Tech-Ed 2006 Impressions

I joined the other 3,400 attendees at Tech.Ed 2006 in Darling Harbour staying the The Harbourside Apartments on McMahons Point as usual and traveling in each day by ferry. As usual the presentations, Vista workstations, conference wireless, food and drinks and major events were of a high standard, not to mention the Tech.Ed 2006 backpack.

I used MindManager 6 on my tablet to take notes and it proved superior to OneNote and the Journal for recording facts and providing a record of the presentations I attended primarily in the Web Development track (one of 12 parallel tracks):


The opening keynote was a pleasant surprise and a delight. Anne Kirah is Microsoft’s Senior Anthropologist and adds the human usability dimension to product development. She told how in an early Windows XP beta trial with 40 families chosen at random not one was able to install Windows and connect to the Internet within the 3-hour design goal! She claims that the ease of use improved dramatically before the ship date.

George Moore who is the general manager for Windows Live gave three excellent talks on the Live product family, search and gadget creation and use. This comprehensive Web 2.0 platform will be hard to beat. The Australian mapping information on Virtual Earth was updated just a few days before Tech.Ed and how to develop with Virtual Earth and create mashups were excellent talks.

Local developer Mitch Denny gave us a great insight into the newly named Powershell with its object pipeline and .NET programmability.

The highlight for me were the series of talks from Scott Guthrie (of scottgu blog fame) on ASP.NET 2.0/3.0 and the LINQ extensions. Scott is general manager for Visual Studio, Atlas and related products. Despite his awesome responsibility he is fully across all these products and across about 4 hours and 3 talks inspired us with the rapidity of development for ASP.NET applications. The Tips and Tricks talk was absolutely incredible.

George Smith who is a senior product manager for Visual Studio covered Atlas in detail over a couple of good talks and a very useful session on ASP.NET solution deployment. There was standing room only in the Atlas talks.

Apart from some of the local Qld Microsoft folks I came across few other attendees that I knew. I did have a long chat with a Bond IT graduate, Ragav Jagannathan, who thanked me profusely for teaching him ASP.NET in 2002 which has led to a stellar developer career so far (I also met some of his workmates who are impressed with him). I also bumped into (literally) Sachin Kulkar, ex-DSTC, who is now a senior system architect with Unisys. All-in-all a very interesting and useful 3 days.


About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

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