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DER Conference, Day 2

USS Eisenhower Another day in Norfolk, more of the conference. Fun fun. Today was “breakout sessions”, which means they had 4 different sessions going at the same time on different topics. I attended mostly the “policy and guidance” sessions, which were an overview/intro to the tasks of a DER. Once again, they were mostly presented by engineers who apparently have lousy public speaking skills. I’d better watch out; if I get a few years of DER experience under my belt, they’ll start asking me to present!

The other thing that has suprised me a bit is just how small a community it is. The conference was limited to 300 participants; that is basically all of the software DERs in the country. For the most part, they’ve been in these roles for a long time, so most everybody knows everybody. It will take a little bit of time for me to fit into and gain the respect of that group.
Arleigh Burke class cruiser
After the conference was over, I shelled out my $17 and took a 3-hour tour of the Norfolk harbor. It was pretty cool. We saw the huge container ships, a whole bunch of destroyers and missile boats, a few submarines (well, just the tops of the submarines), and then an aircraft carrier. The pictures don’t do justice to just how immense that ship is.

Container Terminal
This last one is of the container terminal that was just constructed in the past couple years. Those cranes are something like 20 stories high and the arms on them extend 230 feet out. They’re built to accomodate a class of cargo ship that hasn’t been built yet.Amazing.

Got back from the tour, had a late dinner at Joe’s Crab Shack (I know, it’s lousy chain food, but it was the closest restaurant to the hotel and I was tired and hungry), and then came back to my room and talked to Becky and then my folks on the phone. I should really be getting to bed… it’s nearly 12:30 here. But I’m still on CDT, which means it only feels like 11:30, which is about my normal bedtime. Oh well, the conference doesn’t start until 8 in the morning, which will give me back my hour… unless I want breakfast. I haven’t eaten a breakfast yet this week… slept through them all. Maybe tomorrow.

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