BlackBerry Developer Conference

October 1st is here and that means we are just three weeks away from RIM's first-ever BlackBerry Developer Conference. My hotel is booked, registration pass confirmed, and I am getting excited as all heck to hit California and see first hand what the event holds in store. RIM Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis will be there to deliver a keynote address, and I'm hoping in it he drops word of some exciting RIM developments that I can live blog back to CrackBerry Nation (just like we did for CTIA).

In addition to reporting the news coming out of the event, this conference will be extra special for me personally... I get to participate!! As part of the BlackBerry Partners Fund Developer Challenge, I'm one of the judges for the "Game" category, which is pretty cool, though hectic. I seriously have over 30 games to install and play with and rate in the next few days, so if I'm a bit late on getting a post up you'll know why. Oh, and in case you were wondering, my votes can't be bought (well.. that is unless of course a BlackBerry Storm arrives at my door courtesy of a dev entered in the challenge! Everybody has a price. :-) LOL!!!). Following up on the judging, I'll be participating at the conference in the panel discussion session BlackBerry Partners Fund Presents: What Makes a Great Mobile Application?, along with Rick Segal (Partner, BlackBerry Partners Fund), Mike Kirkup (Manager, Developer Relations, RIM) and Hayden James (President, Should be exciting!!!

AND NOW FOR THE BREAKING NEWS... As if there were not already enough reasons to attend this event, a little birdie just told me the best news yet! The event is going to be littered with FREE BLACKBERRY SMARTPHONES! Attendee goodie bags should be packed with a new BlackBerry, and there may even be extra device freebies as prizes and giveaways within sessions. THANK YOU RIM! That's how you get the developer community excited about your platform... give them units to play with, use and test on! I'm not sure who the brilliant guy was who put this notion forward, but he deserves a pat on the back!

For more info on the Dev Conference, visit I hope to see you there!!!  [ Editor's Note: Apologies on the number of exclamation marks used in this post, but as you can tell, I'm excited!! ]