I've been to a lot of conferences in the past, and I'd have to say that TechEd was a lot of fun for me personally. It was after all my first TechEd and one that I'm sure I won't forget in a hurry, especially some of the night-life that went on.
I first arrived to meet up with Chuck, to be given a weird order - "Go buy some paint, as I want you to do a design on the Dev'Garten wall". After driving down to the local Bristol paint store, 2x Redbulls and a 10minute space-out, I conjured a weird psychedelic garden scene whilst making use of the TechEd "Make your mark" hands (thanks chuck). I got paid to graffiti a wall.. i love Microsoft.
I attended a few sessions, the main one that stood out for me was around the DLR which was presented by Mahesh Prakriya (Snr Program Manager). I spoke to Mahesh a few times about the DLR + Silverlight and he has a deeper story to tell around it's future. I plan on getting some more of his material and look at ways of presenting it locally as I don't think folks realize just how committed Microsoft is to the DLR within products like Silverlight.
Nightlife was interesting both nights, as I had a 4am finish (both) and was completely in my geek-out zone with one and all. I hope Eric Woersching (Product Manager IIS7.0) and his brother had a great time on the GoldCoast (sadly he picked a slow night to hit the town, Fridays/Saturdays are best nights for QLD Nightclubs).
Sadly though, Friday night was our last night with Frank Arrigo. We shared some Chinese with the Frank and it was fun to party with Frank to the wee hours (Frank has legendary party stamina). It was also un-nerving to see Frank lose his voice as, well, it's rare for Frank not to be as vocal.
That being said, TechEd did unlock the artist within me again, as the wall kind of re-energized some of my artistic side of the brain and since TechEd for me was not only about geeking out with my fellow Microsftonians and Community - I decided to draw a cartoon version of the one geek whom is made of both Microsoft and Community, Frank.
I plan on tracing it inside Adobe Illustrator, then converting it to XAML and maybe putting it into Silverlight just because I can and it's about showing the Microsoft Silverlight love 🙂
Overall, I had fun. I could of decomposed the event into on-topic geek fun, but all whom have attended have done this. TechEd AU 07 for me was about leaving my mark and I think I have 🙂