In recent years the speed at which Tech Ed session recordings have appeared has increased dramatically. I can now sometimes watch a missed session while I am still at the conference, in time to seek out the speaker and ask questions if I want to. But one thing that hasn't changed is that the precons, the all-day sessions held the day before the conference starts, are not recorded. Whether you attend one or not, you can't watch afterwards.
This has two consequences. First, if you want to see what's been happening to C++ lately and why people who've ignored it for the last ten years are suddenly interested again, you have to register (Orlando, June 10th or Amsterdam, June 25th) and you have to come and listen to me live. Second, if you do that, you want to take plenty of notes because you won't be able to just watch the video again later if there was a part where you got caught up in something on Twitter and just weren't listening.
Here's what I'm going to do to reduce the note-taking burden for my attendees. (I can't speak for other precon presenters, but you're welcome to ask them.) I will put a number of useful bits and pieces for you to download, using credentials I'll give out on the day. These will include:
- The PPT decks I will use to present, with some
notes added to some slides
- Written demo scripts
for all demos with exact step-by-step instructions (occasionally, it might just
say “show the for loop and explain what it is doing”, but if there is code to
be added or edited, it is in the script, if there is an option to be set the
exact menu choices are in the script, etc.)
- Zip files of
starting points for all the demos and ending points too
During the precon itself, I will collect Live IDs from attendees who would like to be added as a user to a subsite on my “hosted TFS” preview page, which
I am using as a sandbox. This
makes it possible to play around with the new ALM features without having to get a site all set up. I am not sure
what will happen to this preview site by Tech Ed time, but I’m presuming
it will continue to exist all through 2012. That’s the site I intend to use
during the ALM (module 2) section of the precon.
I also intend to record each demo in advance – I typically record all my talks when I’m practicing for length and I have a pretty good mike that I use for my PluralSight courses. It's not much effort to edit them so that you can use them for a reference. I would have put this in the bulleted list but I don't want to 100% promise that I'll get them all nicely edited in time. I hope to provide them.
Specifically for module 4, Best
Practices, I am planning to write a short paper that makes the same points in prose
– sentences, code snippets etc – and if it's ready in time, I'll bring printouts of that paper
to the session (leave me a comment if you think that would be useful.) It will be on my web site eventually, but I am trying to push myself to get it written before Tech Ed so it can be at the precon.
Anything else you think would help to reduce the note-taking burden? It's a full day, and a lot of us are out of practice receiving information in pieces of that size. Let me know!