I was lucky enough to attend this years TechEd, in Auckland. My intention was to blog a review of the event as soon as I returned to Wellington, but my head was spinning so much (a combination of information overload and illness) that I decided to give things a week to settle down. So, without further ado, here are my highlights from TechEd New Zealand, 2008 …

One very pleasant change from past years was the quality of presentation - in past years, it’s been all too common for presenters to simply read their slides aloud. Given the average person reads at 250 words per minute, but speaks at just 120, this is seldom a road to success. Many of the presenters at this years TechEd avoided this pitfall, using slides that reinforced their words instead of repeating them. These presentations were both more enjoyable and more informative.

I attended a session presented by Steve Riley - a Microsoft network and security guru who really knows his stuff. He’s summarised the detail of that talk on his blog. Don’t pass up an opportunity to attend one of his talks, as he’s both entertaining and informative.

Scott Hanselman gave a number of talks - I attended two, WEB301 on ASP.NET MVC and How to make your blog suck less. Scott is as engaging as a speaker as he is as host of his podcast, though it seems to me that he lets his sense of humour out (to good effect) more in person … having a BSOD slide in the middle of his presentation deck was superb.

John-Daniel Trask and Jeremy Boyd (two of the founders of Mindscape) were co-conspirators on a very entertaining presentation detailing tips and tricks for C# 3.0 programming. I haven’t been able to find their slides online, though, so no link goodness.

Kirk Jacson delivered an equally insightful demonstration of the power available in Visual Studio 2008. Unfortunately, much of Kirks humour fell flat on the post-Techfest (ie: partially hungover) audience.

As always, TechEd was an opportunity for information overload - one that I grasped with two eager hands. Above, I’ve listed a few personal highlights - but there was much else worth the visit.


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September 2008