Having now completed my instructing and hands-on lab duties, I was free to immerse myself in the breakout sessions for the remainder of the conference.

Chris Walsh and Jake Ginnivan presentingI took in two Windows Phone sessions. Firstly – WPH305 - Multi-tasking and Application Services in Windows Phone 7.5 with Chris Walsh and Jake Ginnivan.

They delved into the new background agent and search integration features coming in the Windows Phone 7.1 update. I can see myself using the background agents as a way to download new data for my Aussie Toilets app. The search integration is also relevant. It would make sense to offer the nearest public toilets when someone is searching for a particular location.

Next, in WPH307 - Analyzing and Improving Windows Phone Application Performance, I got to see Jeff Wilcox go through tips on improving app performance. Again, some ideas on how to improve Aussie Toilets, and Jeff kindly emailed me a code sample that I will make use of.

Fruit muffin and savoury muffin for morning teaAfter morning tea (a muffin and a muffin!), I battled the crowd to get a seat in DEV411 - The Future of C#: Good things come to those who ‘await’ with Joseph Albahari. One of only a few ‘400’ level talks this year, Joseph delivered an impressive presentation on how easy it is to make your code work asynchronously with the new language features coming in C# 5. This was made even more compelling as he contrasted how difficult it was to achieve the same results without the new features.

WP_000117After lunch, on a whim I went along to SEC311 - SCVMM 2012 Network & Storage with Alessandro Cardoso. I’ve used SCVMM 2008 R2 in the context of managing TFS Labs, so it was interesting to have a look at the next version, but a fair bit of this talk went over my head.

WP_000121Finally the ‘locknote’ presentation by Norm Judah. I was a little disappointed with this, as I didn’t think Norm really spoke about anything particularly new or revelatory. It was ok, but not riveting.

One lovely surprise today was getting an Amazon gift card email from Microsoft! Enclosed was the following text:

Thank you very much for your extraordinary effort and flexibility as a TLG at TechEd 2011. We are honored to have had worked with you.

That so was totally unexpected, so I popped back into the hands-on labs to personally thank Kim and Ronald (the lab organisers).

The second surprise was chatting to a fellow conference delegate on the way back to Brisbane airport. We were talking about Windows Phones, and when I said I’d written an app ‘Aussie Toilets’ he smiled and pulled out his phone and showed me he had it installed on his phone! A real buzz to meet someone who’s using my app and likes it!

So TechEd 2011 ended on a positive note for me. I did enjoy my time doing the instructor and hands-on labs. I do like helping people learn new things work through problems they might be having.