Its been a week that the premiere event from Microsoft, TechEd – the most awaited event of the year, got over. I have been lazy enough to pen down my experience of the event so far. Believe me when I say this – the after effects of this years TechEd has been so much that I have been tweeting with the hash tag #TechEdIn even after the event got over. So read along to hear my experience this year.
I was fortunate enough to have got funding from my company. The deal I had for getting nominated to attend this years TechEd was 25% funding from my pocket and 3 days of leave from my bucket. Well I didn’t care about either of this constraints as this would be my maiden TechEd event. I think now as I write this, that this TechEd was too much fun and networking because of my social connections. Yes I had many people from the Microsoft technologies on twitter and Facebook that, a week prior to TechEd was nothing but tweets about meeting each other. That’s the best part of events like TechEd.
Day 1 – Mar 23, 2011:
Day 1 was the usual rush at the registration counters. I reached the venue by 9:00AM. After sorting out the initial hiccup from the end2end guys saying that our payment was reflected, we were able to get thru registration. The most amazing experience of TechEd is what they call as the passport. A passport is a book which contains the agenda for three days in a nice schedule based timetable printed out along with the venue details like halls, labs etc. I was attending the Architect track so below is a snapshot of my passport. Notice that its orange in color. Different track passports were in different colors. Nice concept. I was told this is with every TechEd.
The day started out with Keynote from Mr. Qi Liu. The keynote threw a new perspective at the way searches happen today over the web. Most searches on the internet today is a noun based search. You do not have a verb based or task based search. From Qi Liu words – its about reorganizing web for Task completion. A completely new perspective to search
Second Keynote was from Mr. Yousef Khalidi, Distinguished Engineer from Microsoft. He was speaking on the subject of cloud services. An excellent insight from him on the cloud based services and offerings from Microsoft and how the market is adapting to cloud. He is a distinguished speaker and was great to ear his keynote.
Then came the most waited session for me of the day. “Meet the MVPs”. About 35 MVP i.e. Most valuable Persons – had registered for TechEd. I had blogged about them here. So this session was all about meeting the MVPs and networking with them. Thanks to Abhishek Kant (Sout Asia MVP Lead) and Abhishek Baxi for providing people like me this excellent opportunity to meet and greet the valuable persons in the technology. I know couple of MVPs personally. But now I had the chance to meet many more. The session itself was so informal that even I was amidst these guys introducing myself and putting forth my thought and suggestions on how to improve the community interactions. I had a super time in this session. My take away from this session – I would say the biggest take away – was the chance to attend round table conference with Executives of Microsoft. Wow I never ever had imagined this. Also I never knew that apart for speaker session TechEd does have other things like the round table conferences. Thanks to the MVP community for including me in this wonderful experience.
Once we finished the Meet the MVP session it was time for lunch. It was time for the round table conference. I attended the round table with Yousef Khalidi who took questions/feedback on cloud services from Microsoft. I was extremely amazed by how humble and how down to earth this person was. He was taking each question with due respect. He made a statement saying don’t tell me good thing but tell me what’s bad that you see out there. It was an excellent 1 hour of interaction with Yousef. Finally it was time for a group photo with Yousef.
Next I attended a Session on “Open Data Protocol” by Matt Milner. OData is very dear to me and I have done couple of talks on that in local UG’s. So wanted to see what Matt was gonna say in his session. He gave a completely novice introduction to what is OData. I thoroughly enjoyed the session. I asked a question and I was awarded with a 8GB pen drive. Cool isnt it – you ask a question and you are rewarded.
Not to forget my wonderful lounge sessions with the fellow MVPs – HTML5 Vs Silverlight, LINQ Vs WF, ADO.NET to SQL Azure – excellent question n answers flowed during this sessions.