TechEd was great this year, though I had to leave early on Wednesday to care for my wife who picked up a really nasty virus. Here's a synapsis of my brief but, enjoyable stay:
I finally met John Lam who developed and presented the IIS/ASP.NET migration pre-conference for us, for a walkthrough of the labs for the next day. That evening we picked up Barry at his hotel and joined some of the www.microsoft.com operations guys at a great restaurant in Old Town (La Casa Bandini). I remembered that I'd been there about 10 years earlier the first time I was in San Diego just a few days after I'd joined Microsoft (yes, I'm coming up on my 10yr. anniversary).
We did the pre-con and although there were a few glitches like having to delay the start time by 1/2 hour because a marathon held up the buses from arriving, and a few problems with lab machines everything went very well. (Note to TechEd planners, next time, check if there's a marathon running next to the convention center just before the registration rush). The Microsoft.com guys do an excellent job of talking about how they deployed IIS 6 very early during the betas and how they keep one of the most visited sites on the web running so reliably. I really enjoy working with them - we've been working together for about 3 1/2 years on early deployment for IIS 6 and now for Whidbey as well.
First day of booth duty and we're swamped with people. Of course, during the first hour, we're swamped with the overflow of the folks crowding the MOM booth for whatever they were giving away. We still had a lot of great conversations with customers who were deploying or planning to deploy or upgrade to IIS 6.
Monday evening, we join some ASP.NET and IIS team people for a late dinner after the Expo closed. Everyone's practically falling asleep at the dinner table - except when we got into recollections of the Transformers, Decepticons, Autobots, etc. everyone had when they were kids. The only transformers I ever had were the ones my wife would confiscate from her students - man, I felt old.
Sat down with some of the TechEd attendees at lunch. One people at the table asked if I knew anything about the 'bogglers' at TechEd ;-). I replied that blogging sometimes boggles me too.
Booth duty again. People working & visiting the booth keep telling me that some some 'girl in pink' is stalking me. Some said they read it in her blog. I thought blogging to find me was a riot but the word certainly got around!
Had our 'IIS Meet the Experts' session in the cabana. It was a great turnout but next time, we need a better location because a lot of people in the back probably couldn't hear us. Afterward, I met Marcie - my pink stalker :-). Also learned that she also works for/with Barry - small world!
Sat in on the .NET BOF that evening with Rob Howard - mostly centered on VS & the framework. I left with Ambrose & Jim and joined a few of the ASPInsiders for dinner.
Overall, TechEd was like a big family reunion. Compared to previous years, I was able to connect with a lot more people active in the IIS/ASP.NET community face-to-face. A lot of this is because I'm combining roles as IIS and ASP.NET community lead and I'm also getting to know so many people through the ASP.NET site and ASPInsiders. I'm already looking forward to next year.