This last Friday was the second day of my trip to Boston. The agenda was very simple and yet had all the ingredients to an unforgetable day. Having swapped a few emails with Miguel De Icaza where I convinced him to meet me and give me a tour of Ximian’s office in Cambridge, we had finally settled I’d meet him during his lunch break. My friend Vinny and I left his house around 11am figuring it would take us about 30-40 minutes to get there but we were not counting on getting lost on the way. Hehehehe… So around 12:25 we arrived at 8 Cambridge Center and told the doorwoman that we were supposed to meet Miguel. What followed next were a series of phone calls between the doorwoman, someone from Novell, and us where Viiny and I were drilled interrogatory-like by the Novell person about our intentions with this meeting. Now, I understand that it may have sounded very weird to her when we pretty much stated that we were “enthusiasts that had swapped emails with Miguel and had arranged for a agenda-less meeting during lunch.” “What company do you work for,” she asked. “We’re not here representing a company,” we replied reciting the “we’re enthusiasts” mantra again. After some 15-20 frustrating minutes during which I felt like turning around and forgetting about the whole thing, we were finally allowed to go up to the 5th floor.
By then I was feeling pretty bad about the whole thing and it felt now that we were bothering people. We did go up to the 5th floor nevertheless only to wait another 10 minutes in front of the Ximian-logoed door. Eventually a young woman opened the door and took us to a lounge where a lot of the Gnome/Mono hackers were having a pizza party. She had us wait by the fuzzball table while she approached Miguel to let him know his visitors were there. What a Kodak moment that was when I say the look on Miguel’s face. He looked completely dumbfound and seemed to have completely forgotten about our agreement. Vinny and I wanted to jump out of the window but patiently sat down and waited for another 10 minutes while Miguel talked to someone who looked to be a big cheese from Novell. During those looong 10 minutes I looked around and recognized several hackers including Michael Meeks and Nat Friedman. What a cool bunch they were hanging out in the lounge, munching down their pizza and chugging down their colas. I confess that at that moment I became extremelly depressed with my current job and hoped nobody would ask me about it so I wouldn’t have to remember it.
Finally we were approached by Miguel and time stood still for what it seemed a long time. We introduced ourselves and talked about several different subjects, mostly involving Mono and Microsoft. He gave us the inside scoop of where Mono is headed for the next year or so and also about the new additions to MonoDevelop to support the newly added Windows.Forms namespace. He also showed genuine interest in our suggestion of a free Mono code boot camp event and was only concerned if people would actually show up. I also suggested they create a Live CD with Mono and MonoDevelop included as part of the default boot. In the end he gave us both a cool Evolution t-shirt and told us he had to do talk to someone about a bug that something during our conversation reminded him of.
Overall I’m glad I stuck to the whole thing despite my initial feelings that we were disturbing him.