days and a DevCon is 2 days. Because of the overlap of the content (languages), we were wondering if folks thought it would be a good idea to do 2.5 days of Lang.NET and 1.5 days of DSL DevCon this year instead, doing both conferences in 4 days instead of 5. What do you think?

2.      If we linked these two events like this, will you attend just Lang.NET, just DSL DevCon or both?


Post your comments on this blog entry. Vote early, vote often!


The DSL DevCon

I'm thinking it's time for another DevCon. I know it's been a while since the last one (in fact, I hear there was some kind of petition to have another one? : ), so we're long past due.

This one will be on all things data-driven, model-based and/or DSL enhanced. I'm thinking March or April of 2009.  Who's interested?


Would anyone be interested in another DevCon?

I'm thinking about doing a DevCon before the end of the year (likely October) in a pleasant environment (likely the Skamania Lodge) on a topic that's *not* XML or Web Services based (we've done that topic to death). The soul of the DevCon will remain the same, i.e. to cut away all the unessential conference baggage and concentrate on why we're spending time at a conference in the first place -- the talks by industry experts and experienced practitioners.

If I organized such an event, would anyone come?


No DevCon This Year

Please return to your regularly scheduled programming.

P.S. I imagine the DevCon come back in time, but it may well be a while...


Sells on the SellsCon

125 attendees and speakers from 6 countries (US, Canada, England, Malaysia, Netherlands and Peru), 21 states and 60 companies, ranging from vendors to expert practitioners and even a few poor souls trying to learn XML. 24 hours of talks and events spread over two days. 44 bloggers and 247 blog entries about the event itself (not including warm-up to the event or my own blog entries), nearly all of which were over-whelmingly positive, including one eWeek piece and one entry from Tim Bray of Sun Microsystems that called me "a charming, welcoming, amusing guy." (I didn't pay him a cent, I swear! : )


In general, day 1 was dark and brooding, shouldering the brunt of the vendors who knew the technology inside and out and were feeling the pain of the downsides that they felt were holding them back. Day 2 was filled with hopeful stories of practitioners able to take what the vendors have given them, mix it with for their own secret sauce and really make it shine.


My very most favorite talk was Whitney Kemmey from the DOD with his unexpectedly captivating look at mixing XML with 10-year old technology and his endless submarine pictures, although Jeff Barr from Amazon continues to mesmerize me every time he takes the podium. Also, I really dug Doug Purdy's enthusiasm and forthrightness. Oh, and when Neetu Rajpal shut down Don for derailing her talk, I fell in love.


Inexplicably, the DevCon seems to just get better and better. I blame it on the community willing to listen to a variety of sources to hear what's really going on, some of it good and some of it that needs some work, whether it's from professional speakers or nervous amateurs, for-profit vendors or seasoned practitioners. Thanks for letting me participate.


DevCon == 44 bloggers and 247 posts (so far)!

Here. Holy cow! I knew people liked the DevCon, but I've never seen a blogging response like this. I've found 44 separate bloggers and 247 posts related to the event itself (not counting the warm-up to the event). That's almost 6 posts/blogger or 2 posts/attendee! Good lord, but these were a prolific bunch...


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