Category Archives: Tech Ed

Oh, yah, TechEd

TechEd was a whirlwind and I never had a chance to breathe, much less blog. I plan to catch up with a few posts but I wrote this one on the plane coming home before I passed out from exhaustion.

I blew in on Tuesday afternoon rather than Sunday (first delay, second delay) and immediately did an Ask the Expert session  on Silverlight Annotation which was a blast. It was non-stop the entire time I was there. After the session, Stuart Celarier appeared to tell me my Entity Framework BOF, which I thought was the next day (!), was starting and it was a long walk (which I ran the entire way carrying two back packs) to get there. There were about 70 people there and I was happy to meet David Sceppa and Ward Bell in person finally. David is also writing an E.F. book (for MS Press) so we played tag team with a lot of the questions (and I thought a great team, at that!) A BOF is supposed to be a conversation, and I kept trying to throw the discussion back to the group, but I just couldn’t steer it away from a Q&A session – which of course, with the help of some very knowledgeable people who were there, was a lot of fun.

As soon as that was done, I had to go back to my hotel (little did I know that the route I chose was the long way around to the hotel) for a quick change and head to an awesome dinner (at Emeril’s) which deserves its own blog post. The short story on the dinner was that it was a small dinner with Somasegar, Tandy Trower (who has been at Microsoft for over 26 years and currently is the GM for the Microsoft Robotics Group) and Robert Wahbe.  Technically, I had the least in common with Tandy, but he and I had the most fun and I’m looking forward to getting him to come to Vermont someday. It’s interesting to me that I am tagged somewhere as “blogger” which is why I get invited to do things like this and the Mix n Mash event, as opposed to “community person” which defined the attendees of the Bill Gates luncheon. But the beauty of this is that I end up getting the best of both worlds! After dinner I headed back to the hotel where of course, plenty of my pals who I haven’t seen in a while were easily found in the lobby bar.

The next day it was go go go again with the Women in IT luncheon which was as packed as it has always been even when TechEd was combined Dev & I.T. It was a huge pleasure and honor to be on the panel with some amazing women and of course, the one and only Eileen Brown as the moderator. I think more than anywhere, I was totally in my element at this event.

After that I was very fortunate to spend quite a bit of time with Brad Sarsfield who is one of the performance guys in Data Programmability. I had a perf demo that I was dissatisfied with and learned a ton while we worked out what might be causing what looked like a not very credible result.

Then I ran to the next BOF, “Going Solo” which Steve Smith and I co-hosted.It was an awesome conversation with a nice balance of solos and “solo curious”. Steve is a good organizer. I played Carol Merril to his Monty Hall.

After that it was time for a little partying (a very little partying as it was a school night for me). There were a bunch of parties that night. I attended one of them for an entire half hour! That was the sum of “play time” for me at TechEd. Then back to the hotel to work until the wee hours followed by Thursday with my two talks nearly back to back. I at least took some time out for lunch where I got to catch up with Joe Stagner and Stan Spotts and about 5 minutes with Brian Loesgen before I had to bolt yet again.

My last talk ended at 4 and I had to bolt (yet again) for the airport immediately after that! So that was it. I blew in, did my thing and left. Now I’m on my way home to Vermont where I will get to spend the ENTIRE summer. I’m going nowhere until “fall conference season” starts up with PDC and DevConnections and maybe one or two others. And of course, I have a wee bit of writing to catch up on.

How hard could it be to get to TechED?

Yesterday at about this time, I was getting ready to head to the airport when I got a phone call resulting in my needing to delay my trip to Florida by a day.

So I paid the $150 “change fee” and rescheduled my flight.

Now I have to leave for the airport in 1/2 hour and went to check in online only to find that, as per united, I may not get to Florida tonight after all.

I already had to cancel everything I was supposed to do today. I wonder what tomorrow’s going to be like?

Update: Thankfully there’s a 6am flight that I’m now booked on that *should* arrive at 11:15am so I’ll only miss one thing in the morning which I’ll reschedule. Yes, 6am. That means I get up at 4am. Boy, is my husband laughing at that concept!

TechEd Ask The Experts: Website Graffiti? Silverlight 2.0 Annotation at the Vista booth

I’ll be doing a fun Ask the Experts session at the Windows Vista booth

Windows Vista at TechEd Developer 2008 “Ask the Experts”

Website Graffiti?  Drawing and Annotation with Silverlight

Tuesday June 3rd 1:00-2:00

If you are curious how to add annotation to your website and want to see a live demo of a cool Silverlight app I wrote that does hand writing recognition, stop by!

TechEd speakers – toes yes, jeans no

In the past, there has always been this funny rule about representing Microsoft at TechEd that said “no open toe shoes”. Yesterday we finally got the email about our attire and there was nothing about open toe shoes. However, I was not happy to see “khaki or black pants/skirt” only. (And they were clear to note “where appropriate” next to “skirt” heh.) But the color restriction (which I should have expected) was a bummer because I have lost some weight and my khaki and black pants are awfully baggy and my Patagucci khaki’s from my pre-.NET days when I had loads of time to exercise are still a little snug and now a little out of fashion (“Expecting a FLOOD, Julie?”). I do have to go to “the big city” (that’s Burlington VT, pop. 40,000) on Friday, so perhaps I’ll go buy some new pants. But at least I get to wear my Tevas.

TechEd Schedule is filling up

And I haven’t even had a chance to look at any presentations yet.

Here’s what’s on my schedule so far.

  • Monday morning – speaker training
  • Monday afternoon – INETA User Group Leader Meeting (yay!)
  • Monday evening – Speaker dinner
  • Tuesday 1-2: Vista Ask the Experts Booth demoing Annotation in Silverlight
  • Wednesday Lunch: Women in IT Panel (yay)
  • Wednesday 2:45: Birds of Feather “Is Entity Framework right for your application?”
  • Wednesday 7pm: Birds of Feather with Steve Smith: “Going Solo”

(and the real reason I’m going)

  • Thursday 10:15 – 11:30 am  Advanced Entity Framework: Take Charge of Object Services
  • Thursday 2:45 – 4:00pm Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Data Access Guidance

And then as soon as I finish my session I have to run to the airport to catch a 6:45 flight. (and miss the attendee party, duh)

So this is starting to look like one of the conferences where I don’t get to go to sessions. Because all of the rest of the time, I’ll need to be in a quiet place practicing my sessions and writing my book!

TechEd – it’s everywhere!

I’m used to seeing TechEd ads on many of the sites that I go to since they are developer sites. So it took a few minutes for it to register when I saw the ad on the website of our local newspaper, the Burlington Free Press.

I’ve been seeing them frequently for days now. This is a pretty small market and it’s surprising to me that they would be advertising here, but perhaps it’s part of a sweeping media buy and they didn’t explicitly choose Burlington. If I didn’t know better, I’d really wonder if they just weren’t using spyware to detect that I have VIsual Studio on my computer and therefore serving up this perfectly targetted ad. There are also a few other Microsoft ads showing up there, for example, one for MS Online Services.

TechEd Birds of a Feather Session: Going Solo (please vote)

About 3 years ago I moderated a session at PDC (or was it TechEd, I can’t even remember :-)) called Going Solo. The room was literally overflowing into the hallway and it was a great discussion. Steve Smith and I are hoping to host a repeat at TechEd this year but we can’t do it unless you vote for it.

Going Solo
Have you ever thought of going independent? This session aims to bring together independent developers with those who have toyed with the idea to share advice, lessons learned and more.


TechEd News: Women speakers outnumber Brian’s at TechEd 2008 Developer

About three years ago, I noticed when perusing the speaker list for TechEd US (which is sorted alphabetically by first name) that there were a lot of Brians. Then I started counting and realized that there were more men named Brian speaking than there were women speaking.

I couldn’t help but notice on this year’s TechEd Developer speaker slate that there were only five Brians. Heck off the top of my head I can list more than 5 women.

  1. Me
  2. Kate Gregory
  3. Amanda Silver
  4. Sara Ford
  5. Lisa Feigenbaum
  6. Mary Chipman (SQL Server team)

There are more but I don’t know them off the top of my head. 🙂

TechEd Birds of a Feather submissions need to be in by April 2nd


TechEd 2008: Get Involved with Birds-of-a-Feather

Contribute to the Community and Get Rewarded

June 3-6 Orlando, FL

Help Us Make the Birds-of-a-Feather Discussions a Success!

As we said in the February newsletter, INETA is once again coordinating the Birds-of-a-Feather (BOF) sessions at TechEd 2008. Based upon feedback, we have extended the deadline for topic submissions to Wed 4/2/2008 and the voting deadline to Mon 4/7/2008.


Announcing a program to recognize individuals who help make the BOF sessions a success!


If you sign up to host two sessions and moderate one session OR host three sessions, you will get the following special BOF Volunteer Package including:

  • A TechEd 2008 Day Pass allowing access to all conference sessions, hands-on labs, meals, etc. on Wednesday 6/4/2008 (20 available on a first-come, first-served basis).
  • Special BOF t-shirt.
  • From all the volunteers, five of their user groups will get an extra INETA speaker between now and the end of 2008.
  • Technology book from a major publisher.
  • Attend a special lunch on Wednesday 6/4/2008 for an informal discussion with some technology experts like INETA speakers and individuals from the Microsoft product teams.
  • Have access to the BOF team room Wednesday evening before and during the sessions where you can get food and drink, take a break and check in with other volunteers.

Contact us at [email protected] to volunteer and make the BOF sessions a success!


Additional Reources: 

Bof Flyer,  February newsletter, topic submissions, voting, moderator instructions/guidelines


Please distribute this Bof Flyer to anybody that might be interested in attending TechEd.


Thank you.


The INETA BoF Team

Going to TechEd? Visit Eric at the SourceGear booth

Since I won’t be at TechEd, I want to make sure Eric Sink is well-entertained! Of course, he’s a pretty entertaining guy, so do yourself a favor and go visit him, get a cool t-shirt, get a chance to win a Wii and see some awesome developer tools like my favorite source control program.

[The fine print: I was not asked, paid, cajoled, bribed or otherwise to make this post, but I admit that I was definitely flattered!]