TechEd: Day 3

Well today is day two of the main TechEd conference. I happened to make it for the last half of the keynote speaker (Andrew Lees, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Server Tools Marketing Worldwide). He announced a number of new things coming from Microsoft including that all developer tools will have 10 years of product support and that SQL Server 2005 will include data encryption. Cool!

TechEd Eating Hall

Here are the sessions that I attended today:

  • XML Today and Tomorrow
  • ASP.NET: Building Secure Web Applications-Defenses and Countermeasures
  • Visual Studio: Programming Middle-Tier Business Logic

As I was sitting in these talks, I noticed that it seemed to me that a large number of Microsoft speakers have some sort of British accent. I checked with my friend later in the week to see if he noticed the same thing and he verified my thinking. I’m curious to know why this is. Do they make for better speakers? More charismatic? I wondered.

Today was the first day I went down to the exhibit area. I had a mission of just signing up for all the prize giveaways. Do my dismay, I found out when I got to some of the vendors (HP to name one) they made me go to three or more other vendors to get a card stamped before you could be entered for the prize. So I ran around the (huge) exhibit area and did as they instructed only to find out that I had to come back later in the week because I had to be present to win? What a scam! Some of the times they picked to give out the prize were the same time sessions were happening. Not cool at all vendors! From then on I only entered giveaways that they would notify me via e-mail or phone that I won.

Also I went and had my first TechEd lunch in the massive lunch area today. I have never seen a dining area so big (see picture)! There were 970 tables that sat 10 people each and an army of waiters/ waitresses that corralled you to your table and served you iced-tea. I was very impressed how they pulled this off and the food was good and hot! No boxed lunched the entire week! They even had special lunches for vegetarians, vegans, lactose free and more! I also found out that the convention center donates any leftover food to two different shelters located in downtown San Diego. Very cool!

Early that evening I went and attend the Regional .NET User Group Meeting (put on by the San Diego .NET Users Group) held at the Horton Plaza Westin. It was a very informative meeting featuring a speaker from the Microsoft VB.NET team and one from the C# team, each giving a separate talk on what is coming in VS 2005. Lots of cool things coming next year, but I have to say the VB.NET teem needs to add the refactoring that C# has!!!

My friend Woody and I found out about a party that MSDN Magazine was throwing at The Bitter End. On our way there (in an attempt to crash it), we meet up with Ari Bixhorn (from VBTV fame at Microsoft) and someone convinced him to go to the party with us. He had a pass in his hotel room… without him I don’t think we could have gotten in. Thanks Ari!

Business Card Count = 1 | Free Shirt Count = 4

For more pictures click here.

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