Tap My Mind

A Blog by Scott Isaacs

Tag: TechEd (Page 1 of 2)

June? Seriously? (And Tech-Ed)

June is just a week away.  That’s insane.  It’s cliché to say it, but time goes so fast.  My son is already four months old, and my daughter is getting hilariouser by the moment.  (I know some of you may not consider hilariouser a word, but as I mentioned before, I make up words and add them to my dictionary to get rid of the red squiggles.)

So anyway, I went to Tech-Ed a couple weeks ago and it was great.  I had a lot of fun, met a lot of people, caught up with a lot of people I hadn’t seen in a while, and actually learned a few things in the process.  Maybe someday I’ll put all my new-found knowledge to practical use and make something, ummm, practical.

I went with a co-worker, Brennan, and he got the chance to interview a few people.  He’s posted his videos here.

I also took my new video camera, but pretty much the only footage I got was of Jeffrey Palermo doing a head stand on the dance floor to “Whoomp There It Is”.  I will leave you with that:

PS – Notice that I’m recycling post titles?  It must be getting bad.

March? Seriously? (And Tech-Ed)

Well, tomorrow begins March 2009.  This year is already one-sixth over and it has been a blur.  As I get older years seem to go faster, but this one even faster than normal.  Maybe it’s the “big project” at work and the “big project”, errr, new baby, at home.  The work project ends in about another month.  The other one will last a little longer.  Whatever it is, the last two months have flown by.

Also, I found out a couple days ago that I am going to Tech-Ed this year in May.  (Before I know it that will be here, too.)  Is anyone else going this year?

TechEd DVDs

I got my Tech·Ed DVDs today.  It includes seven discs:

  • 4 of presentation slide decks and audio
  • IT Showcase (lots of case studies, etc.)
  • SQL Server 2005 Readiness Kit
  • Microsoft Office System Tips & Tricks Plus

Plus it has the keynotes and all of the manuals for the Hands On Labs.

I’ve got a lot of learning to do…

I Bet You Thought I Forgot

Yeah, it’s been a while since I’ve posted.  Even longer if you’re one of those that doesn’t think my “Congrats to Brian and Belinda” post counts.  I was about to say that nothing really interesting has happened since Tech·Ed, but I guess that wouldn’t be entirely correct.

As you may know, about halfway through Tech·Ed, I stopped blogging.  It wasn’t because of lack of desire or things to say.  It was more that it was a pain to get online and do it.  The wireless connectivity basically sucked at the convention center.  They had plenty of workstations available to get online, but they weren’t always convenient, and by the time I got around to them I didn’t feel like writing a whole lot.  So I didn’t.  You’ll just have to deal with that, won’t you?  🙂  Anyway, so now I’ll do my best to recap what has happened since then.

As I mentioned, Kelly flew down on Thursday night and we spent a long weekend together in Orlando.  It started out with her flight arriving late, so by the time we got over to the attendee party at Universal Studios, we only had about 2 hours left.  That was fun, though, and we got to do about 4 or 5 different things.

I had arranged to rent a car for the time when Kelly was going to be around.  I had originally rented a mid-sized car (“Toyota Corolla or similar”), but when I got to the airport to pick up the car and Kelly, I got a good deal to upgrade to a convertible.  So for about $22 per day, we had a Mitsubishi Elcipse Spyder.  That was fun.

So after a short day at Tech·Ed on Friday, Kelly and I met Gerry, Jeanne and their kids for some lunch and a short tour of one of the outrageously priced malls in Orlando.  After Gerry and his family left to do their thing for the night, Kelly and I went and spent an undisclosed number of dollars at the premium outlet stores and we had dinner at some Cuban restaurant at the Downtown Disney area (wan’t too impressed with the food really).

Saturday, we spent the whole day at Epcot.  It rained off and on all day, but we did just about everything there is to do there.  We skipped a couple shows in the “countries”, but did almost everything else, including riding the new Mission Space simulator ride.  It was a blast, but according to the queasiness that came after, it’s obvious that I’m not 16 anymore.  Fortunately, after about 5 minutes I felt a lot better.

Sunday we slept in a bit, then went to Cocoa Beach.  It was a fairly nice day, so we drove with the top down.

That’s where the mistakes began.

We were at the beach for less than an hour, but tack on an hour each way in the car, and we were basically in the sun for about three hours.  It didn’t dawn on me that riding in a car with the top down and the wind blowing in your face to keep you cool should count as time spent in the sun.

I fried.

It was bad.  That day it wasn’t so bad, and even Monday wasn’t that bad.  But Tuesday and Wednesday were so bad that I didn’t come into the office.  It was gross … and painful.  Really gross.  Really painful.  I could finally start to move my left arm somewhat again by Friday — just in time to move my in-laws on Saturday.

Which leads me to the next update — for the next several weeks my in-laws are going to be living with me and Kelly.  They sold their house and have bought another, but the closings are out of synch by about 6 or 7 weeks.  So we moved the majority of their stuff into storage, and the rest into our house.  Our tiny house is pretty full now with five adults and three dogs, but we’re making it.  Parking is the most confusing since street parking requires permits (which we don’t have).

Umm, let’s see… what else…

Oh, we had another “geek lunch” last week.  On Thursday a group of us got together at Fuddrucker’s in Brookfield.  It was a small group (6 total), but the burger was still yummy.  Thanks to Gerry for being the unofficial “official geek lunch organizer planner guy” — I think we need a website for that.

Aside from that, not a whole lot has happened.  I’ve been starting to experiment with the newest version of DotNetNuke, which we plan to use for the WI .NET Users Group, as well as for my own (non-blog) site.

That’s about it.  Consider yourselves updated.

TechEd Day 3

Tech·Ed is pretty cool.  Something unexpected happened tonight at dinner.  Gerry and I were at some restaurant at the hotel (we are both staying at the Westgate Lakes Resort).

We walked in and were second in line to put our name on the list.  Then a man walked in behind us.  He was still wearing his Tech·Ed name badge so we all made a little small talk.  Turns out that he was alone, so Gerry invited him to join us.  It was about a 10 minute wait for the table so we sat a bar table and started talking.

As it happens, this guy is an Executive Editor for O’Reilly.  He’s only been there for a short time (four months I think), but has been in the industry for several years.  We come to find out later that he is the most published editor of technology books.

I probably have books with his name on them.  Now I have to look and see.

We had really good conversation for quite a while, ranging from the use of humor in technology books to the effect of online reading and writing on book sales.  (O’Reilly has their own online book subscription service called Safari; it works kind of like Netflix.)  We also found out that there is a committee responsible for choosing the animals that go on the cover of each of their books.

It was all really interesting.  I learned a lot about the process.  Plus I might even get to be a technical reviewer on some books in the future.

On a separate note, Kelly is flying down tomorrow just in time to go with me to the attendee party at Universal Studios.  I can hardly wait!

MSN’s Scott Isaacs and the Secret TechEd

Wow.  So a lot of stuff has happened since last night.

For starters, when I was checking my blogs this morning, I saw that Scott Isaacs from Microsoft (a different Scott Isaacs) has mentioned me in his blog.  I’m honored.  (I wonder what the odds of him being at Tech·Ed are?)  Apparently he does some of the same geeky things that I do: Googling yourself.  I would say “MSNing yourself” but it doesn’t have the same ring to it.  It’s funny that, while he outranks me in the Google results, I rank higher than him in the MSN results — and he works for MSN!  🙂

Anyway, thanks, Scott.  I appreciate the link!

So, back to Tech·Ed…

I was told that Gerry and I needed to find the “developer party” and make sure we went to it.  Ummm, OK.  We had a couple leads of who to ask, but no one seemed to know what we were talking about.  I ran into Jason Beres yesterday and was asking him about it and other things.  He didn’t have any idea either (so he said).  So, we had pretty much given up on that.

Later in the day, someone mentioned to us that there was some midwest region “something or other” happening that night and we should go.  We just needed to find the organizer to let him know.  Well, we couldn’t really find him either.  As it turns out, though, we happened to bump into him right before the bus left to take the group over there, and he told us to come along.

We ended up going to some Nascar thing at Universal City Walk.  They had a buffet, drinks and all of the arcade games were open and unlimited.  It was pretty sweet.

So anyway, as we’re in the bus on the way over there, I happened to notice that Rob Howard was on the bus.  So was James Avery.  As it turns out the event was actually a Central region event, not just the Midwest.

I thought that was pretty cool.  When we got to the Nascar place, we grabbed some food and ended up sitting at the same table as Rob Howard.  I know he’s just a person, but I thought it was nice to be able to hang out with him and the others.  I didn’t know until last night that Rob drives a Porsche and it costs him a few hundred bucks everytime he wants to change the oil.  Poor guy.

Well, after the food I started walking around and meeting some of the other people and I started to notice some of the other people that were there.  I saw Betsy Akoi, Angela Baxley (who works with Scott Guthrie at MS), Doug Seven (of dotnetjunkies), Jeff Julian, and others.  By this time I was realizing that this wasn’t just a midwest, or even a central region party.  This was a little bigger than that.

I also saw Jason Beres there.

Actually he saw me first.  He came up to me and, with a big smile on his face, said, “I see you made it.”

“Yeah, but I didn’t realize I was making it until I got here.”

Then he smiled again and said, “Oh, yeah, you made it.”

I wasn’t sure to be pissed that he didn’t just tell me when I asked him earlier, or if I should feel honored that I ended up there in the first place.

I decided to go with the honored feeling.

So after lots of food, soda, water, video games, talking with Betsy Akoi about GDN Workspaces, talking with Angela Baxley about Visual Web Developer and about the low number of females in technology, Rob Howard about his Porsche and the time the fire alarms went off at his apartment (he ran out of the building with a computers under each arm — a true geek), and a host of other user group leaders, we finally caught the last bus back.  We ended up getting to bed about 1 or 1:30.

But it was definitely worth it.

Women In Technology

Down here at Tech·Ed this year they are having a Women In Technology lunch one day.  I think the reason that they are doing this is because they want to celebrate and encourage the number of women in our field.  To be honest, there are hardly any in comparison to the number of men — at least from what I’ve seen over the last few years.

Well, today I had an epiphany and realized exactly why the numbers are so skewed.

I was sitting in a classroom waiting for a session to start.  I was in the same row as a young woman.  While the place was beginning to fill up, there were open seats all around.  In our row, everyone pretty much was following the “leave a seat between each of us” rule that is common for large gatherings of people that don’t know each other.  Well, an older man, probably 60-ish, came and sat down in the chair right next to this woman.  Then he proceeded to talk to her for the next ten minutes until the session started.

Now, I should make a few points here.  I am 100% in favor of being friendly, and trying to meet new people.  However, when it is obvious that the person you are talking to is just giving you the shortest possible answers to each of your questions, then it’s time to stop.

Anyway, it’s my opinion that experiences like this can only hinder the advancement of women in tech.  The fewer women there are, the more likely each is to be the “target” of some extra-friendly (creepy) guy.

Just a thought…

TechEd – Day One

Well, day one has come to a close — at least as far as technical sessions.  We started out the day with Steve Ballmer’s keynote.  I guess it was interesting enough, but it wasn’t really what I was expecting.  Maybe it’s because I’ve heard a lot of these ideas before (integration, ease of use, mobility, etc.).  I was just expecting to hear something new and exciting.  I did get a pic of Steve Ballmer from about 2 miles 1000 feet away, though  There were also lots of vendor booths to browse.  I got a bag full of crap schwag that I will need to filter through.  There’s no sense taking most of it home, but some of it could be interesting.

I pretty much skipped lunch in favor of the snacks that Microsoft has provided all day.  There were Krispy Kremes and fruit in the morning, and various kinds of sugary goodness throughout the day.  I still have an unopened bag of Cracker Jacks in my bag.

My first afternoon session was pretty interesting.  I went to a T-SQL Tips & Tricks session.  I learned a couple things, although I am sure I will forget them.  Fortunately, I should be receiving a DVD with all of the sessions slides and audio in a few weeks.  I also went to a session on the new VS Team System.  It would ahve been a good session except the presenters weren’t all so great.  It was obviously very scripted — even the “surprise” that one of them had when another showed them a feature.  Of course, we all know that they already know all this stuff, but trying to be actors and play surprised is unnecessary.  🙂 

I ended up leaving that one about 15 minutes early.  Then I headed down to the first floor where all the vendors are setup.  They had food everywhere, and it was actually pretty good, so no need to grab any dinner.

I’m not yet sure what’s happening tonight, but a couple things have been mentioned.  Last night Gerry and I ended up having dinner with Andrew Flick from Infragistics (and INETA).  That was good, and pretty low key.

Anyway, I guess that’s about it for now.  I’m just going to hang out for a while and see what’s happening.

TechEd – Huge

I’m in Orlando now, and spent the afternoon at an INETA Summit.  Very cool — I got to meet a number of “famous” people while there, including Chris Pels (President of INETA) and Shaun Walker (of DotNetNuke fame).  Very cool.

At the moment, I am standing at a terminal inside the convention center.  Gerry and I just checked in to Tech·Ed and are making dinner plans with some other INETA people.  So I thought I’d take a minute for a quick post.

BTW, this place is huge.

TechEd Schedule

Here is my tentative Tech·Ed schedule.  There are several time slots where I have double- or triple-booked myself.  Also, I have been told by experienced Tech·Ed attendees to let my schedule be flexible — make sure I hit the things that are critical to me, but let the other times be rearranged if necessary.  I suppose this makes sense, especially because of the Grok Talks.  I haven’t compared schedules (GT schedules for Tues, Weds, Thurs), but hopefully I’ll be able to skip something less interesting for three really interesting Grok Talks.

In addition to my full schedule, I am hoping to be able to make it to the last half of a User Group Leader Summit for INETA and Culminis group leaders.  The reason I’m hoping to make the last half is that it takes place all day Sunday, and I don’t arrive until around noon or so on Sunday.  I didn’t know about this summit in time to book my flight appropriately.  Oh well.

Anyway, as promised, for what it’s worth, here is my current (overbooked) schedule.

Monday, June 06
9:00 AM – 10:15 AM
      Opening Keynote
10:45 AM – 12:00 PM
DAT382 Database Application Quick Start with SQL Server Express and Microsoft Visual Basic .NET 2005 (S 210 E)
WEB320 ASP.NET: Best Practices and Techniques for Migrating ASP.NET 1.x Applications to ASP.NET 2.0 (N 320 B/F)
12:15 PM – 1:15 PM
GNL003 Microsoft Learning Presents: Getting Ready for Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005 (N 320 D/H)
1:30 PM – 2:45 PM
WEB321 ASP.NET 2.0: A Look Inside Membership, Role Management and Profiles in ASP.NET 2.0 (N 320 D/H)
3:15 PM – 4:30 PM
BIN333 Ad Hoc Reporting with Report Builder: Extending the Capabilities of SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services (N 320 D/H)
DBA304 Advanced Querying Techniques, Tips & Tricks Using Transact-SQL (S 310 A)
5:00 PM – 6:15 PM
DEV260 Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team System: Managing the Software Lifecycle with Visual Studio 2005 Team System (S 310 A)
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Exhibit Hall Reception
Tuesday, June 07
9:00 AM – 10:15 AM
Keynote
10:45 AM – 12:00 PM
ARC305 Code Generation: Architecting a New Kind of Reuse (N 320 D/H)
12:15 PM – 1:15 PM
GNL005 Behind the Scenes of TechEd: A Look at the Development of TechEd’s New Hands-on Lab Launchpad Application (N 320 D/H)
1:30 PM – 2:45 PM
ARC206 Next Generation Service-Oriented Architectures (S 320 A)
CSI349 Beyond the Wizards: A Practical Approach to Web Services Security with WSE (S 220 E)
DAT385 Using the New Microsoft Report Controls in Visual Studio 2005 (N 320 D/H)
3:15 PM – 4:30 PM
DEV280 Advances in Threat Modeling (S 210 E)
WEB329 ASP.NET: A Lap Around the New Enhancements for Web Developers in Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 (S 320 A)
5:00 PM – 6:15 PM
ARC308 Dealing with Data in Service-Oriented Architectures (N 210 E)
DAT320 Integrated Innovation: Using ADO.NET 2.0 with SQL Server 2005 (S 220 D)
DEV362 Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team System: Building Robust and Reliable Software (S 310 A)
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
BOF001 Software Factories: Making ASP.NET Server Controls Simpler (Track Cabana 01A)
BOF010 Test-Driven Development is Design! (S 321)
7:45 PM – 8:45 PM
BOF019 What are Microsoft Patterns and Practices and Why Should I Care? (Track Cabana 16)
BOF020 Contract-First Web Services: Step-by-Step (S 321)
9:00 PM – 10:00 PM
BOF023 Data Access for Business Objects with NHibernate (Track Cabana 04)
Wednesday, June 08
8:30 AM – 9:45 AM
ARC309 Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Architects: Developing Service-Oriented Systems (N 320 B/F)
10:15 AM – 11:30 AM
ARC310 Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Architects: Developing Logical Datacenters (S 220 E)
WEB323 ASP.NET 2.0: Overview of ASP.NET 2.0 (Part 1) (S 320 A)
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
GNL009 .NET Rocks! Live @ TechEd with Visual Studio 2005 Team System (N 320 D/H)
2:00 PM – 3:15 PM
DEV463 Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team System: Maximizing Collaboration with Team Foundation Server (S 220 E)
WEB324 ASP.NET 2.0: Overview of ASP.NET 2.0 (Part 2) (S 330)
3:45 PM – 5:00 PM
DEV351 Microsoft Visual Basic 2005: Application Frameworks and Advanced Language Features (N 210 E)
DEV364 Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team System: Enabling Better Software through Better Testing (S 310 A)
5:30 PM – 6:45 PM
DEV380 Enterprise Library In-Depth (S 220 D)
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
BOF035 Innovative Techniques in .NET Development (Track Cabana 08)
7:45 PM – 8:45 PM
BOF041 Pragmatic Architecture (Track Cabana 02)
9:00 PM – 10:00 PM
BOF049 CSS and ASP.NET (Track Cabana 01A)
BOF052 Writing Secure Code (S 321)
Thursday, June 09
8:30 AM – 9:45 AM
ARC313 Patterns for Service-Oriented Architecture (S 310 A)
DEV467 Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team System: Using Visual Studio 2005 Team System to Support Your Agile Processes (S 220 E)
WEB325 ASP.NET 2.0: Building Data-Driven Web Sites in ASP.NET 2.0 (S 330)
10:15 AM – 11:30 AM
ARC314 Passing Messages: A Flexible, Powerful and Extensible Communication Model (N 210 E)
DEV365 Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Architects Overview (S 210 E)
WEB330 ASP.NET: Using Microsoft Visual 2005 Studio Team System to Build Enterprise Web Applications (S 320 A)
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
GNL011 Inside Microsoft: Perspective on Creating Technology for the World with Don Box (N 230)
1:30 PM – 2:45 PM
WEB343 ASP.NET and IIS: New Developments in Web Security With IIS 6.0 and ASP.NET (S 320 A)
3:15 PM – 4:30 PM
ARC316 Tight Processes, Loose Services (S 210 E)
DAT400 SQLCLR vs. T-SQL: Best Practices for Development in the Database (N 220 E)
5:00 PM – 6:15 PM
BIN335 SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services Custom Report Items (S 320 A)
7:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Attendee Party
Friday, June 10
9:00 AM – 10:15 AM
ARC317 Service Oriented Management: The Business Imperatives (N 210 B)
DEV461 Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team System: Advanced Project Management and Reporting in Visual Studio 2005 Team System (S 220 D)
10:45 AM – 12:00 PM
ARC318 Service-Oriented Management: The Technical Solutions (S 220 D)
WEB327 ASP.NET 2.0: Best Practices for Building Web Application UI with Master Pages, Themes, and Site Navigation (S 330)
1:00 PM – 2:15 PM
ARC419 The Grey Area of Implementing Services Using Object-Oriented Technologies (S 220 D)
DEV466 Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team System: Enterprise-Class Source Control (S 220 E)
2:45 PM – 4:00 PM
Open

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