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Tech Ed 2004

My software company is currently investing heavially in moving our entire product line into .Net Framework.

I've had some really great seminars at Microsoft, from which I've gathered and implemented many ideas, and was wondering if spending a week of my time to attend Tech Ed 2004 (Europe, in Holland) is a valuable learning experience? Or can the information be gleaned more easially from the internet these days?

Andrew75
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

The last Tech Ed I was at (1993? 1994?) was really good.

Joel Spolsky
Fog Creek Software
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

I've been to several Tech Ed Europe events, and I've found that it's better during 'gap' years when Microsoft is not doing any big new technology pushes. When there's big changes afoot, like, say, when .NET was first launched or this year when Longhorn and Whidbey was the big ticket, PDC is generally better.

The disadvantage, of course, is that you have to go the States for PDC.

Neil Hewitt
Thursday, April 15, 2004

Go to TechEd 2004 if only for the attendee party (in the states at least).  Smashmouth and Wall Flowers last year in Dallas.

Kyle
Thursday, April 15, 2004

Given the opportunity, I'd always go to a MS event if only for the reason Kyle states; attendee parties . . . it's like college all over again (except with a LOT more dorks and a LOT more conversations about software).

Now, for actual content . . . PDCs are always better (except there's a bigger interval between 'em). From my experience (2 TechEds, 1 PDC) . . . TechEds cover more stuff coming out "tomorrow" with more stuff you can use "today" while PDC covers more stuff coming out "in the next 2 years" with more limited stuff you can use "tomorrow."  ;)

Actually, though, the PDC is very "hardcore" . . . if you're astute, you can literally go from 7AM to 1 or 2 AM . . . the PDC B-R-O-K-E me this year (come Friday, I was beat); but the birds-of-a-feather sessions are a must! This is YOUR opportunity to speak w/ MS in a very informal forum . . .


Speaking of the attendee parties, here is my experience:
PDC LA - Universal
TechEd NO - IMAX, Waterfront concert (Blues Traveler)
TechEd ATL - Georgia Dome (VB birthday bash; watched MS program mgrs make arses of themselves onstage w/ various "smaller" bands).

As for the sessions i atttended . . . i'unno.  ;)

Steve
Friday, April 16, 2004

Thanks! I don't think I can use those to build a business case for attending, but it certainly gives me incentive to try it out :)

Andrew

Andrew75
Sunday, April 18, 2004

Go.  Just go.  Pay it out of your pocket.  Just go.

It is your life and your career that you are investing in by going.  This way, if your company won't pay for it -- at least you can freely discuss with other companies that are there who could help better your life career in exchange for your skills, among other things. 

Building new relationships with folks involved in the industry you want to be involved with is also an important thing.

I have done this myself -- spent $2,000 out of my own pocket for a conference.  I went to Miami the day the Marlins won the World Series, met with co-workers of the company producing products I used, golfed in Doral, and built a warm relationship with a few outside companies.

I ended up working for the company 6 months later.  Of course, I had some relationship with them in the past, but that conference added a few friendships which is making life much easier for me here.

Networking is huge, man.  I did not believe it, but once I did -- bam!

Go.  Pay for it.

T.J.
Sunday, April 18, 2004

> attendee parties . . . it's like college all over again (except with a LOT more dorks and a LOT more conversations about software).

And a lot fewer attractive women.


Monday, April 19, 2004

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