Archive for May, 2011


Tech Ed 2011 Winding Down and Ramping Up

Day 4
So I mentioned in my last post that I was going to enter the Speaker Idol competition. Well, I entered as a wild card and actually won my heat! I got some excellent feedback from the judges and after tweaking my presentation I’m now ready for the final competition today at 11:45. I’m definitely a bit nervous, and I hope I don’t make a fool out of myself.

I actually overslept this morning, so I rolled in at 10:45ish. I didn’t make it to bed until about 3:30 am because I was packing and getting ready to head out this evening. I think it’s good that I didn’t try to stumble in here at 7 am… I would have been dead. I can catch the sessions I missed this morning online after I get back.

It is amazing how many sessions there are. Any session you end up in is going to be full of information you can use. I’m most interested in getting the great tidbits out of the speakers like “if you set it up with this option enabled you’re in for a world of pain” or “the first thing to check if things go wrong is that Excel hasn’t decided to disable the add-in”. Real-world experience from these guys is awesome.

Yesterday (Day 3) I attended a presentation called Creating a Custom Service Application in SharePoint 2010. This was one of the best, most in-depth presentations I attended. The speaker said he made a conscious decision not to show any code or demos because he wanted to teach the concepts. In 75 min we could have watched him copy chunks of code here and there, but our eyes would have bled and it wouldn’t have been as helpful as actually going over the concepts. As a result, I know have a fantastic idea of how the service applications work together and how the Service Proxies actually work in SharePoint 2010. I had a vague notion before the conference of how it worked.


Live from TechEd 2011!

Because my company, MicroLink, is awesome, they sent me to TechEd down in Atlanta this year. So I’m here, inundated with knowledge and t-shirts. It’s day 3 of the 4 day conference, and I’m fairly overwhelmed. I wanted to blog more, but I literally have not had time. So here’s my recap:

Day 0
Flew down with Raegan and the boys. Walked from the hotel down to registration, only 7 blocks but seemed longer when factoring in hills. Check-in was pretty cool… touch screen computers and the like. Raegan said, “this is a nice registration… is this a multi-million dollar event?” Um, ya. :-D 10,000 geeks * $2000 = $20,000,000. That doesn’t take into account the sponsorship stuff. And this is a smallish Tech-Ed. Then I got my first T-shirt. Dinner at Das Biergarten was phenomenal. Best jagerschnitzel since Germany. I will definitely find my way back to this restaurant before I leave.

Day 1
This was the first day of the conference. After the Children’s Museum with a local friend, Raegan took the boys and drove on to Florida to see their grandparents. That’s a good thing, because my week is packed. The keynote was good, but I was hoping to see more cool things announced. I guess it’s an off-year. I will say that I’m very impressed with the next version of Visual Studio. That’s some very nice integration they have going on from developers all the way to stakeholders. I attended some sessions and got my first 10 or so t-shirts.

Day 1.5
Most people went to the welcome party at 6 pm after the daily deluge of information. I instead went to the Windows Phone 7 Hackathon. This was a 5-hour marathon coding session where the goal was to get an app sent to the marketplace in exchange for an unlocked Samsung Focus. I did not quite get my app completed, but I still was eligible to receive the phone! So they’re sending that to me, hopefully it will arrive soon after I get back. I had a great time talking directly with the Windows Azure guys. My app involves transcoding video streams in the cloud and delivering them real-time to the app on the phone. The Azure guys were very interested in what I was doing and at one point I had 5 guys from the Azure team helping me whiteboard my solution. Very, *very* cool. I left the 5-hr marathon after 6.5 hrs and crashed in the hotel.

Day 2
Bright and early in the morning got on the shuttle to the convention center. Today I attended a great session on PowerPivot architecture. This was a crazy in-depth presentation where I learned about the PowerPivot architecture forward and back. The focus was on techniques to find where the solution breaks. This was a great session for me since so much of what I do daily is getting dozens of applications to play nicely. Lots of great information. At the end of the day, I went to Tabernacle and listened to some amazing displays of musical talents among my fellow geeks. Wonderful stuff.

Day 3
Got a massage courtesy of the Exchange Server booth. Best booth ever. Now I’m going to try to get into the wildcard slot for the presentation competition. Winner gets a speaking slot at next year’s Tech Ed!

More to come later.