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Liam McLennan hackingon.net

I like Chicago. It is a great city for travellers. From the moment I got off the plane at O’Hare everything was easy. I took the train to ‘the Loop’ and walked around the corner to my hotel, Hotel Blake on Dearborn St. Sadly, the elevated train lines in downtown Chicago remind me of ‘Shall We Dance’.

Hotel Blake is excellent (except for the breakfast) and the concierge directed me to a pizza place called Lou Malnati's for Chicago style deep-dish pizza. Lou Malnati’s would be a great place to go with a group of friends. I felt strange dining there by myself, but the food and service were excellent. As usual in the United States the portion was so large that I could not finish it, but oh how I tried.

IMG_3867 Dave Hoover, who invited me to Obtiva for the day, had asked me to arrive at 9:45am. I was up early and had some time to kill so I stopped at the Willis Tower, since it was on my way to the office. Willis Tower is 1,451 feet (442 m) tall and has an observation deck at the top. Around the observation deck are a set of acrylic boxes, protruding from the side of the building. Brave soles can walk out on the perspex and look between their feet all the way down to the street. It is unnerving.

Obtiva is a progressive, craftsmanship-focused software development company in downtown Chicago. Dave even wrote a book, Apprenticeship Patterns, that provides a catalogue of patterns to assist aspiring software craftsmen to achieve their goals. I spent the morning working in Obtiva’s software studio, an open xp-style office that houses Obtiva’s in-house development team.

For lunch Dave Hoover, Corey Haines, Cory Foy and I went to a local Greek restaurant (not Dancing Zorbas). Dave, Corey and Cory are three smart and motivated guys and I found their ideas enlightening. It was especially great to chat with Corey Haines since he was the inspiration for my craftsmanship tour in the first place.

After lunch I recorded a brief interview with Dave. Unfortunately, the battery in my camera went flat so I missed recording some interesting stuff.


Interview with Dave Hoover

In the evening Obtiva hosted an rspec hackfest with David Chelimsky and others. This was an excellent opportunity to be around some of the very best ruby programmers. At 10pm I went back to my hotel to get some rest before my train north the next morning.

Posted on Tuesday, April 20, 2010 7:55 PM | Back to top

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