Teched Eilat - Summary & Thoughts
TechEd Eilat is over. I am sitting at the train station at Ben-Gurion Airport, there is a wireless connection and not less important an electricity outlet (those who know me, know that my laptop needs a power plant).
I have many good things to tell about the TechEd and some not so good. It was fun as always, as opposed to Tamir, I know that most of the lecturers invested so much time in their preparations. I am happy that all the lecturers from Sela did a great job and that the feedbacks that we get from people around are good.
Manu gave a lecture about the tower of SOA, I am sure that his audience now know the bits and bytes regarding the different SOA layers, what to expect and what to do today.
Now I am on the train, no power outlet, no wireless (I can still use my cellular)
My lecture was about bridging the old and new technologies. As usually, I don't get the chance to pick my own lecture subject. This time Guy Burstein told me that he wants me to give a lecture about WCF Interoperabilities. I thought about it, COM+, VB 6.0, C++ and WCF; No one will come to hear it. Where is all the fun of something like WF Services, WPF, Game Development, C# 3.0 or anything that is in the mainstream? There is no one blogger that is going to post about this lecture (Most of them don't know what is C++ or COM). How can I make it more interesting? With a lot of work, I think that I succeeded in making it a fun and important session. To my surprise the room was full and the audience seemed to be very interested and also knowledgeable in all those ancient technologies. This brings me to think that we (Microsoft evangelists & all other technology enthusiasts) forget that we live in the future and most of our clients are having real world problems to deal with, with systems that run tons of legacy code. I am sure that for many of the people who came to TechEd, knowing that they can make a facelift to their MFC based application using the new released VC++ feature pack is more important than WF or WPF. Yes WPF is important but it will come later, first we need to make our applications look good on Vista. And I am writing this in a week that the VC++ team releases this very important add-on for Visual C++, during the biggest Microsoft event in Israel there is no one lecture and no announcement about it. This feature pack has the Microsoft implementations of the TR1 standard as well as an extended MFC library that has a better UI control set than those that come with Visual Studio 2008 for WinForms and WPF. Shame on us! I promise that we will have an event about this feature pack for C++ developers.
I don't know if all of you know, but we (the lecturers from Sela) had two general rehearsals; one at Microsoft and one at Sela. This gave me the chance to see Noam's lecture before the event, since he had his lecture in the same time that I had mine. It was a concert about the new Web technologies; those that you will use in the near future. He did a great job explaining what is in there for you, why and how. My day hero was Sasha, even though I couldn't be in his lecture (I had an architects and development leaders panel). He showed how you can really do a production debugging. He gave a plenty of tools that you should carry in your toolbox (or Disk on a Key). Wherever I went I heard only good things about his lecture.
The architect & dev leader panel was fun as always. We were a bunch of architects on the stage, trying to answer those hard questions that Guy Ron has made for us. He proved to have a very good memory by reminding us what we have told in the last TechEd (2006) and where we were wrong. This time the panel was recorded…
One lecture that I really wanted to be in is the lecture that Alex Golesh and Tamir Khason gave. Those who know me know that first of all "I am a gamer", and second I love technology and mixing and matching them is my hobby. I will watch the recorded session, but it is not like the real one.
Today I went to hear Tomer's lecture about WPF Data binding. IT WAS A SHOW!!! Tomer is a WPF wizard! He showed how a modern application should connect the UI layer to the data and logic layers when most of the UI logic comes from Data Binding. The only code that he implemented was in the Data Converters. Another lecture that I couldn't attend although I wanted to was the lecture that Danco gave about Scrum. At one of our clients, we are doing Scrum for about a year. I have heard that Danco gave a really good lecture and that may help others to be more agile in their process. I have my own thoughts about agile, where it works and what are the limitations of the method. So, Sela's lecturers did well. I didn't mention the keynote in which Sasha and I were involved. We helped Yochay with the Media Center and Speech Server scenario. We wrote the Record Conflicting Web Service of the Media Center, we also wrote the Brain Teasers that Sasha presented.
We were more than fifty people from Sela. We had seven lecturers in the event. Most of the workers from Sela work really hard to record all the lectures. In any room there was a recording station with two computers and two operators. When I was at Manu's lecture the room was crowded (I stood up), one of the operator went out and came back. When he was gone an old lady took his place. Instead of asking her to get up, he gave her his chair to the rest of the lecture.
For my criticism about the event: Don't do it on Sunday. I am not a religious person, but I think that people have the rights to have the weekend off. All the staff from Sela worked continuously during the weekend to prepare the recording stations. People from Microsoft and other partners worked during the weekend. Sunday is a bad day for doing anything. People came tired, and you could see it in the keynote. What is better than doing the event on Tuesday and then staying in Eilat for the weekend, as it used to be?
The event is too short. It isn't cost effective. We spend so much time preparing everything and then we actually have only 2 days. People want to enjoy from being in Eilat, but there is no time for that. TechEd Europe is a five days event. At least make it 4 days. Use the same lecturers; give a lecture more than once if it has got good scores.
One event is over, next week I will be in the MVP summit in Seattle and Redmond. What a great month!