Monday, May 11, 2009

Microsoft TechEd: Day 0

It’s the evening before the official start of the Microsoft’s annual IT conference, TechEd.  In 2009 we find ourselves in sunny, yet cool, Los Angeles.  I couldn’t be happier with the weather and the hotel, but so far the conference sucks.

Why—or, more appropriately, how can I say it sucks when the conference hasn’t begun?  Easy, go to and attempt to build a schedule.  Well, you have to be signed in with Windows Live and a registered attendee I believe, but if you could and did you would quickly discover a rather pathetic fail on the part of the conference planners.  The session builder is garbage.  You’ll spend the majority time watching this animation, since they’ve not seemed to master the partial page update without updating the entire 670K+ page weight.  Seriously, I’d rather look at the source and see and XML Data Island than wait for the entire page to reload every time I updated my schedule.


Aesthetically, it isn’t bad, the site I mean, but the session builder is garbage.  The session builder for Web 2.0 Expo at least displayed all the tracks and timeslots in a calendar-like fashion, so you could make your decision by sight and rather quickly.


But, you know, if the content is there, if the sessions are just awesome, who cares about some clunky, hacked-together conference website?  Don’t judge a book by its cover, right?  So, what are my options for tomorrow’s 11am timeslot?  Well, the first keynote is this one.

KEY01 Moving Forward Together: The Potential of IT Innovation
Presenter: Bill Veghte
Mon 5/11 | 10:00 AM-11:30 AM | West Hall A

In today's economic environment, your company is faced with unprecedented pressures to reduce costs and drive operating efficiencies. At the same time, the demands on IT to deliver more connected services and greater flexibility continue to grow. With the upcoming release of Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Exchange "14," Microsoft helps IT organizations better meet these competing demands. Join Bill Veghte, Senior Vice President of Windows Business, as we explore how these technologies combine to give you the tools and resources to better manage your infrastructure--from back-end services through client-side experiences, and the network in between.
Doesn’t exactly inspire.  But, never fear, there is an alternative!
PAN59 Agile: A Process or an Excuse?
Presenters: Richard Campbell, Stephen Forte, Chris Menegay, Joel Semeniuk
Mon 5/11 | 11:00 AM-12:00 PM | 501C

Over the last few years, the community at large has created a number of agile development styles; Scrum, XP, and more are there for you and your team to choose. However, is agile really a process? On the other hand, is it an excuse to avoid accountability and proper development techniques? Come to this interactive session to see what Chris, Steve, and Joel have to say, and, if you are up for it, share your opinion.

Seriously, I’m not making this up.  I came to Los Angeles for this?