Techdays – A Letter To Your Boss

From Rick, over at the The IT Pro Community Connection Blog:


Letter to your boss – why you can’t possibly miss TechDays in Canada.

Dear {Enter Your Manager’s Name Here},

I enjoy my job and have always appreciated how well you manage me. As you know, I don’t ask for much.  The request for a complete rip and replace of the infrastructure came during a moment of frustration after a long stint of binge energy drink consumption. I continue to be a humble employee with simple needs, and I am writing to you to ask if I could attend TechDays Canada in {insert city name here - ex: Toronto}, [insert date here – ex: October 29th & 30th}. It’s not like I am asking to travel out of country to TechEd Orlando – this is just down the road from here.

Wait! Before you respond, let me explain. This is not the typical Microsoft Canada “tour” that is more “marketing” than substance. TechDays_CA (which is what the kids on Facebook call it) is where Microsoft has partnered with some of the best Canadian technical speakers local to each city to deliver some absolutely awesome content. 

TechDays is where the speakers are not just marketing folks – ok, Rick, Rod and John Bristowe will be there - but check out this line-up of actual developers and IT architects from the community who are delivering sessions: Steve Syfuhs (Software Architect, DoubleNatural ITS), Val Matison (SQL Guru), Barry Gervin (founding partner, ObjectSharp) and Stephen Giles (Technology Specialist – SQL) just to name a few. Remember those tough questions that came up in last weeks team meeting that I didn't have the answer to at the time? Well, I will have multiple opportunities to talk directly with the speakers and other technical experts throughout the conference.

But it isn’t just the speakers; it’s also about the other attendees. You’ve always said that networking with other peer IT Professionals in the city is the key to building my support network. After all, they are using the same tools and technologies we are. I can learn a lot from them and see how they have overcome issues we have run into. I keep reading the blogs (on my own time, of course) and everyone says that networking is one of the top reasons to attend. I’ll be searching out like minded IT Pros with interests in virtualization and SQL as part of the social networking that will be taking place throughout the conference.

I promise I won’t come home empty handed. I just read that they have replaced the glossy marketing handouts with something they are calling “the learning kit” and it’s jammed packed with actual useful stuff. Remember how I asked for that TechNet subscription last year? All attendees are getting a Full Featured TechNet Plus Direct version for 6 months! I know I wasn't`t able to attend TechEd in the states last spring, but they’ve included a FULL DVD set of it`s sessions and content! Plus, I will come back with a ton of business cards and new connections.

This isn’t the typical tour that Microsoft has put on in the past. TechDays has been designed and organized from the ground up by the Technical folks – not the marketing folks at Microsoft. I don’t want to pressure you into making a snap decision – but I hear that the best discount available to attend (early bird pricing = 50% off!) is ending on October 15th… I need to go to to register before it’s too late!

Thanks in advance for your approval on my humble request and I promise to bring you back a tuque, trip report, a learning kit and a very inspired and much smarter employee.

Your favourite employee,
{Enter Your Name Here}


OK… I took a page from the PDC pre-conference website as inspiration for this – but TechDays is a seriously different event from anything we have done before. This ‘aint your marketing manager tour - it really is a TechEd of the North – and we’re bringing it to 7 cities in Canada. TechDays is not a point in time – it’s part of a larger conversation and process that we’re putting together this year to seriously help you out developing the skills you need to succeed in you job. The best discount around (Early Bird Pricing) ends on October 15th – 50% off the door price.

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