Microsoft recently conducted an All India Bootcamp in Goa. We had a wonderful time. Would like to share my experience with all of you
We boarded the Volvo Bus - Iravatha on 10th October, around 6PM. We were very much eager to leave for Goa. Thanks to Lakshman and Anil for booking tickets in time.
Everyone seemed very enthusiastic when the bus started moving towards Goa. Who wouldn't be thrilled!! We had a nice time making fun of Lakshman and his iRobot during the journey.
We reached Goa in the morning at around 8 AM. According to Anil's plans, we took a local bus to the Mahalasa Temple. This was the place where we were supposed to take bath, but, some of us didn't find the place comfortable. We had breakfast there itself - Idli for 6 bucks and Tea for 2 bucks. Damn Cheap, taste was good though. By the time everyone got ready, it was almost 11, we left for the Mangeshi Temple. Lakshman and Anil were taking lots of snaps to try out the Microsoft Photosynth! Next Place after the Mangeshi Temple was the Church. We spent some time there and, then, headed to our destination, La Calypso!
Microsoft had arranged a bus to pick us up from the Panjim Bus Stand to the venue. By the time we reached there, Reza and Mark were waiting for us. We then had to sign a "Code of Conduct", collected our MSP ID Cards, and then Checked-in. Rooms were like a paradise. We were very tired carrying around our heavy luggages all around the place.
Soon after getting refreshed, we all left for the Bagha beach which was just a minute walk from the hotel. No match for nature's beauty, we spent a lot of time there. After coming back, we assembled in the Conferance Hall. We did sleep there for a while Shesha explained about the Live@Edu Program. Then we were divided into 10 groups for performing Mad Ads. We were given 45 mins to prepare. My team consisted of myself, Lakshman, Marmik, Akshat, Srikanth and Saranya. We came out with a wonderful product called perfume Socks. We went to Saranya's room for preparing, but, on the way, Srikanth lost the route :). He was, thus, temporarily out of the team. Marmik was the narrater, Lakshman - CEO of microsoft :), Akshat - CEO of sony and Lakshman's brother (double acting), Saranya was maid and myself Lakshman's secretory - sexy savitha. My role was just because I was wearing shorts, but it was fun anyway! We went back for performing about half an hour late and our turn came almost immediately. Meanwhile, we found Srikanth and added him into the skit in the last minute. Our skit started well initially, but, when it came to an end, it was a total flop! Noone came to know about the end of the play. That was a good experiance too! Finally, Raveesh's team won for performing a Mad Ads on a product called Shoe.NET! Microsoft guys, who judged might have been partial for a Microsoft Technology :D, anyways, they deserved the win. They got some toy as a prize, I don't what it is called.
We then had dinner and went to beach again! We've been to beach at all times of the day! Night scene at the beach is just awesome! Every MSP would have started using the work "Awesome" by now because of the Coimbatore folks, alias "Awesome Group".
Next day, was the day of all Sessions, how boring! We had to assemble there at 9, but, having such a comfortable room, when me and Krishna woke up, it was 8.45 already. By the time we went to the hall, it was 9.45. The session had begun only at 9.30, so we didn't miss much. We had copule of sessions in the morning about MSDN AA, Silverlight, Deepzoom, etc., during which we were playing around with Aakash's iPhone. That's a cool product I must say, inspite of people talking about its bugs. After lunch, it was Lakshman's session on iRobot. During his session, I wrote a small code snippet that could make iRobot sing one of the song from Rock On. Good thing that it worked, when we ran the code. Then, Krishna from Chennai, who had been the top performer of the year, shared his experiences about his Redmond trip. We then dozed off again when he started talking about Windows Server 2008. Then couple of Chennai folks took a session on XNA Game Programming. Pretty much the stuff I knew! They did a good job. After that came the session on Expression, by Tejus. We just saw the slides that we had already seen at least a 100 times, but, some of his demos were really cool. At the end of the day, Disco party had been arranged in the pub that was right below the conference hall. It was fun initially to watch Raveesh dance. He's a brilliant dancer. Later on, after about a couple of hours, I went back to room as I started getting head ache of that loud noise. Some of you might tease me that I don't know how to have fun, but that's the fact. I spent some time talking with my room mate by name Nishanth, who has actually written a book on hacking with Ankith Fadia. It was nice talking to him, very informative!
On the final day, we started early in the morning, for the Fort where a scene from Dil Chahta hai movie was shot. We had a bumpy ride on a open gypsy. Tires fully worn out. Reza was a bit slow in driving, thankfully, the taxt driver was slowing down at every turns, we finally reached the place! Awesome Place. Had lots of fun there, lots of snaps, holding the sun, etc. Many people didn't look like they had skipped sleep the previous night, although they did. When we came back, swimming pool was getting ready, we just dived in there! How relaxing it was. If I knew swimming, would have enjoyed a bit more! Again, back to sessions, we had topics like Vista Gadget development, Visual studio 2008. Mayur told that he would do three demos, ultimately ended up in doing not even one! After lunch, we relaxed for a while, and packed up for our return. We were feeling really sad to leave the amazing place and all the fun and return back to Bangalore. Chennai MSPs travelled with us till Bangalore, we had lost all the enthusiasm by then. We just slept the whole night, and next morning we were in Bangalore.
This is one experience I'll never forget in my life! This might be my last bootcamp as an MSP. Will miss this moments a lot!
Thanks to everyone who were involved in the most cheerful moments. Bangalore MSPs just rock. Here's our team - Myself, Lakshman, Raveesh, Krishna, Samartha, Shivaprakash, Anil, Abhishek, Aakash, Sahitya, Saranya and Akshatha.