I thought it was time to jot down my impressions of Teched 2005 on the Gold Coast. You are probably asking why am I doing this after the fact? Well I was very ill with the flu througout the event so I was keeping my computer use to an absolute minimum. I didn’t even get to go to the party which really pissed me off.
Anyway first a bit of history. As alot of you know I’ve been at MS for a long time. 18 years in fact. And in that time I’ve been to my fair share of Teched events. I have to say that this one had the best feel of any Teched for quite some time. I think what made the difference is it had a definate technical feel about. I’ve had feedback in the past that there was too much marketing sessions at Teched which is not what IT Pro’s and Developer’s want to hear. So I’m glad that we got it right this year and focused on the technical side of things. The other good aspect of this is Michael Kleef and Charles Sterling went out to the community via their blogs and asked what topics people wanted to hear about. This was the first time we involved the community in this way and I think it made a huge difference to the content that was ultimately presented. I think this is a practice we will continue for future Teched’s.
Now to my review of the event!
I was involved on a number of fronts at Teched. First and most important was owning the Keynote which was presented by our own Iain McDonald. This was stressful because I didn’t get put on this task until a month out from Teched so time was definately tight. Our original speaker pulled out because of illness so we had to scramble to gte a speaker then work on what the heck we were going to talk about! So I knew Iain from his days in Microsoft Australia and he had spoken at Teched’s before. So he ended up being free for both the Australia & New Zealand Teched’s which was good for us. The next thing was to work out the content. I met with Iain at the Sheraton hotel bar in Seattle while I was attending TechReady at the beginning of August. We worked out a rough agenda over a couple of cleansing ales! The best way to work on content I reckon. After I returned to Oz we had several iterations of the content for the keynote as people provided their feedback on what was going to work and what wasn’t. Luckily we were able to get some good people to do the demo’s you saw so things worked out from that perspective. All and all I think the keynote was good but could have been alot better. We definately have some actions and things we want to change for next year. I would love to hear what you thought worked and what didn’t so we can make next year even better!
After the keynote was over I speant the rest of my time preparing for my 2 sessions. The first one was Internet Safety for Children. This was a very different topic for us at Teched but one we felt we had to do. I had about 130 people at the session and I think the message resonated very well with the audience. This was a disturbing topic because of the content but I think it was an important session to do because protecting our children in the online world is so important that we just cannot ignore it. I’m planning on doing this session again at local schools to further educate parents and teachers on this important topic. If you would like this presented at your child’s school then please let me know.
The next session I had to do was Migrating from SUS 1.0 to WSUS 2.0. I did this session with Scott Korman who is an MVP in the managament space so it was worthwhile I thought. This was the last timeslot on Friday afternoon at Teched so I was surprised to have anyone there at all. Scott did a great job answering questions and giving away prizes so it was all good.
If you went to Teched you can get the slides from both of these sessions on Commnet for further information. If you want to re-deliver the Internet Safety Session at your local school the go to http://www.packet-level.com/kids. All the materials are there to present this information at your local school.
All an all Teched was BIG this year and my particular favourite was the Mediacasts that we did. Check them out because they really show the human side of the event.
See you all next year at Teched 2006!! It’s going to be bigger!!