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Here is video blogcast entry number two from last year’s TechEd in Orlando.
On Monday, June 6th, Chris Henley and I were working in the Server Infrastructure area of the Hands-on-Labs. We volunteered to fix a lab that was broken (HOL163), so I thought I’d document our efforts on video.
As you’ll see, our efforts really didn’t result in a fixed lab. But it was a good learning experience nonetheless.
And another comment I should make also…
I really don’t want this video to leave you with the impression that the HOLs don’t work. They do. And they’re awesome. These folks who run the Hands-On-Labs are getting this process down really well. TechEd 2005 was the first time they used a whole new engine for driving these things, and they’ve used it over and over again at other conferences since. At our internal training conference TechReady 2 last January, for example, they ran these, and nearly all of them worked flawlessly.
Okay...I have a gripe, and it's not necessarily with Tech-Ed persay. How the heck do all of these people justify going across the country to these seminars and conventions? Sure, I can just the okay to go to local events - which makes Kevin really valuable - but there's no way I can get the boss to pick up the tab on a flight, hotel, and meals. (Especially with NWA prices.)
How do they do it?
Good question... and I'd love to see what other people's experiences are, too.
Personally, it's almost always been a struggle to go. Every year (prior to Microsoft employment), I've had to justify the attendance - and usually I could easily do it by refering my manager to some cost savings or project that was a success during the previous year, that proved well worth the investment. What I learned I was able to implement in ways that truly saved us money or provided a vehicle for indirectly MAKING money for the company.
It's actually been harder to go as a Microsoft Employee, because it's a hot ticket, and it's not free. (It's discounted, but still pretty pricey, and hard to budget among our other priorities.)
Also... remember that it's really only flight and hotel. You should be able to live for a week on all the food and snacks provided at the event. And you also should be able to pack light, too... you can live in the event and vendor T-Shirts. :)
I usually slip my manager $200 under the table.
Kevin has $1.75 of change in his pocket. Would somebody please tell him to turn on the camera anti-motion jiggle feature. I feel like hurling... :(