Tuesday morning started with a mad scramble to get the kids ready for school and then saying a quick farewell before rushing off to the airport (don’t worry, we didn’t leave them to fend for themselves!)
An uneventful flight to Gold Coast airport, and then a friendly taxi driver took us to our hotel room. We’re staying in an apartment in the Phoenician Resort in Broadbeach, a 5 minute walk from the convention centre. The apartments are managed by Broadbeach Holiday Rentals – they’re in the same complex as the Mantra but are separate. (I booked through World Tourism Travel.)
Narelle is very pleased with the room, and there’s lots of space for her to do her scrapbooking (one of her main priorities on her well-deserved holiday while I’m conferencing!)
Registration was straightforward, though I discovered that as a TLG (Technical Learning Guide), I didn’t get a delegate bag (or so I thought).
Next was an orientation meeting for TLGs, where I got my TLG shirts, and discovered that yes we will get bags later in the week. Pity it will be too small to fit my laptop in.
Straight after that it was time for the opening keynote. In a first for TechEd Australia, the keynote was held on the Tuesday afternoon (apparently to leave more time for sessions on Wednesday).
Michael Kordahi did a nice job as “MC”. If I closed my eyes, I could almost imagine I was listening to the Frankly Speaking podcast
August de los Reyes’ keynote talk on natural user interface (and what might be next) was quite interesting, and I really enjoyed the fast-paced way he used PowerPoint to enhance his presentation.
But without doubt, the highlight for me was seeing our Pivot being demonstrated by Michael K near the end.
I was so proud to see our work being showcased to the whole of TechEd, that I may have been the person who “yeehaa’d”
The evening finished with dinner in the expo area. Once again I’m reminded how good a job the catering guys do here.
There’s some good topics being covered on the agenda, but how would I go about getting there now that the “FLC pool” car we had access to at the Uni (back in the old days!) is no longer an option and what would it cost?
Getting to Wagga Wagga from Adelaide is a good day’s drive, and something I’d really only undertake if there were others to share the trip/driving with. But assuming that was sorted, and you were hiring from the Friday to the Monday (eg. driving there on the Friday, driving back home on the Monday), Hertz list options including a Toyota Corolla Hatch for $158 or a Toyota Camry for $207. Don’t forget to allow for petrol, and of course the cost of 2 days that you won’t be working.
Wagga has a regional airport, but it is only serviced by flights from Sydney and Melbourne. Ideally you’d fly in on the Friday afternoon, and head home on the Sunday night.
WebJet lists a few options. I’ve listed the cheapest I could find here:
So choosing the Melbourne options would cost $451, via Sydney is $572. But you’d still need transport once you got to Wagga – so either hire a car once you get there, or get a taxi from the airport and hope someone can give you a lift out to the campus.
Lunch is normally provided (in the form of Pizza), but allow for breakfast and dinner expenses.
And all this assumes that my family is willing to let me take off for another weekend not that long after spending a week away at TechEd on the Gold Coast!
Even attending Adelaide’s own CodeCampSA had a similar expense as far as my family is concerned. That ended up being a two full days that I’m not around to share the load, do family stuff and spend time with my wife and kids. While I love to learn new things and pursue professional development opportunities, when it comes to the crunch family should be the more important of the two – so anything that takes away from time with the family had better be worth it.
I was doing some housecleaning in Google Reader and noticed an old RSS feed for Ian Reid (my old boss at UniSA). In checking to see if Ian had an updated blog, I discovered that: