Wednesday, June 11, 2008

TechEd 2008 Wrap-up (with a twist)

TechEd 2008 has come and gone, and now that I'm back and settled in the office, I figured I ought to provide some wrap-up remarks- like every other TechEd blogger out there. I know, I'm not original. But with that confession, let's see if I can make this wrap-up post different from many of the others you've read.

Most wrap-up posts seem to follow this pattern:

1. Gushing thanks to those that visited the booth
2. Comments about how great the show was
3. Tantalizing promises of better things to come in 2008

Let me just get those out of the way by saying, ditto.

Now, on from there. I have a couple of interesting insights regarding TechEd 2008, a random tidbit from the MS Silverlight Team, a photo gallery to share, and Roy Osherove's TechEd 2008 version of "Every Build You Break."

First, the insights. As many of you may know, TechEd 2008 was a unique show. It was the first TechEd to split developers and IT "Pros" (I think the term should be applied loosely), creating two (theoretically) smaller back-to-back, one-week events instead of a single massive event. In theory, this change was supposed to improve the quality of TechEd for developer focused companies, like Telerik, and better match attendees with the available sessions and sponsors. And while I definitely agree that all of the conversations at this year's TechEd were better than last year (no more, Me:"We develop .NET UI components and developer tools." Attendee:"I'm not a developer." Me:"Okay...here's a t-shirt" exchanges), the overall energy of TechEd has definitely changed. There's just something about 10,000+ geeks in one place that strangely energizes people, and that was missing for the TechEd Developer Week this year.

So is the change good? I think the jury is still out. For developers, the change makes TechEd feel like a slightly bigger DevConnections (albeit with much better MS participation and a much better keynote). For companies that want to reach both audiences, it makes TechEd a serious endurance marathon as they camp out in Orlando for two solid weeks. We'll see if this new format survives for a second year, but if you attended the show and want to have a say, let Microsoft know what you thought of the change.

Next, a random tidbit from the Sivlverlight Team. After attending yet another Silverlight session where the demoer implemented their own boilerplate class to support the mouse scrollwheel, it struck me that I should ask the Silverlight Team if we could hope to see this seemingly obvious code baked-in to Silverlight 2 before its release. Unfortunately, I got a pretty non-commital answer at the show, but with the promise of follow-up. I'll try to get a definitive answer from the Silverlight Team soon. Until then, plan on rolling your own scrollwheel support.

Finally, a photo gallery and a video. For the gallery, hit up my Picasa Web Gallery (complete with picture captions so you know what you're looking at) to see pics of the show, the Universal party, and the Telerik crew. For the video, check out my new "Every Build You Break" YouTube clip. This is actually my first contribution to the great time suck that is YouTube, so I apologize in advance for contributing more meaningless dribble to the Interwebs. I think you'll enjoy the video and the song, though- it is very "geeky" humor.

And that about wraps it up! I hope you found this TechEd wrap-up post sufficiently different from others you've read and I hope you enjoyed my TechEd coverage. I'll try to provide even better coverage at future events, so keep it locked-in here for all the fun.