Travel stories from hell: Part 2, San Diego 2004 Darwin Awards
May 25

“I’m a Java guy in .NET” (Tales from TechEd)

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United finally got me my luggage, and I was able to head to my first Microsoft conference, TechEd.

It is a really interesting experience, coming from a very different background (being part of the Java community, and before that: Perl, C++, etc).

My main thoughts have been:

  • Wow it is huge: The show sold out with 11 thousand people
  • Wow it is huge: The rooms are massive
  • Not all developers: Although there are many talks going on at a time, there is only ~one that you would want to go to as an enterprise developer. It is interesting to look and see that there are sessions on the latest Office tools, administrating Windows, and other topics often unrelated to a developers life
  • Females: Maybe partly due to the topic above, there seem to be a lot more females here than at something like JavaOne
  • Java mentions: At every talk that I was at, “Java” was mentioned at each one. If you mention .NET at a Java show, some people go a little crazy. However, it is the fanatics that tend to show this side to them, and the moderates are open on both sides.
  • Interop message: There has definitely been a message of “we are always going to be in a heterogenous environment. Deal with it.
  • Friendly: People have been very friendly, even after they hear that I am an editor of a Java community :)
  • No AOP: It is interesting to see that a lot of the bleeding-edge technologies don’t register quite so much here. This may not be a bad thing!
  • Cabana talks: There are talks in ‘cabana’ areas in a huge room. The talks are interesting in that they are more informal… but one problem is that it is impossible to hear anyone speak (they aren’t mic’d!)
  • Helicopters: This is a San Diego thing I guess… and doesn’t help the above point. A helicopter flies overhead every 2 minutes. I guess the Navy isn’t all over in Iraq?
  • Free Haagen Daas: Say no more

I am having a great time. It is an interesting experience, and I look forward to seeing more of the show. Now I have to see a PDC to compare the “TechEd: hear about the now” to the “PDC: come enjoy the vision”.

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