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With just under a week to go before TechDays Vancouver, I know that the team here is going through all our prep lists to make sure that we have everything to ensure an amazing experience for you. While we’re doing that, you can get started on your TechDays prep with this “everything I need for TechDays” prep list – Vancouver Edition! There’s lots to do and so this post is a bit of a long read, but it will be worth it, for sure!

If you can’t make it out to TechDays Vancouver, but you live in and around the Vancouver area, don’t go anywhere. There are learning and networking opportunities for you as well. Click here.

The Summary

  1. Review the session abstracts and build your schedule.
  2. Download the TechDays Vancouver agenda (and floor plan).
  3. Download the TechDays 2011 Phone App.
  4. Prepare your notebook computer for the hands-on labs and bring it with you.
  5. Get a feel for the technologies you’ll be learning about.
  6. Check out additional learning and networking opportunities.

and of course, all the information you need to get social about TechDays.

The Details

Review the Session Abstracts and build your schedule

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Before the fun begins, you’ll want to make sure that you know what each session is about and then choose a session for each timeslot of the day. To do that, head over to the TechDays Schedule Builder. It will walk you through all of the sessions in the technology areas that you’re interested in and will help you build your schedule. You can then print or email your schedule to yourself (and perhaps your colleagues if they are joining you).

Go >>

Download the TechDays Vancouver agenda (and floor plan)

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With seven tracks and instructor-led labs, there’s going to be a lot going on at the same time. To make sure that you don’t miss out on the sessions that you want to attend or find yourself in a room listening to a speaker talk about some infrastructure stuff (because you’re in the wrong room), make sure to download the TechDays Vancouver agenda to your notebook (or print it if necessary). That way you’ll know what session is happening in which room at what time and where the room is located.

Download >>

Download the TechDays 2011 Phone App

  

The TechDays 2011 Phone App gives you the ability to browse the schedule for both conference days, browse sessions by track, find info on the speakers, read the session abstracts, and tune into the social buzz on Twitter. Definitely a great pocket companion to enhance your TechDays experience.

Vancouver venue, session, and speaker information will be updated in the next day or so.

Download >>

Prepare your notebook computer for the hands-on labs and bring it with you.

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Have a read through Damir Bersinic’s post from 3 days ago – Reason #42 to Attend TechDays 2011: Hands-on Labs. The hands-on labs are something that you definitely don’t want to miss. I know that when I go to conferences, I like attending sessions to hear experts tell me about, or through demos, show me everything I need to know about a technical topic. However, I find myself wanting to try it out on my own. I’m sure you feel the same way, so have a look at the instructor-led lab list in Damir’s post and choose which you’d like to attend. We only have 20 machines in the lab, so come early or better yet, bring your notebook with you!

More >>

If you’re planning to attend the Introduction to Windows Azure lab, please note that the exercises in the lab will require to you have a Windows Azure account. If you don’t already have a Windows Azure account, take a moment and sign up for the 90-day FREE trial before the lab so that you will be able to continue your learning beyond the end of the lab. A training account will be provided to you for use during the lab if you don’t want to create an account for your own.

Get a feel for the technologies you’ll be learning about.

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If you’ve been holding off on learning about Windows Azure or catching up on what’s new since the last time you sat down to work with Windows Azure, challenge yourself to get up to speed with the Windows Azure TechDays Cloud Challenge.

3 simple challenges, 1 special edition TechDays Windows Azure reward!

Bring on the challenge via Facebook >>
Bring on the challenge via LinkedIn >>

   
image Download relevant products and trials through your TechNet Subscription or from the TechNet Evaluation Centre.

Visit the Evaluation Centre >>

Check out additional learning and networking opportunities.

In addition to the TechDays sessions happening during the day, check out these additional learning and networking opportunities:

CloudCamp Vancouver
Monday, November 14
5:30 PM – 9:00 PM PT

CloudCamp is an unconference where attendees can exchange ideas, knowledge and information in a creative and supporting environment, advancing the current state of cloud computing and related technologies. Register >>

   
AlignIT Manager Tech Talk: LIVE with Mary Jo Foley
Tuesday, November 15
12:00 PM – 12:30 PM PT
Ballroom B
Planning would be so much easier if you knew what was coming next. Join Ruth Morton and Jonathan Rozenblit for a special live recording of AlignIT Manager Tech Talk with special guest Mary Jo Foley. Mary Jo, along with Ruth and Jonathan, will be talking about the Future of IT and answering your questions. Can’t join in-person? You can watch the show LIVE online on the AlignIT Manager Tech Talk Channel.
   
DevCamp Vancouver
Tuesday, November 15
6:30 PM – 10:00 PM PT

DevCamp is a mix of all the things you love from different events: the less formal environment that you love from BarCamp events; the great content and speakers from conferences; the quick and right-to-the-point innovative and exciting talks seen at TED or TEDx; and the power to meet other technology enthusiasts and network. Register >>

   

ITCamp Vancouver
Tuesday, November 15
6:30 PM – 9:00 PM PT

ITCamps are interactive, in-person learning events for IT Pros seeking professional development as it applies to Microsoft products and technologies (Data Center Virtualization, Cloud Computing, and more) as well as a great opportunity to connect with your peers. The camp takes an informal approach, with a focus on audience participation. This approach ensures attendees come away with some very real learning that can be applied on the job immediately. Register >>
   
Mary Jo Foley Unplugged!
Wednesday, November 16
6:45 PM – 8:30 PM PT

Join Mary Jo Foley, renowned technology journalist and long time Microsoft watcher, and Canada’s own Ruth Morton for an evening of open questions and answers. Hosted by VanTUG. Register >>

If you’re not attending TechDays Vancouver in person

We’re sorry that we won’t get to see you! However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to be part of the TechDays Vancouver experience. Make sure you don’t miss the keynote with Scott Hanselman, Principal Program Manager Lead on the Web Tools team at Microsoft that will be streamed LIVE starting at 8:30 AM ET on Tuesday, November 15. Scott will be talking about putting together a whole whack of tools and frameworks into what he calls the “Web Stack of Love”.

Watch LIVE >>
Add to your calendar >>

Get Social. Join the Conversation.

Whether you’re going to be at TechDays Vancouver in person or joining online, don’t forget that part of the experience involves you – you sharing your thoughts. Pick your network and tweet, post, or discuss away! We’ll be watching out for your tweets, posts, and discussions, as well as the speakers and community experts, so get social and join the conversations.

image Tweet using the #techdays_ca hashtag and your session code. Here’s an example: #techdays_ca #CLD301 Thinking of moving to the #cloud this way totally makes sense. #Azure
   
image Post your thoughts in discussions started for each session in the TechDays Canada LinkedIn group.
   
image Make sure to like the TechDays Canada Facebook page to get updates throughout the day. Post on the TechDays Canada wall or like others’ posts.

So now that you have the list of everything that you need for TechDays Vancouver, the only thing that remains is to show up (or if attending virtually, log on) and have a great time!

The team and I are looking forward to seeing you. Make sure to stop by the Microsoft Showcase at the Partner Pavilion and say hello!