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Que Sera Sera - How was TechEd Developers Europe?

Yosi just posted the video if me singing "Que Sera Sera - the project moved overseas" in front of 630 people. One of the scarier things I've done - and one of the most fun at the same time.

It came at the end of a talk about Agile Development Concepts and methodologies that I had on day 1 of Tech-Ed Europe in Barcelona last week.

I've had 3 other songs which should be popping out soon in unexpected places. I'll refer you to them when I see them :)

TechEd was a blast. In terms of the goals I had at TechEd - I pretty much fulfilled most of them (not listed by order of priority!):

  • Be seen. I certainly feel I have done that. With a full,  pre-conference day on Agile Development and Team System, a panel with the .NET Rocks guys, a couple of chalks talks and 2 breakouts  - overall I'd say I've had some high visibility (the guitar helped too). Like it or not - as a speaker and consultant - this is one of the things that helps me get more jobs, more recognition and better opportunities. Plus - I really like doing it - my added bonus :)
  • Meet with some old friends - met lots of them!
  • Have good sessions that will be remembered and get good scores (scores are really important in TechEd EU - they decide if you get invited next year or not). The scores for my breakout sessions were between 7.73 and 7.83 out of 9 which is very decent. I'm somewhere in the top 25 sessions of TechEd last time I checked - with speakers like Andres Hijlsberg, Rafal and Kimberly tripp have 2-3 talks in the top 25 as well, way above me - so I'm feeling pretty good about myself right about now.
  • Learn new things while making the sessions. I always make it a point to do at least one session about  topics which I haven't totally mastered yet - that way I am forced to learn them in a very deep way - because there is no pressure like that of having to present something to a crowd, In my case it was Team System Extensibility and Continuous Integration with Team System. A topic I knew, but not deeply enough. Now I know it pretty deep.
  • Networking. This is one of the things that you can do in shows like TechEd when you are a speaker in a very hard-core way. The reason is simple - the speaker lounge. It's that place speakers gather to check emails, prepare for talks and generally "live" when they are at the conference center. So you get to talk to people who's books are usually on your shelf over lunch (I recommend lunch with Andres Hijlsberg..) In terms of networking I had a blast and I met (or met again) many people who can help influence my progress in the conferencing world. Yes - politics do play a role here, but I must admit that most people are very fun to be with! I'd hang out with them regardless (I don't hang out with people who I don't respect anyway - politics or not)
  • New opportunities. I've gotten some interesting leads and new opportunities for speaking and consulting while I was there. It's part of the networking process really.

It was a good show all around!

Here's a little interesting tidbit - how important are scores?

There is a big Plasma TV located at the speaker lounge - it lists the top 15 scores of all breakout sessions. SO you often see speakers go there and see if their name is on the list, and if it has gone up or down on it. out of about 15 slots visible at the top of the page visible on the TV - there were only about 6-8 speakers (some speakers had several sessions in the top 15 which explains it. You can see some of your favorite speakers go to check out that board to see how they are doing - kinda like a friendly competition. The winner gets a nice little present at the end of the conference in a special speaker dinner that is arranged.

oh, and FYI - all comments posted by people on the feedback system on the sessions were anonymous - I've heard several people ask about that. So even if you totally trash my sessions - I have no way of knowing who wrote what. it's not in the speaker's ability to do that..

Managing team build files sucks a little less with Attrice SideKick for VSTS

People find use for my sessions