Teched HOL: Wait More, Learn Less

Hands On Lab is one of the most wanted facilities at TechEd SEA. This is not instructor led lab, it’s a do it yourself lab completed with the step by step manual, PC with pre-loaded VPC images that contains the lab files. Ed Quek full filled his promise to provide more computer in the HOL and ILL sessions. It was very good, since I saw the HOL room was always full. There are more lab materials than last year.  


I tried a lab on SharePoint workflow, and stuck. it’s not because the lab was so difficult, but the VPC was running like a turtle. I checked the hardware configuration: good. It’s a premium hardware with 2 GB RAM. I checked the OS, and gotcha :). The host PC was Windows Vista. It was a wrong decision since Vista will eat around 1 GB memory for its system itself. TechEd attendees are not end user who want to see WOW features of Vista. They are developers and IT Pros who want to know more about .NET, SQL 2008 and Longhorn. It doesn’t make sense to use Vista just to sit and relax as a host PC. Use Windows XP is better: less resource at the host.

I started irritating to see several attendees asked for help from the proctor because the machine was so slow. Nothing they can do, just wait. These were the case for the server product labs such as SharePoint, MOM, or Exchange. Any labs on Visual Studio would not be an issue.

Just my 2 cent for Ed, please use Windows XP for the host PC next year. Unless the hardware is a Quad Core machine with 4 GB RAM :D.

Dotnet University: Rocks!

One of the new features at TechEd SEA this year is Dotnet University that was held on Sept 11-14, 2007. As I mentioned at my 6 things I love about TechEd, this is an Instructor Led Lab (ILL) that focusing on .Net 3.0. It’s all about Windows Workflow, WPF, WCF, and Cardspace. The response from the attendees were overwhelming. They started to queue since 1 hour before every session. All available sessions are fully packed, even though the organizer managed to provide 5 sessions in a day.

quedotnetu Actually the lab materials were not so deep. It gave an overview about 4 components in .NET 3.0, at level 200 from 500 scale. The public curiosity about this new framework is very high, that’s why the response was terrific. I hope the difficulties level will be improved at the next year since the adoption of .Net 3.0 going to be better.

I delivered the Workflow Foundation session at last class of the 3rd day (17.30 – 19.30). It was also fully packed, so my guess that the attendees prefer to go home was wrong. I did some demo with IF-ELSE branching and Code Activity, using Workflow designer for authoring workflow. Mark Dunn helped me a lot to handle the discussions at the QA session.

scheddotnetu Another reason why they were very enthusiast was about the certificate and Dotnet University T-Shirt. They have to attend 4 session (WF, WPF, WCF, CardSpace) completely to be eligible for certificate and T-Shirt.

I want to bring this training to my community in Indonesia. In fact, I did the similar model with ASP.NET camp about 3 years ago. Since the ASP.NET adoption is quite good now, I think it’s the time to put .Net 3.0, SQL Server 2008, and “Orcas” to the picture. Do it with the bazaar model: cheap, large scale audiences, with the volunteer trainer who’s spent their time and share the knowledge for free.

Six Things I Love about TechEd

Yes, It’s approaching again. TechEd SEA 2007 will be held at Kuala Lumpur on September 10-13, 2007. Same with the previous year, I’ll be there again. Since my work schedules are so tight, I will miss the first day and attend from 11th onwards.

Attending TechEd is something I always waiting for every year. As a prominent and the largest Microsoft technical conferences in South East Asia, it provides a lot of break out sessions, hands on lab, instructor lab, good food, networking, and insights. What do I love about this event? Here are the summarize of my personal preferences:

First, is about the TechEd US 2007 DVD set. Conference attendees are eligible to purchase the DVD set at RM 108 only. It’s less than $25, far cheaper than the usual retail price at $195! This is a collection of all technical sessions (hundreds, yes I mention hundreds!), including the recorded video, powerpoint slide, and demo. Tons of hands on lab manual are inside, keep me updated for the latest hot technologies in the market. I guest it’s around 20 GB in size totally ;).


MS Press discount. Take a few breaks from the technical sessions and go to the exhibition hall. There will be a lot of MS partners and Microsoft booth offering product and services at a discounted price. Usually I jump directly to MS Press booth because they usually offer 20%-30% for the books. It’s a cheap and smart way to shop. Make sure to pick up the latest title about .NET 3.0, Longhorn, SharePoint, or Visual Studio. I hope I can find Dino Esposito’s writing on ASP.NET 2.0. It’s not really new topic, but worth to buy as it’s considered as a long lasting reference.

Hands on Lab and Instructor Led Labs. Get your hands dirty to play around with the latest technical lab. Pick any topics of your choice, sit down, and play with the keyboard. I want to try Performance Point 2007, and some latest ASP.NET topics such as Silverlight and Expression studio. A review about Windows Server 2008 and IIS would be good, as I’m an ASP.NET developer and always keep in touch with the web server. Another interesting sessions are Instructor Led Lab (ILL). There will be one or two instructors stand up in the front and give the guidance during the lab. Ed Quek promised to add more computers for ILL to adopt more attendees.

.NET University: this is a special ILL session. There will be instructors from Microsoft product group presenting about .NET 3.0 topics. Yes, it’s all about WPF, WCF, Workflow, and Cardspace! It’s a chance to interact directly with the people who really know the products, and even who wrote the codes! I’m sure I will be in this class, attend a Windows Workflow. I will also deliver the Workflow topics on September 12.

The food, yes sure don’t miss it. Any taste are served here: western, fusion, malay, or chinese. I really like the desert: unlimited ice cream, cake, and fresh fruit :). My favorite are grilled beef and satay.

Listen, see, practice, save time, learn more! As usual, we are to busy in the office. It’s very difficult to catch up with the new technologies. Attending break out sessions will refresh my brain. It’s better than reading and learning the material by myself. Save the time, learn more.

I have my own favorite tracks. As I’m a developer and mainly focus on ASP.NET, I will spend most of my time in Developer and Web UI track to learn about Silverlight, Ajax, .NET 3.0, LINQ, and everything about upcoming Visual Studio Orcas. Another session that really interesting are Darien Nagel’s on Windows Compute Cluster and Dr. Nitin’s talk on 20 Tips of Office System 2007. As a developer or networking guy, we are usually overlooked Office and just use it as a typing machine. I heard a lot of good comments about Dr. Nitin insights on how to work smarter and efficient with Office system in our machine.

TechEd registration still open until September 06, 2007. Hurry up and register.

Here are some pictures from my last year TechEd:



My Schedule at Teched SEA 2006 is Published

It’s official now. I will speak at 2 sessions on second and third day (6 and 7 Sept for sure). The detail schedule for TechEd SEA 2006 is published here.. I’m very ecxited about this event, when I will speak about ASP.NET and data mining for south east Asia developers and DBA. So many Microsoft folks from Product Group will come and speak, and I hope will have enough time to have chat and discuss with them.