"I work in Windows, but for this conference I'm here for SQL Server...."

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2008/06/08 18:59 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2008/06/08/8582251.aspx

I am back home in Redmond after an exciting week in sunny Orlando, most of the time spent at Tech·Ed....

The total cost for me was nothing -- $75 and some miles (as I pointed out before). I would have stayed for the second week too -- if only to see Kim Tripp and some of the other SQLS talks that make me totally dislike the dev/itpro split since many of them really are crucial for developers -- but (despite the fact that I was offered staff credentials for the second week too) I didn't have a free place to stay for the second week, and I really need to get back to work.

And since the trip was taken as vacation time, I have to be careful not to run out of that!

A not insignificant number of the attendees I talked to in the SQLS section bemoaned the consequences of the split, and I see Kim mentioned it yesterday, too.

Several Outlook/Exchange people expressed similar concerns, because there is a lot of overlap for them, too.

Though for many other technologies, it was no so much of a problem -- the split just worked out better for others, I think....

Perhaps the lack of much in the way of DEV week globalization content (which ends up being important for developers, for reasons that blend into both performance and security), and the fact that most of the relevant content is in the IT PRO week despite clearly being developer topics, will lead to improvements in future years.

I had brought my blue Microsoft event shirts in anticipation of the staff thing, and it worked out well. I'll provide links to my Tech*Talk and the excellent panel as soon as they become available....

It's funny, almost no one outside of Microsoft I talked to was really curious about where specifically in Microsoft I worked, while nearly everyone inside of Microsoft I met had it as just about the first question they asked.

Just about every single time.

The text in the title, that was my answer:

I work in Windows, but for the moment I'm here for SQL Server....

Several people expressed curious about that answer, so I'd explain how I used to work on the SQL Server team, and how I had been helping people out there more recently for SQL Server 2008, in a not-entirely-unsanctioned extension of my current role.

Some would wonder why I wasn't at Tech·Ed for my own group, and I would point out that very few people/groups from Windows were there at all, really in any Tech·Ed. Certainly none of the learning center booths staffed by so many blue-shirted MS folks (with the exception of a few technologies like Hyper-V). Windows developers were really handled under the Developer Division -- whether through the VS folks or the various programming languages or platforms or libraries.

So in a world where so few people are there from Windows at all, the idea of having folks there from the International group would seem a little odd.

The IT PRO week might be different -- the deployment issues with MUI, for example, would probably attract more than a few interested customers. Someone might even be heading to Orlando for that reason in week two of Tech·Ed. But I wasn't going to stick around for that, either.

Not just for the above reasons, but also because then it wouldn't be vacation from my job. And someone might have something to say about me representing the group just because I decide to without so much as an FYI to the PTB in the group....

Plus between daytime on the floor and evenings at receptions/parties, there was not much time left for other things (like sleep).

Though I have decided that going to Tech·Ed presentations that are videotaped is mostly a bad use of an attendee's resource.

I mean attendees will get a DVD of all those presentations that they can watch any time, after all!

So unless you have specific questions of the presenter that you want to ask while the session is happening or you want to heckle and/or provide moral support for the speaker, the time is much better spent in the various other presentations that are going on all over the floor throughout the week, and in the exhibition hall talking to vendors, and in the learning center talking to Microsoft and other experts in the various technology areas.

You know, all of the things that you can't just play back later.

There were lots of really fascinating questions that I helped people with. In lots of areas -- e.g. database design and replication and of course collations, and a lot of interesting questions related to Unicode and Unicode data types.

There were even several fans of the blog there, some who even waved as I suggested. :-)

And I helped some people with their slides, too. Easy when friends are giving talks and I never mind it.

Somehow I also managed to miss Kate Gregory and Julie Lerman (who were there) all week, which was also sad. I'm sure we'll run into each other again eventually, but some improvement on the timing thing seems like a must!

A lot of the technical topics discussed in the tech*talk, the panel, and the various conversations will probably show up in future blogs, here. But you probably already knew that....

Many have asked me why I was offline all week -- that was unavoidable given the lack of connectivity in my hotel room (and the fact that I wasn't in it much, anyway!). But I'll be back to blogging next week.

So was it a vacation? Abso-freaking- lutely, from beginning to end. Pure play and a ton of fun, from beginning to end!


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