Like any university, LabVIEW U wasn't just about courses. Part of the joy of attending NIWeek was experiencing Austin with my coworkers and hanging out with other engineers.
We had the good luck of staying right by the Congress Avenue Bridge. This bridge appears misleadingly mundane until exactly sundown when millions of bats begin streaming from its concrete underbelly. I joined the other onlookers loitering along the bridge Monday evening and watched the bats take flight over the river. Their procession was so thick that even after 10 minutes you could still see the dark ribbon of bats against the sky snaking southward into the night.
Socializing of course happened between sessions, but the real networking events occurred in the evenings. Monday’s Block Diagram Party found us all sipping beer and wine amongst dozens of cool NI hardware demos, including new cRIOs and smart cameras. The whole DMC crew met up with other Illinois developers and of NI employees to see their peer perform as the Dan Quinn Band at a local pub Tuesday night. The official NI sanctioned event was a huge party at Austin City Limit’s Moody Theater, complete w/BBQ and live music. Between the two evenings I had the pleasure of speaking with several international developers, hardware specialists, fellow programmers and NI staff. It seemed like engineers took over downtown Austin en masse and everyone was in good spirits. The conference was a great experience, both socially and academically; I'm happy to have attended.
Courtesy of the 2 hour long flight back to Chicago, I close with 3 (three!) NIWeek Limericks:
Summertime at the Austin Convention Center –or- Texas Likes Its Air Conditioning
33 hundred strong in a flock
Sitting stoic before the keynote talk.
“Why so silent?” whispered one
“We just walked over in the sun
Now everyone’s recovering from deep thermal shock!”
First glimpse of Silver won’t soon be forgot.
Reacting to release features we’d long sought:
There were screams, there were tears,
People passing around beers
All for hide/unhide traces on a plot.
Party in Moody Theater –or- Guy-Girl Ratio
After RIOs, compilers and PICs
It was fun to watch engineers get their fix.
Though I can’t help but be blunt,
The band’s 3-women front
Nearly doubled the number of chicks.
RoMeLa’s CHARLI 2