Some of the Xero development team have just spent the last few days in Auckland at this years Microsoft TechEd 2009 conference. I’d like to congratulate Scott Wylie and the Microsoft NZ team for a very well run event – it has to be the slickest technology event in New Zealand, and as Chris Liddell said in his keynote speech, it’s the biggest TechEd in the world per capita!
Auckland obviously knew Xero would be there and lit up the Sky Tower in appropriate colors:
The week started with over 300 people attending Code Camp on Sunday, organized by our very own Kirk Jackson. In fact, Kirk had a big week, presenting at both Code Camp and TechEd itself. Sky Sigal and Owen Evans also gave spirited talks at Code Camp and the feedback I’ve heard suggests that Code Camp was a real highlight – well done to Kirk, the team and everyone involved.
Chris Liddell opened the official event with an interesting look at Microsoft corporate, interspersed with demos from some of the new technologies Microsoft is looking to bring out over the next couple of years. He talked about how we’re entering into a “reset economy” and that set the theme over the 3 day event which was heavily focused around innovation and productivity in the new economy.
Overall I have to say this years event felt a little subdued. I’m not quite sure if it’s the recession or the lack of big name speakers from the US, but there wasn’t quite the buzz of previous years. One of the interesting things from my point of view was the lack of a strong Software+Services stream which had dominated previous TechEd’s. Having said that Techfest on Tuesday night was a great night as always (where is that video of Owen dancing?!) and it was great to catch up and network with all the usual suspects.
Both Kirk and I presented at TechEd – I talked about optimizing client side performance (something I’ve talked about before and am very passionate about), while Kirk looked at Visual Studio Team System 2010 and also did a joint session with Andy Prow from Aura Software Security entitled “Hack-Ed, Teaching the Good-Guys Bad-Tricks”. I don’t think words can quite do their talk justice – so I’ll leave you with some video: