Thanks to tamedblossom for the photo.
Maybe it's a function of them being Americans, but damnit if it wasn't quite a culture shock talking with random attendees. They all have that fire of ambition in them. All looking for the next startup, the next big deal. Even the average coder for a University Library, had a startup on the side. And here I was, just a 'regular' programmer, wanting to learn a technology for the company I was actually employed by.
I felt like I was a gentle cloud, drifting through, meeting large gas guzzling muscle cars, ON FIRE. Even the most average looking geek, if engaged, would start talking about the latest startup they were part of, and how they want to leverage their business to business synergies to create real value for the Web.
It was energizing, in a way. To be surrounded by so many blindingly bright people, all with a wealth of life experience, and a blazing future ahead of them. I just couldn't work up the passion to tell them how I hoped to make a user-friendly, stable system that was easy to maintain. To put it another way, I was Mary-Ann, surrounded by Gingers. To put it in a less creepy way, I was Toyota, surrounded by Ferraris, ON FIRE.