Wednesday, 26 May 2004
I can't believe it's only Day 2. My feet are sore enough to have been here a week! Today I stayed in the hotel for a while catching up on work, then went over to the convention centre for a book signing. Unfortunately you were all more interested in eating lunch than coming by the bookstore :-(. Found a quiet place to do a bit more work, then to the RD booth for more insanity. Some very smart fellow got 6 3/4 out of 22 on the quiz -- almost beat the record which is 7. This is a seriously hard quiz. If you think you can do better, come on by.
What do you think has this crew so interested?
It's CodeRush and it is seriously cool. Scott Hanselman is making animated gifs, flash demos, you name it of this tool because you have to see it to know what it does. I saw it and I loved it. This is a high-power piece of floor: Clemens Vasters, Mark Miller (it's his product I believe), Scott Hanselman, Goksin Bakir (just the top of his head), and Mitch Roebush (his back anyway.) That's four RDs in one place and a whole lot of brain power. The feet in the background include Guy Barrette and Malek. And let me just say, my feet love the extra thick carpet in the Microsoft Pavilion.
Tuesday, 25 May 2004
This year there are two flavours of speaker shirts at TechEd: the darker (more attractive, I think) blue belong to Microsoft people and the lighter ones to third parties -- that would be me. I wore one of mine today and since I have booth duty tomorrow (RD booth -- 49 and 50 in the Microsoft Pavilion in the Exhibit Hall, come on by) I'll be wearing the other one. I'm hoping to get a third shirt tomorrow. I don't know why I packed any of my own clothes, really, folks have been handing me shirts every time I turn around. No-one gives you pants as swag though. Too bad!
As well as the shirt, I have a slightly decorated badge:
I figure I might as well make myself easy to spot. So if you can't recognize me from the picture (upper left corner) on the bingo card, you can recognize my badge Most of the RDs are wearing the Regional Director Program button also, and we tend to know where each other are. So if you still need a Forte or Huckaby signature, if you missed Clemens and Scott in the RD booth tonight, or left before Goksin arrived (oh yes, he did come by later!) then flag down any RD you see and ask us if we've seen the one you're missing.
I think I just about have one piece of badge bling for every category on my blog. I got an INETA card after I took the picture. I forgot to bring my MVP lapel pin, sorry MVP program.
And of course, I can relax and think about badges and shirts and such because I did my talk and it went well. I will try to get my code (and my slides for that matter) on CommNet.
Monday, 24 May 2004
The talks must be seriously good this year. No-one is in the halls! The show is sold out, the red-jacketed aides are keeping people out of talks that are full, and yet I am not seeing many people at all. They must all be sitting in talks, or in the exhibit hall collecting swag. I have seen a few folks laden down with big bags of stuff.
I am also seeing a lot of women. I am walking by sessions and hearing women speak. I am seeing women with speaker badges and I don't know them! This is really cool. Being a woman should never be something that fast-tracks you to speaking but nor should it exclude you, and when the percentages are lower for speakers, even attendees, than in the industry as a whole it feels wrong. This year it feels more balanced. Fun!
Several people have come up to me and asked me to initial over my picture on the RD Bingo card. When I'm feeling extroverted I have even handed out extra bingo cards to those who don't have them. I've seen the fabulous prize now and let me just say that even the most swag-jaded of those I showed mine to said “ooh, cool, I want one of those.”
C++ talks are few and far between this year. Kang Su had one already, mine is in 45 minutes, there's a 64-bit one tomorrow and the super vital important “language changes for Whidbey” talk is Friday afternoon at 2:45. Aaargh. I will be on a plane. If you don't already know the language changes that are coming then you need to be at that talk. Change your plane tickets if you must. Come do the HOL that lets you play with the new features, or at least some of them, as well, it's DEV11 and it's in Room 6F.
Sunday, 23 May 2004
After an awful pair of flights (weather delays, and far too much time in the Chicago airport) I reached San Diego about midnight local time. Even as tired as I was, I appreciated the small airport, and the pretty drive to the hotel along the water. It's warm but not hot, and the palm trees are neat.
Registration was as I expected - lines were huge, the process was quick once you got to the front. The wireless is spotty but working now. RDs are a ton of fun and the convention centre is both huge and full of food. I haven't seen my room yet but will in a few hours.
I now have a handful of cards for RD Bingo and the Apprentice.NET so if you see me before you get one, ask me for one. And since I'm on the card, if you see me and you already have one, get me to initial it. Booth 49 and 50 is where the RD program can be found.
Saturday, 22 May 2004
I do believe I'm ready for TechEd.
The suitcase is packed -- but not too packed, have to leave room for swag. I have my passport for the border and my driver's licence for registration (I had a huge delay at PDC because I arrived at the conference centre without photo ID). I have my eyeshades and earplugs for the plane. I have my Regional Director program button and my little Canadian flag to put on my badge holder. I have some US cash so I can get overpriced coffee in the Chicago airport. My demos work. The webcast software is on the new laptop. The VPC and my session are on my little 20 gig USB drive as well as the laptop. I even found my MSDN card. I have sunscreen in my carryon, I have the MP3 player and the digital camera, chargers for everything (it's going to be another long trip through security) and all the bits and pieces of paper that make me feel warm and fuzzy -- hotel reservation, plane ticket, my schedule, ... yep, I'm ready!
Yesterday I wore my Tech Ed 99 Tshirt. That conference really changed the way we make software and changed us as a company. I hope Tech Ed 2004 does the same for you, if you're going.
Thursday, 20 May 2004
On Patrick Tisseghem's blog I spotted a link to a Sharepoint quiz. I was pleased to get 9 out of 10 (I lost one mark by underestimating Front Page, easily done.) There are other office quizzes you can take when you get to the site. Nice way to keep from working on a beautiful morning.
Scott Hanselman is planning a world of fun for the RD Booth at Tech Ed. I'm beginning to feel sad I'm only signed up for two hours. Probably the coolest thing is that someone will win an invitation to the “Influencers Dinner” Wednesday night -- but only if you can prove your .NET prowess.
Wednesday, 19 May 2004
Tech Ed is next week! How scary is that? Here's some of what I'll be doing:
- DEV331 "Visual C++: Using the .NET Framework in Win32/MFC Applications" is Monday afternoon, 3:15pm, in Room 10
- Working in the Regional Director booth. If you're attending TechEd, be sure to get an "RD Bingo" card. Then find us (we're giving talks, hanging in the Cabanas, proctoring in the Hands on Labs and more) and get us to mark your card. Get a bingo, bring it to the booth, and get a prize. As for the booth (it's in the Microsoft pavilion) let's just say there will more prize opportunities there.
- Doing my webcast again, this time Live From Tech Ed, at 11am Pacific time, on Wednesday. Of course, you can listen from anywhere, and I hope you do.
- Serving on the panel of the Women in Technology lunch, Wednesday. All women at Tech Ed (for whatever reason) are welcome to come and join the conversation.
- going to the Influencer party with MVPs, RDs, and assorted other VIPs.
- meeting you! Why not? Set it up in RIO. I'd love to talk about whatever you're working on and why you want me to know about it, or how I can help you.
What else? Well I want to go to sessions and BOFs but I haven't had a chance to sit down with CommNet yet and plan that. I also have Cabana time and will be spending as much time soaking in information as I can. That includes information about what everyone wants to read about or hear about in talks, and what people are sick of already.
The latest INETA newsletter features a description of the East of Toronto UG's first meeting, written by our own Marcie Robillard. You'll find other useful INETA information and annoucements in there, including TechEd BOFs and the DevSource programming contest.
Finding your way around the new combined campus of Durham College, which has existed for decades, and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, which is brand new, is most certainly a challenge. As far as I can tell Durham has one giant building on the campus, a fractal called the Willey building and divided into wings and blocks named with letters (A, B, and then surprisingly JW.) The University buildings have stirring poetic names like UA1 (for University Academic) and the signs aren't up yet. Construction is everywhere, you have to use temporary roads, and the security guards don't know where the new buildings are. What fun!
Despite that, about 30 brave people managed to find us in UA1350, a super cool brand new lecture hall, and to hear Ed Musters talk about Garbage Collection. Shortly after I got home I learned we've got our official INETA status. Our name, at least for the moment, is East of Toronto .NET User Group. My next mission, since we have status and I've booked speakers until November, is to increase my swag inventory and to make the web site hum with downloads and information. And one attendee has already agreed to edit the campus maps to include the building we meet in
Monday, 17 May 2004
This morning I've had two emails asking if the user group is meeting Tuesday. YES IT IS. Please come, Ed Musters will be talking about .NET Garbage Collection. You can register at http://gtaeast.torontoug.net/535.aspx and I want you to register so we know how many are coming. Tell your friends, and I'll see you there!
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