Follow @RoyOsherove on Twitter

The Good and Bad in Tech-Ed Israel 2006

This Year’s Tech-Ed Israel has been very good in many many ways. There were some glitches and mistakes, but overall I’d like to give props to Microsoft Israel for putting together a very good conference.

Here are some good and bad things in This Year’s Tech-Ed


The Good:

  • Great Session offerings. I’ve heard from several people who attended that they’ve had a very good time listening to the sessions in this year’s Tech-Ed. I’ve heard much less mumblings about how bad some session were (except for the main keynote and ending keynotes demos). MS Israel was able to bring in some of the world’s leading experts to talk to us, and it’s a proud moment for us. I think the fact that Yosi Taguri and Eliaz Tobias have brought in the passion and knowledge of worldwide presenters into our little country, and have helped make a diversified setting of sessions which everyone can enjoy.
  • ArcCasts: Eliaz Tobias made a great leap of faith in bringing Ron Jacobs over to Israel to do a series of ArcCasts with some of the speakers. It was a risky move because there were big chances of no-one actually showing up. That turned out to be a non issue – as people gathered to hear ArcCasts and have fun. It wasn’t .NET Rocks live just yet, but it had a nice buzz feeling in the air. (though the air conditioning sucked)
  • International Speakers: What can I say? It’s all good and I heard great feedback about the dev and Arch Track in regards to the international speakers there. Good job.
  • Great Party! But you already knew that, didn’t you?
  • Wireless Reception in *most* places. This was a big operation to manage and I think they did a pretty good job. It wasn’t perfect, but the thought was very progressive. Last year I think this wasn’t even brought up.
  • Good Feedback Forms: This year the attendees to by email every day the feedback form, and could win cool prizes including a trip to New York. That's *much* better than last year, and a very good idea in itself.



The Bad:

  • As I’ve said – the opening and closing KeyNotes were terrible. The opening was bad, but the ending was more so – most of the demos just didn’t work, as well as the air conditioning in the first 50 minutes. Plus, it was very very boring (who wants to hear a MS Marketing guy speak in a 35 degree closed tent for 20 minutes?). Even the vista demos and Media Center demos broke mid way, as well as the mobile ones (no wireless reception made it pretty hard for the pocket pc to talk to the media center and control it).
  • The Official Tech-Ed Blog. This was run by Lior Tzoref. Why is it bad? No comments. Just writing. And it wasn't frequent enough for me or others to want to update on it daily. I sent an email to Lior about this and he commented that comments is not necessary, and that you can sent any comment by email. Righiiiit. I think Lior has yet to realize what Blogging is about. Perhaps he should join the Microsoft Israel Bloggers instead. That's a good idea by Yosi Taguri right there.
  • The names of the presenters were not printed in the program that was handed out as part of the Tech-Ed ticket. As a last minute resort, they ended up printing a separate bunch of pages listing the talks with the speakers, but that was quite out of date as well (and not very organized). That reeks of amateurism and lack of attention to small details – the ones that make Tech-Ed so much nicer. I know several dozes of people who missed talks they wanted to see, or speakers they wanted to see because of lack of proper information in that regard. Shame.
  • The Tech Ed site: No way to search talks by presenter (not to mention that presenter names were not there in the first place next to the talks!) or by text search. That’s just wrong.
  • Practically no vegetarian food . My wife is vegetarian and joined me (she’s a dev too), and had to search and scramble to get something proper to eat. That may sound like a little thing, but considering all the amounts of food that were there, that shows a big “huh?” on the catering part. “Clueless” in the food department was not something I expected of Microsoft Tech-Ed.
  • No Air conditioning in some parts of the hotels and talks. In Eilat. 40 Degrees outside. 35 degrees inside. How many people do you think attended those talks? Need I say more?
  • No Tech-ED DVD Handed out at the end? This is more of a rumor for now, but I’ve heard that there will be no Tech-Ed DVD with videos of the lectures. In fact, non of the lectures were video recorded. Just Audio.
  • I heard some lectures/panels were not recorded at all. Why on earth should that happen? (including the Architect’s panel)
  • Once every two years? Come on!



Review: SmartInspect - Logging for .NET, Java and Delphi

Trend: Who works the hardest and knows the least?