Tonight, I blog once again from my dorm room.
There is a certain special something about the get-togethers of IT people and programmers. On the surface, much of it may look the same: the same beer is drunk in the usual amounts, there is some bad karaoke by brave souls—there is still the same social awkwardness, if compounded somewhat by the hermetic nature of some programmers, myself included, who are less than stellar at niceties.
No, what is really special is that these people will all bitch about the same thing, and the tenor of the bitching becomes harsher and less jovial the more beers they consume. If I have learned one thing during this conference, it’s that no school here really likes Oracle’s portal. And why should they? It’s the best that 1998 has to offer, refusing to integrate with most other systems, comprised of a supremely messy set of logic that produces an even messier webpiece that can only be fixed by hacks and kludges. What’s more, we’re paying thousands every year to belong to this consortium that’s based on Oracle’s portal, and yet I’ve yet to hear any really positive things said about it.
Funny how nobody asks the technical people which software to use, hunh?
Tonight was a conclusive party or dinner or both which was attended by most of the conference attendees. Mostly because there was free beer. The shindig was held at a riverside bar/cafe called Jillians, nestled beneath a tarp-covered bridge and flanked by a coffee-brown river with an Indian name that I don’t remember. The food was pretty good: rather dry chicken breasts in a sort of runny alfredo sauce, diced roasted potatoes, mostaccioli wok-fried with red peppers. An overly-nutty slice of carrot-cake for desert. The bar initially was having problems with the tap, but I managed to get both the Great Lakes Dortmunder and the Great Lakes Holy Moses from the tap, and both were good: the Dortmunder was a run-of-the-mill—but well done—lager, and the Holy Moses was a darker, sweeter ale redolent of molasses. I won’t bother describing the Amstel Light, which I should not have ended with, but the Sam Adams Summer Ale was also good, if overly foamy and cloudy because of the issues with the kegs (also, it was just a little bit urinish).
Tomorrow, I don’t even have to get up early, as my boss and his boss are making an hour-long presentation at 10:30, and we’re basically getting right back on the road after that, hoping to somewhat avoid the horrible I-80/I-94 rush hour traffic, though I’m not so naïve as to think we won’t hit it anyway. Oh well, I’ve got to slog through Rousseau’s The Social Contract, so I’ll keep plenty busy.