TechEd 2007 Thinking Part 2 – Personas

As part of my remit of making TechEd 2007 on the Gold Coast a wildly successful experience for all attendees, I'm putting together a series of personas so we can look at whether a particular activity or feature makes sense. The idea is that you can ask the question "would Dave like/benefit from this", where "Dave" represents one of the people coming to TechEd. Having these common points of reference means that the team can concentrate on the event, rather than arguing about the semantics.

My expectation is that we'll end up having half a dozen or so personas that we use, but I'm just going to start with two.


Dave is a software developer who mainly uses Microsoft tools and technologies. He works at a medium-sized company in a team of around 10. Dave has around 6 years in development, the last 3 in .NET 1.x and is just dipping his toes into the 2.0/3.0 wave. Of course, being in a small team means that Dave has to know about a lot of other things too. He is pretty familiar with SQL Server data structures (although his eyes start to glaze over a bit when the DBA talks about index tuning) and has a passing knowledge of BizTalk. Dave doesn't attend a User Group, and has very little interaction with other developers online (or anywhere else outside his company). Dave's looking to get as much new information as possible from TechEd and has questions about both old and new technology. This is Dave's first TechEd, so he doesn't really know what to expect.


Ulrich is an über-geek. He is probably an MVP, a TechEd speaker and is certainly an expert in his field. Ulrich doesn't generally go to TechEd sessions (unless he's presenting), preferring instead to hang around on the Expo floor (where's there's power and connectivity) chatting to others. Ulrich gets most of his information online, with blogs and podcasts featuring prominently. He has a blog that many of the delegates already read. Ulrich's at TechEd to make connections, to network and, perhaps, to get some business. Ulrich's been to 4 or more TechEds in Australia, and several more overseas.


do you identify with Dave or Ulrich (remember, this is only the first two of the six or more personas we will have)?

Have I missed any important characteristics?

Comments (7)
  1. DanielMoth says:

    Ulrich wants you to sponsor some kind of evening event where he meets other Ulrichs.

    You desire that many Daves have a chance to chat with Ulrich (who quite frankly is indifferent to that desire). HINT: "Ask the Experts" doesn’t cut it 🙂

  2. Rob Farley says:

    Most people who reply here will be Ulrich, not Dave.

    I’m not sure Ulrich is there for purely personal reasons. I think he might do this type of stuff because he really loves community.

  3. Rob Farley says:

    There are things about Dave that you might want to expand on, such as "Dave’s company has sent him, and he will be reporting what he has learned to his colleagues when he returns."

    Also write about where Dave would normally get his information from. Does he learn through courses, or blogs, or by hitting F1 in VS?

    Does Dave actually want to be there? Does he see it as just another course?

  4. Andrew says:

    Should change my name to Dave!  Only slight difference is a few years more experience (includding some COBOL/DB2!) and a couple of Tech-Eds under my belt.  But can I really be a Dave if I submit this comment 😉

  5. MSDN Archive says:

    can we develop a female persona? also I’m sure Kleefy and Jeff would like to see a hard core IT Pro persona 🙂

  6. Jan says:

    You spelled my name wrong. "Ulrich" is actually my last name, and it is spelled "Ullrich". My first name is Jan. Apart from talking .NET with my fellow ubers, I would also like the venue to supply lockable bicycle storage.

    Cheers Coatsie!!

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