Tech Ed 2007 in review

On June 2nd, 2007, I traveled to Orlando, Florida for Tech Ed 2007.  This is my 2nd Tech Ed in Orlando, and Tech Ed 2008 will also be in Orlando!  A rental car is a must, I believe, and this city has good roads and plenty of parking.  Before Tech Ed began, I created a Flickr group so that we could all share pictures.  Anyone can view and upload:

On June 3rd, I attended the MVP welcome, where Connie ran a great program.  We had a nice lunch and spoke about general things in the MVP program.  She was nice enough to include my slide for Party with Palermo.  Later that night, Party with Palermo was a great hit with 437 people.  Even before it opened, folks were waiting outside eager to get in.   We had a great time.  Thanks to the great sponsors: 


Monday, I moderated a great Birds of a Feather session on the topic: “Agile Development in .Net”.  I had handouts of the Agile Manifesto and the principles behind the Agile Manifesto.  After going over those, we found out that many of the attendees were interested in how to get started toward some of the Agile principles.  Others in the room who have had success with the Agile principles shared their successes and challenges along the way.  The room was packed with 120 people.  Folks were lining the walls since there were not enough chairs.  I believe we violated fire code for that room.  The conversation got sidetracked for a bit when folks started talking about just practices that were appropriate for their projects, and Dr. Neil reined in the conversation by steering us back to the Agile principles.  Thanks for the help!


After the Agile BoF, I went to my shift at the Architecture TLC booth where I spent most of my week.  I invited the folks from the Agile BoF to come by, and for the entire afternoon, the conversation was only about Agile at the ARC booth.  Peter Provost and James Kovacs were working the shift with me, and they didn’t mind at all.  There was a pretty big crowd at the ARC TLC that first day, and here is a picture of everyone.

Tuesday was more work at the ARC TLC.  It was really great.  I met a lot of great folks and has interesting conversations.  Tuesday night, I had the opportunity to go fake skydiving with other community leaders from the Central Region gang.  Kudos to all the Central region DEs and AEs for putting this together.  Here is me floating on a vertical tunnel of air.  It was fun.  Later on that night, I went to the Jam Sessions at the Groove on Universal City Walk.  Instruments were provided, and I played rhythm guitar while the real musicians JAMMED OUT!  


Wednesday has a lot of excitement.  I worked the ARC TLC in the morning, and at lunch time, I recorded an Arcast episode with Ron Jacobs.  The topic was “The Agile Architect”.  The premise was the architect on a project team normally provides the technical leadership, so it’s important for the architect to be able to coach process and principles as well as solution design.  Later on Wednesday, I participated in the “Speaker Idol” competition hosted by .Net RocksSteve Smith, my fellow Iraq veteran, was the winner of the whole competition.  He was in my initial heat, and I really would have voted for him over me.  His talk was a perfectly framed 5 minute presentation.  The judges (right) gave feedback on the 5 minute presentation.  They were right about my pacing back and forth.  I need to quite that.  I’ve done that at local conferences as well, but the narrow stage at this competition made it much more obvious than when I’m walking across the front of a very large room.  Later on Wednesday, we had a great time at Margaritaville’s.  MVPs, user group leader, etc had a great time with live music, drinks, and food.  This picture is the line that formed waiting for the doors to open.  Shortly after I went inside, the skies opened up and drenched everyone else.  Half the people at the party were soaking wet from head to to.   Ted Neward was one of the unfortunate.  Some wives of the attendees were there and were having a great time.  Murray’s girlfriend and Jeff Louke’s wife met at Tech Ed and hung out by the pool all week.  I tried to convince my wife to come along, but she was just too pregnant!!!   These girls had a blast at the party. 


Thursday:  More work at the ARC TLC.  The TLC theater was packed Thursday morning because David Platt was giving a chalk talk on “Why Software Sucks”.  He sold out of his books during the conference.  He’s a very animated speaker and a very interesting person to talk with.  I got to know David pretty well at Tech Ed.  Later on that day, The ARC TLC conducted the Iron Architect competition.  Each architect proposed an architecture that would solve the given problem statement.  They had roughly 5 minutes to present to the judges.  As in the real world the judges had different priorities and represented real business stakeholder.  Ron Jacobs was the host of the competition, and the panel of judges was made up by Simon Guest, David Platt, and Jeffrey Palermo (me).  Lisa Slouffman did a great job organizing the whole event.  In the end, Matthew won the competition, but it was a split vote.  Congrats to all those who competed.  Well done.  After the competition, Ron, Simon, David, and I went to a Thai restaurant and had a good meal and great conversation.  Simon retired and the three of us went to the attendee party at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure and experienced some pretty interesting rides. 

Friday was a wind-down day.  Again, worked the ARC TLC.  Tech Ed was a great success for me.  I was able to build relationships with so many people, and I confirmed that Party with Palermo is here to stay.  It started in 2005, and now has reached 437 people in 2007.  I think it can get a tad bigger still.  Another great part of the week was running into some former colleagues, Gary and Abraham: