Editor’s note: The following post was written by Windows Expert – Consumer MVP Hal Hostetler.
Let me start out by saying this is an experience of a lifetime! If you’ve never been to Teched, its Disneyland, the Superbowl, and the World Series all wrapped up into a 4 day extravaganza! There are sessions on all things Microsoft, vendors from all over the world and the coolest folks you’d ever want to meet! I’m here helping out at the Technical Communities booth representing the MVP community. We’re running a photo shoot where folks can stop by and have their picture taken above a cutout of their favorite community star, MVP, Community Contributor, Answers Geek, etc. We’re also answering questions attendees have about the Answers, TechNet, and MSDN forums, the MVP program and what it entails, and how folks can both benefit and help others through their involvement.
Monday started out with a problem to solve. We had an issue with a networked printer that wouldn’t print. Alas, the printer didn’t realize that MVPs were present, it was quickly beaten into submission and pictures would print again. I should add that the solution to the printing issue was found in both the Answers and TechNet forums! I’m impressed by the number of people here! I’ve only been to one other TechEd NA and this is at least as big. If you’ve never been to one, the most important Item in your packing list should be comfortable shoes; you will be walking a LOT! Attire is your choice; I’ve seen everything from suits to T-shirts with cargo shorts. In spite of the size, there is a friendly, almost family atmosphere; lots of smiles and happy folks in every direction.
Tuesday saw the Internet become intermittent; another quick fix, the Cat5 connector feeding Internet into our local router came partway out. The crowds in the Expo area are a little smaller today, but surge to life again at the end of each session. Anyone seen the movie “Real Steel”? TechEd has its own version of boxing robots, have a look! If you’re here, you can be Rocky Balboa during lunchtime! Of course, you can always come by the Technical Communities booth and have your picture taken. If you’d like to see what we’re doing, check out the Facebook page.
Wednesday crowds came back to life and it’s been busy in the booth. The hardware misbehaved a bit, but that sort of thing is normal for something set up on a huge display floor with oodles of traffic. I’ve spoken to a number of folks and I’m hearing wonderful news about the sessions. I have to agree with them, I’ve looked in at a few of the sessions and have learned a bunch already. There is something for everyone here, Developers, IT Pros, User Groups, Forum Junkies, EVERYONE! The sessions I looked at were for Windows 8 and Office 365…Excellent stuff! I can’t wait to get my hands on Windows 8! I’ve downloaded and worked with both the Consumer Preview and the Release Preview; both ROCK and I LOVE Office 365! Having built and cared for three Exchange Servers, keeping them updated, keeping the client pieces updated, Office 365 is a gift from heaven! No more updates, patches, arguments with AV/malware applications, it just works and it’s always current! Any Windows Phone enthusiasts out there? This is hog heaven for you folks! Every manufacturer is here along with developer tools, user sessions, the whole enchilada. Now, if my cellular carrier would just get the Windows Phone I want…
We’ve made it to Thursday, the last day of the event. It looks like we finally have the bugs worked out of the photo/print system as it has performed flawlessly all morning. This is a mixed emotions day for me; part of me is exhausted and really wants to go home, the rest of me is sad to see it end because of the fun, the learning, and, most of all, the community! Folks from all over the world have stopped by the Technical Communities booth; they enter with smiles and leave with bigger smiles. They ask questions and get answers, their problems get solved, and they leave happy with pictures to prove it. All in all, one of the most memorable and informative events I’ve ever attended. We’ll be packing things up in an hour or so, getting everything ready for shipment to TechEd Europe in two weeks. I’m overjoyed to report that I’ll be there! If you’re attending TEE, be sure to stop by the booth, have your picture taken, and let us show you how the Answers, TechNet, and MSDN communities can make your life a whole lot easier.