TechEd Hindsight: Day 1 Monday

I better start getting this down before my 40+ year old brain starts losing this stuff!


Day 1 began with Ballmer’s Keynote (details of which you can read in many many blogs) and the highlight of which was the very nice surprise of Rebecca Dias entering the stage to do the demos. Rebecca, who like many PMs at Microsoft, has a very technical background that most people don’t realize. This is Rebecca’s official title: “ Advanced Web Services Product Manager, Microsoft Corporation“. Many PMs are incorrectly viewed as marketing people and that is just so far from the truth. Here is a page from Brian Gold’s blog that has the definition of this job, if you are curious. Unfortunately Rebecca, surely in a moment of nervousness (on stage with Steve Ballmer in front of maybe 10,000 people) made a silly self-deprecating remark (if you knew her, you would have understood that’s all she was saying) that had a different meaning to a lot of people. Ballmer quickly covered it up and they moved on.

Rebecca’s demo (featuring IBF for Office and integration framework) was great and she got to be the person to announce VS2005 Team System as well as the public release finally of the WSE2 bits. I have played with the alpha a little over the last few months and was so impressed with it’s accessibility for non-plumbers, that I will be doing a talk called “Web Services Security for Dummies using WSE2” at DevConnections. (It was actually on the short list for TechEd but there are so many who are much more knowledgable about this topic that it would have been just silly to have me do it…)


After the keynote was Don Box & Doug Purdy doing the first Connected Systems talk to a packed room. Poor Don was sick, bundled up in a very cozy looking sweater. I have never seen the Don & Doug show though I have seen the Don & Chris show a number of times. Doug is another fantastic stage presence. As you have probably read, they took a lot of audience questions in advance and made sure that their talk, which panned out from the central them of “there is only one program and it is still being written”, answered the questions.

Because of my experience with WSE2, I wanted to hear their thoughts on WSE2 for non-plumbers and asked “do you still have to be a plumber to work with WSE?”. Don’s answer was, as I have experienced, you do not have to be a plumber to WRITE WSE code, but at this point, if you have problems, you will need a plumber to solve them. Fair enough. That still gets us pretty far. And there are lots of plumbers around to help us out, too.

Michele L.B. has one of the best summaries of this session that I have seen so far.


The rest of the day is a blur…a lunch meeting with Chris Pels and Eric King to talk about INETA stuff (which I was terribly unfocused since so many people came up to chat during that time – sorry Chris & Eric), wandering around the expo a bit though mostly hanging by the spot where Tablet PC, INETA, Mobile, SourceGear, Regional Director and VS Dev Tools booths merged. And I finally made my way to the cabanas and found the spot that became my homing place all week, by the RD cabana area.


At the end of the day, Christa Carpentiere (PM & content strategist for the Data Access & Storage dev Center), Sara Williams (head chick of MSDN) & I went over to the outdoor bar at the Marriott to hang out. A little later we were joined by a gaggle of MSDNers – Duncan Mackenzie, Brian Johnson (owns the Security dev Center), Matt Powell (web services dev center) and Shawn Morrissey (who helps Sara with the reigns and also did a great presenation at the INETA User Group Leaders Summit on Sunday). Then we all went to dinner by the water with the military choppers cruising overhead once in a while, and after that back to my hotel where there was a party on the rooftop “beach bar” that I wandered up to. Becky, who was wearing the #1 best shirt from the whole PDC, that was from the WSE release and said on it “I’M SECURE!” saw me wobbling a bit when walking through the sand and yelled out “Lerman you are wasted!” Not quite… 🙂 Lots of folks up there and it was fun.

But I still hadn’t found Kate Gregory yet, who by the way, took lots of pics and was a good tech ed blogger so go check out her blog!

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