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.

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