TechEd Boston – Day Two: A scary tale with a good ending and 2 back-to-back parties

This morning I gave my talk. I was working on the demos and slides until late last night, completely ignoring the first rule of presentations: get a good night’s rest before your presentation. With ruby red eyes I managed to drag myself out of bed in the morning, go through the morning routine, and by the time I got to the conference center things were going much better … or so I thought. I got to room 109AB 30 minutes before my talk, hooked everything up, and was ready to go, except for the small issue that my laptop would not project to the screen which means no demos. OMG! The technician who came in to solve the problem recommended installing new display drivers. Installing anything on your laptop, and especially display drivers, 5 minutes before your presentation is the speakers’ equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot and hoping you’d miss J. Luckily things went very smoothly and I was ready to rock on time.

After the talk I had a quick lunch w/ Riyaz Pishori (a great guy who deserve more visibility, see minute 16 of this video) and one of the attendees. If you see me at lunch and want to talk about anything, feel free to stop by and say Hi. From there I hurried to record an ARCast with Ron and Don but we had to postpone it until later in the afternoon. Instead, I went to see Beat’s talk titles Architecting Applications for a Service Oriented World. I love Beat’s pragmatic approach to the topic, and I was pleased to see my scenario-focused approach taking hold with others. I will write more about this topic in the future.

Later that day Steve Maine, Clemens and I were sitting and coming up with fake Web 2.0 verbs for Steve’s presentation (the demo is awesome, check it out!!!). Clemens came up with a killer one that got us rolling on the floor.

The ArcCast was lots of fun (as usual). Ron interviewed Don and I about the Service Factory and WCF. We started out with a crowd of 2, so I turned more towards Ron and Don, and when I looked back to the crowd area I was amazed to see the all crowd we have pulled in. If you want to learn more about the Service Factory check out the website or come to the chalk talks on Wed or Fri.

After the recording I got to talk with one of the attendees about one of my favorite topics, designing enterprise schemas. Their organization had run into the “classic” problem of trying to define the uber-schema. I described my scenario oriented approach and how to think about scenario spaces, and that resonated well with him. I will write more about this topic as well.

That evening I joined The Microsoft Regional Director Annual Party and Award Dinner that took place in Jake Ivory’s. On the way there I got to hear a joke from Michelle that I cannot repeat on a Microsoft blog but it had to do with 3 supermodels and a plane crash J. At the RD Talent Show, or as some called it “The RD Show” (because talent was not guaranteed J) Michelle sang Smelly Cat for us, and Alexander Wechsler completely rocked the house with his singing and blues harmonica. The RDs showed that you can be a geek with IQ shooting through the roof, and still be funny and talented in many ways. Mauro won the RD of the Year award.

After that a group of us went and “crashed” the “by invitation only” MSDN party at Boston Billiards. The facility is very nice, it has a lot of tables, and despite the fact that there were a LOT of people there it was not hard finding an open table. Brian proved to be a great player and kicked our butts (ours means Julie and me) in cutthroat. I also learned that Kerry Gates (Publisher of MSDN Magazine & TechNet Magazine) is getting married next week. This is a true Microsoft marriage – they met at PDC 2 years ago, got together at the following TechEd, and the bachelor’s party is at this year’s TechEd J This may be funny, but it goes to show something that is not very obvious for attendees or even Microsoft folks; for many people TechEd is a time to get together with their worldwide peers, make new friends, reconnect with old ones, create new business opportunities, and create that vibrant community that we call the Microsoft ecosystem.

At the party I got to chat with Zach Jason and Alisa Lawyer about PM-ing at Microsoft and other things, and eventually shared a cab with Ami and others back to the hotel. The cab driver noted that Boston was empty this time of year with all the students being away. I guess it makes the morning ride to the conference center a little better J

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