D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

Tech Ed - Working the ARC Area

Monday, June 9, 2008 12:03 AM

So instead of trying to do these Tech Ed posts on a day-to-day basis, I'm just going to be doing them topical instead.

So let's talk about working the ARC area.

As an MVP, we're given an opportunity to attend Tech Ed under a work program. We commit to working 16 hours in one of the TLC areas, and in exchange we get free admission to Tech Ed. I submitted and was selected for the program, being assigned to the Architecture area (or ARC).

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Now, I had gone to Tech Ed in 2005, and I knew there were people sitting at the various areas, but I really had no idea why they were there or what they actually did. In working at the ARC area, I had no idea what to expect either. I supposed that people would just come by and want information on Patterns and Practices guidance, or where to find something on the website, etc. I was entirely wrong.

My week consisted of talking with people who had questions about their application architecture. They wanted to throw some ideas out there and get a fresh pair of eyes to provide feedback. All the whiteboards you see in the pictures above were used constantly. I had people who were trying to consolidate business and data tier components into a single service, someone upgrading their system from VB 6.0 to .NET and SQL Compact Edition, one gent who wanted to standardize web development in his shop, and many others that had very different scenarios. I had a great time discussing with all of them, and hopefully my input will help them in the long run.

Now, we also had some great MC's (or 'Super Temps') on hand as well to help us in our area:

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Turns out that all these young peeps were part of a leadership training program, and to help pay for their program they all work for some company out of Seattle that puts them to work staffing Microsoft events. They were a great group, although it took a while for them to lighten up and have some fun (I figured out how to work their radio and we harassed the MC working the SOA booth who was from Fargo and didn't know where the Minnesota Twins played...then we made fun of her accent and fired slingshot frogs at her).

There was another guy, James I think, who was working another booth. I was informed that he was somewhat of a dancer and so we got him to give us a bit of a dance lesson which was pretty entertaining.

So all in all a great experience. Peg and Julie who ran our area were great to work for, and the other guys who made up the experts were really kewl as well. Hopefully I can get in on the program next year, because even though I was 'working', I got a tonne of value discussing with peers and seeing what sort of technologies/questions are floating out there in the industry.




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