Back helping out in the Hands on Labs again this morning. A long shift from 8.15am – 1pm.
Somehow I missed getting to DEV424 – "High performance, highly scalable applications on the .NET Framework", but instead I went to VOC208 – "Tech•Ed backstage 2010!". It was interesting to hear the hurdles that were leapt to roll out the networking infrastructure (particularly wireless access and IPv6) at the conference this year.
At lunchtime I managed to see Carl and Richard and their "64-bit question" swag giveaway. Nice to see the guys in person, and put faces to the voices from the podcasts.
Regarding IPv6... Apparently it wasn't particularly easy to roll out, and there's not much on the Internet yet that works with it (eg. not even Windows Update), but on the other hand, they reckon IPv4 addresses are almost all exhausted, so the need for IPv6 to become more widely available is growing.
Good to see Rob made the highlight reel at the closing session! The "locknote" was presented by Miha Kralj. It was another use of fast-paced PowerPoint slides, but again done very effectively. Very thought-provoking.
First thing Thursday I was assisting in the Instructor-led Lab "Microsoft Visual Studio 2010: Office Programmability". That went well. I ended up having to explain extension methods to a few of the attendees who hadn't come across them yet. A good reminder that not everyone's been using all the features of .NET 3.5.
After that I attended the following sessions:
DEV354 - Shake, Rattle and Roll with Windows Phone 7 (Nick Randolph)
DEV426 - The Art and Engineering of Supple Enterprise Applications (Nicholas Blumhardt)
DAT216 - BI for the Microsoft Masses - Top 10 Challenges (Sanjay Soni)
Nick's talk was good. Windows Phone 7 looks very nice. It was interesting to hear some of the restrictions and limits that need to be take into account to develop for Phone 7.
Nicholas just happens to be the author of AutoFac and also was a member of the MEF team at Microsoft, so he spoke with some experience about inversion of control. I felt it was a little disjointed, and seemed to jump from IoC101 to more advanced concepts a bit too quickly. Even so, I did like Nicholas's relaxed presentation style. The room was packed too, showing there is demand for 400-level dev talks.
The BI talk wasn't what I was expecting. It was actually about how Microsoft deployed a BI portal internally.
After the sessions it was time for the two labs that I was instructing/introducing:
Introduction to Managed Extensibility Framework
Introduction to Test Case Management in Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 with Microsoft Test and Lab Manager (MSDN Lab)
They both went well and I really enjoyed running them. I should say special thanks to Mitch Denny and Anthony Borton who gave me some great resources and assistance preparing for the Test Manager talk.
Whilst the general hands-on labs are good, I liked the Instructor-led Labs the most as all the people in the room were there doing the same thing.
A quick visit back to the hotel room allowed Narelle and I to Skype the kids and grandparents. That was fantastic.
Then back to the convention centre for the "House Party". I was a bit apprehensive as previous conferences when they've tried to do their own social night haven't been that impressive (previous years at the Gold Coast, Movie World or Dreamworld have been the popular choice). But credit to the organisers, I think they managed to pull off a good evening. There were lots of spaces with different activities – food, full-size fussball, lazer skirmish in the underground carpark, comedians and entertainment in the main arena.
DAT306 - Scalability Standouts - the biggest in the world, and how they did it (Nicholas Dritsas)
WEB202 - Ten Things You Need to Know to Succeed with Natural User Interface (August de los Reyes)
I was hoping to see "ARC301 - Philosophy of Software Quality" but the room was packed to overflowing. Disappointing as Joel Pobar is always worth hearing.
Donald's use of early 1900's business process manual extracts and images just goes to show that the more things change the more they stay the same. I knew that there use to be people who's job title was "computer", but didn't realise they had pivot tables (or close enough) back then.
Nicholas described some impressive stats for how some customers are using SQL Server and the kind of loads and performance that are possible.
August picked up from where yesterday's keynote left off. Some really interesting ideas and concepts. I'll be hanging out to watch that one again when they publish it up at http://www.msteched.com/2010/Australia
From 3.30 – 7pm I had my first shift helping out in the hands on labs. That went well, though your feet do get tired after standing up for all that time!
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.