Techdays 2009 – day 1

Today, I have attended the first day of the Techdays at Metropolis Antwerp.

The Techdays aren’t as straight-forward as the Students to Business day we had yesterday. This conference is organized by Microsoft for both IT professionals and developers. In every session slot you can choose between three IT pro sessions and three developer sessions. In this blog post I will only talk about the sessions I have attended during this first day.

In general, the Techdays are bigger than the Students to Business day. It’s a two-day conference with twice as much participants, a bigger exhibition, more sessions (and simultaneous sessions), … The Techdays are of course more expensive than the Students to Business day (400€ opposed to the free day for students). I was there for free, as a Microsoft Student Partner, but I strongly believe this conference is worthwhile for other students as well, they can get a 75% discount (so that’s 100€ instead of 400€).

There were two keynotes (at the same time): one for IT pros and one for developers. Although the keynote for developers was the same as yesterday, I chose to go and see that one. It was a lot better than yesterday. I suppose I wasn’t the only one who noticed the technical difficulties, as most of those were solved today. All microphones were working, the cameras were placed better and the orange and red lighting was a lot better than the bright blue lights yesterday. The content was more or less the same, except that today Hans Verbeeck spent some more time talking about Surface and showing applications on the Surface. Gregory Renard’s demo application for the Surface again had some difficulties to get started, but Hans dealt with that while Gregory was explaining his code. It still wasn’t a super good Surface demo, but it was better and they couldn’t have changed a lot more than that in a day. Peter Himschoot must have made some offerings to the demo gods last night, because luckily his demo worked fine today. Katrien De Graeve had obviously practiced a bit on the HP Touchsmart and the video and lighting were better as well.

A little personal note about the keynote: at the Students to Business day we had a very critical audience, there is a lot of criticism about Microsoft in academic environments. Too much went wrong during that keynote and today the speakers have proven that it could have been better. That’s kind of a pity.

After the keynote I went to “The future of C#” by Bart De Smet, a Belgian who is now working for Microsoft in Redmond. His sessions are often very difficult. This one, however, wasn’t that hard to understand and it was one of the best sessions I’ve seen today!

After the lunch, I went to “VB 2008 Tips and Tricks”, an interesting session where I learned some things I’ll certainly use in my projects. After that I saw Dirk Primbs’ presentation about performance in WPF. That session was less good than his talk about creating a 3D game in 60 minutes at the Students to Business day, but I learned some things over there as well.
After that, I joined Jeroen to an IT pro session about privacy by Kai Axford. It was a welcome break between all those developer sessions.

The last session I saw on this first Techday was called “Windows 7 for developers”. It was a bit boring, but yeah, it was the last session of a long day and I already knew most of it because I’ve attended two sessions about Windows 7 at TechEd.

Overall, another very interesting but exhausting day! Tomorrow I will probably only write a short update on the second day of the Techdays 2009.


Verhulst Jeroen said…
Oeps! Erover gelezen!

Bij deze:

En de moraal van het verhaal is: "It was a welcome break between all those developer sessions"
Wouter said…
Grrr, stomme IT pro's ;)

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