Saturday, August 14, 2004

Tech-Ed 2004 Experiences

Yet another episode of TechEd concluded Friday [Aug 13]. This Year TechEd had 2 Days Full of Technical sessions and 1 Day Hands-On Lab Sessions.

Keynote was given by Keith Rowe, Product Unit Manager for Visual Studio Team System @ Microsoft, Redmond. He was discussing the entire aspects of software professional world, and gave a prelude to VSTS. Sriram Krishnan – Student Champ from Chennai gave a demo on VS Express editions. And key note moved on for IT Pro’s.

This Year Technical Track Topics made more sense, as the much awaited Whidbey and Yukon has their beta releases on our hands. Almost all the tracks were surrounded on these technology.

Keith Rowe, talked about VSTS. VSTS is a life-cycle tools platform, which we are really missing in the Microsoft World, this is a very great effort and somehow caught my immediate attention. Believe me this is not yet another Marketing Product, but this is a much matured attempt to solve today’s software development needs. If you are an infrastructure architect/ technical architect/ Project Manager/Lead’s you will understand the real need of this project. VSTS is just Wow!
Atlast Project Manager’s has a technical tool to work on ;-) To my knowledge no other IDE developed so far [call it **lipse…!! whatever] does not grade anywhere near to Whidbey now…

Gaurav Khanna spelunk'ed on CLR 2.0 :-) That was a very interesting session, and was a very technical talk. Both Gaurav and CLR were impressive.

Other tracks were surrounded by VB.NET,ASP.NET, ADO.NET handled by Praveen Srivatsa, Anand M , Vinod kumar and Govind Kanshi.

Praveen Srivatsa's session on SQL CLR was interesting; he is a very interesting person, with good skills inherent. He also has a knack of answering the crowd. Usually no second question would popup.

Anand M, I don’t have to write much about him, he can talk about anything, and we’ve seen him on CNUG Sessions :-)

There were also some matured tracks like “Secure Coding Practices” by Venkatrangan, RD-MSDN. But somehow I felt that much of the crowd did not understand the real intricacy which he was trying to explain, at one point I heard voices asking for code samples, but they did not understand that he was not talking about not only CODE, instead he is trying to get the grounds cleared up or he was trying to set the basics clear. This was one of the interesting session, without demos/marketing jargons, but more of sharing the brains.

And Sanjay Shetty – Indian Mobile Guru, talked on Mobility Programming on asp.net that was another interesting session.

And also there were some session which really tested my patience!!

There were also Chalk-Talk Sessions…. And the last day was hands on lab.

Apart from all these technical tracks, Abhishek – MVP Lead had some interesting plans for Microsoft Community Stall. We had announced for a Match-Making contest, which was fun and we awarded watches for the chosen ones. And we also tattooed the participants. On these stall I happened to meet some interesting guys, had a brief talk with them. I was little amazed when 2 guys voluntarily introduced themselves with their biz cards, they were from Sri Lanka… they have landed in Chennai, exclusively to attend Tech-Ed and Meet people. That was great. Also Had some technical chats with some guys.Also happened to meet fellow MVP’s. overall it was fun at the community stall, Anyway that was the theme…

We also met Shiela Gulati, she heads the community evangelism team [She was introduced as Deepak Gulati’s MOM to me !! by Naresh hehehe… he was kidding….] she was shooting the whole session and captured some funny moments. She was an interesting lady to chat with. And she also announced they are planning special training for MVP’s. That was great news.

Overall, this year TechEd was pretty interesting, without much mess. While I was observing the crowd’s response/feedback to TechEd, Some were satisfied, some thought new gyan’s were preached, some enjoyed attending the show and the sense of being there, some thought Microsoft took their money to market their products, some thought tracks were not very technical… hmm… Is it possible to satisfy whole of this crowd of 500-600 ??? Something to think about ?

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