Well, so far it’s been an interesting Tech Ed in Atlanta. The conference center layout has been likened to a marathon. Lot’s of seriously long walks between classes not to mention the most confusing architecture know to man. Nothing like entering from the ground floor in conference hall A, walking through on the same level to conference hall B, only to have to go downstairs to level B4, with another 3 levels below this. Confused your will be, at the end, you will be fit.
Microsoft has done a great job of lifting themselves from the cheapness of the least conference (no hot breakfast anyone) to excelling at feeding the hungry masses this year. Class contention is always a problem, too many interesting talks at one point and not enough at another. Missing from TechEd is the big giveaway to all those attending, PDC, Mix they all get stuff, but for TechEd… forget it.
Of note this year is a great turnout by all the vendors, for which a special mention goes out to GrapeCity. The corporate HQ is in Japan and as we all know they have suffered greatly from the earthquake. I encourage all to visit their website and donate to the relief effort. But this did not stop them from having the best booth at Tech Ed. Did I say they have a pool table with a 2 times champion showing off trick shots. Pretty cool. But the best is the cookbook, a wonderful volume packed with recipes from fellow geeks around the US, and if you are lucky, you can get signed copies. As Tech Ed give aways goes, this definitely rates as one of the more unusual but more useful. I don’t know about the rest of you but the flashing pens are fun and last for a few days before meeting their demise in the garbage but the cookbook I will keep and use.