Yesterday was the final day of TechEd North America 2010 and the start of a max exodus of geeks out of New Orleans (they’re hard to miss wearing the official TechEd backpacks or other clothing emblazoned with tech company logos). I’m sure some people skipped the final day, but it still seemed pretty full. As you can see in this video I recorded mid-afternoon, many people were still attending the final sessions:
After a leisurely morning, John and I attended Mark Russinovich’s session on Pushing the Limits of Windows. Mark is one of just a handful Technical Fellows at Microsoft, and probably knows more about how Windows works internally than anyone else. As expected, Mark packed one of the larger auditoriums at the convention centre. He didn’t strike me as a natural-born presenter, but I still very much enjoyed his talk (and learned quite a lot). As John remarked on the way out, “my brain hurts.”
I couldn’t resist attending the Coding4Fun session in the afternoon, titled Learn Windows Phone 7 Development by Creating a Robotic T-Shirt Cannon. Daniel Fernandez and Clint Rutkas walked us through how they built a Windows Phone 7 app to control the robot (affectionately named Betty) that debuted at Mix back in March. Along the way, they shot out a few dozen t-shirts and weren’t afraid to show off the robot’s capabilities! Here is a video I recorded of the robot in action:
It was a fun way to get some exposure to Windows Phone 7 development. If you’ve never checked out Coding4Fun before, you really should! You can find the source code for the app they built here.
The final session I attended at TechEd was Programming AppFabric: Moving Microsoft .NET to the Cloud, presented by Pluralsight’s Aaron Skonnard and Keith Brown. Despite progressing a little slowly at times, I thought the talk was fantastic. In particular, the way Aaron started it was memorable. He fired up a console app running on his laptop and asked everyone with Internet-connected devices in the audience to hit a public URL. Immediately requests started appearing on the screen, prompting the very distinctive “how did he do that” murmurs among everyone in the room (turns out it is the magic of the AppFabric Service Bus).
TechEd officially finished with a large party in the evening at Mardi Gras World. Buses took thousands of geeks to and from the event, which featured a number of live bands, magicians, jugglers, palm readers, and an Xbox gaming room, among other things. It was fun to just walk around the party, taking in the sights and sounds.
I learned quite a lot at TechEd, and have a pretty long list of things I want to look into further! It was a fun week.