Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

It's all about community!

May, 2009

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    TechEd ANZ Call for Content Update


    We’ve had a great response to the TechEd ANZ Call For Content we announced a couple of weeks ago. Here’s the submission count as of this morning:

    Track Breakout BoF Total
    ARC 4 0 4
    AZU 2 1 3
    DEV 25 4 29
    DYN 3 0 3
    MOB 4 0 4
    OFC 31 4 35
    SEC 2 0 2
    SOA 2 1 3
    DAT 12 1 13
    UC 7 0 7
    VIR 2 0 2
    WEB 11 1 12
    WCS 10 1 11
    Totals 115 13 128

    I’ve had a couple of questions around this and while I’ve answered them directly, I’ll also post the answers here.

    When do submissions close?

    The answer is "it depends". Track owners will close off their tracks for submissions when they feel like they’ve got enough submissions. Having said that, we’ll leave all tracks open until at least the 1st of June, so you’ve still got a week or so as a minimum.

    What’s the difference between a Breakout Session and a Birds of a Feather Session?

    A breakout session is one of the main sessions that are held during the conference. There are 9 rooms available in each of 15 time slots across the 3 days. You can expect anywhere between 20 and 1000 people at a breakout session. The content and presenters for these sessions are determined by the track owners.

    Birds of a Feather sessions are designed to be informal gatherings of like-minded people. This is a community-driven session held outside the timeslots for breakouts. It's likely that there will be perhaps as many as 10 BoF sessions and they’ll be scheduled for lunchtimes and perhaps on Wednesday evening. We're planning to make the BoF selection something that attendees can contribute to. The current proposal (subject to change, no promises etc) is to publish a list of the submissions and have people vote.

    How Many Submissions Will You Accept?

    There are only 135 slots for TechEd this year and so there are obviously going to be many more public submissions than available slots. There's no hard number we're aiming for, but please don’t be too disappointed if your session isn't selected this time. One of the things I’d love to do though is publicise the sessions that weren't selected with a view to local User Groups picking them up as presentations through the year. I won’t do that without the submitter's permission though.

    Are You Paying Presenters?

    No – there's been some confusion because the link from my original post to the rules for submitting content was a generic link that triggered some "smart" stuff server-side to determine where you were submitting from and displayed the rules appropriate to that region. A number of people got the TechEd North America rules (it explicitly said that at the top of the page) and they do have a stipend for speakers. We don't have the budget for that.

    So there's no more confusion, here are the rules for submitting content for TechEd Australia and New Zealand.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Tech.Ed Australia and New Zealand Call for Content Now Open


    2009-05-22 Updated the link for the rules for submitting content

    Tech.Ed Australia The Tech•Ed 2009 season kicks off next week in LA, and the show comes to Australia and New Zealand in mid-September. We’ve just opened the Call for Content tool so now’s the time to submit that great idea for a session. Details about how to submit are at the bottom of this post.

    Here are the rules for submitting content and what we’ll cover/not cover if the track owners select your session(s).

    All the way through the process you’ll be able to review your submission and track its status. This is the first time we’ve opened up the Call for Content publically like this and we’re likely to receive many more proposals than we’ve got slots to fill, so please don’t be disappointed if your submission isn’t selected.

    Tips for Successful Submissions

    • Write a descriptive, fun and enticing title
    • Target 300-400 level technical content; 200 level content is in low demand
    • Describe content that is new, unique or significantly refreshed from a previous presentation.
    • Take a solution oriented approach
    • Align your topic to the technologies listed for the track
    • Ensure there is no marketing in your content
    • Showcase your speaking experience
    • Focus on currently released technologies, technologies in beta or technologies that will be released within 12 months of Tech·Ed
    • Include one or more live demos. Historically, sessions with strong demos receive higher audience scores

    By the way, Tech•Ed veteran Greg Low’s done a wonderful screencast series on presenting at large events. Well worth a look if you’re considering submitting content for any event.

    Tracks and Technologies

    There are 13 tracks at Tech•Ed this year and each one is owned by one or more local Microsoft folk. Here are the tracks, a quick abstract of what they will cover and the owner of each track. You may want to use this to guide your submission.

    Windows Client and Server

    Owners: Jeff Alexander, Philip Duff, Adam Hall and Deannah Templeton.

    The basis of any strong data centre now and for the future starts with the core operation system. The Windows Server® family of products provides you with the best solution to build your IT infrastructure for any size organization. From the Essential Server Solutions to Windows Server 2008 R2, this track shows you the solutions and set of technologies to ensure success.
    In addition, this track covers the comprehensive set of management products and solutions enabled by the Microsoft® System Center product suite as well as various Windows Management Technologies to help you gain back control of your environment. The sessions presented provide you with in-depth guidance and technical background in "Managing the Data centre" and "Managing the Desktop" while also covering the management of heterogeneous IT environments.
    Finally, the Windows Client and Server track has everything you need to know about adoption, deployment, management, and virtualization of the Windows® Desktop Environment, including a technical introduction into Windows 7 and Microsoft® Internet Explorer® 8. Come learn best practices and hear about the advancements in the Windows Client technologies which will help you manage and accelerate your desktop deployment efforts. Get real-world guidance from our industry experts via sessions that span client-side development, readying applications for your OS roll-out, deployment tools and technologies, virtualization, and much more.

    Office System

    Owners: Alistair Speirs, Ian Palangio and Paul Quirk

    The Office and SharePoint® track provides IT professionals and developers with a deep technical arsenal for the 2007 Microsoft® Office system. Come and learn from industry experts the best practices and advice on how to architect, design, deploy, and implement world-class solutions built on the Office and SharePoint platform technologies. Be prepared to learn more about the next wave of innovations while also going deep into 2007 Office system products and technologies such as SharePoint Server 2007, Office Enterprise, Open XML File Formats, InfoPath® 2007, SharePoint Designer, Project Server 2007, and SharePoint Online. As an IT professional, learn about Office server and client applications with sessions covering security, deployment, management, customization, and administration. As a developer, learn how to take your ASP.NET expertise to the fast-growing SharePoint ecosystem, how to craft the next generation of "Office Business Applications" and about the latest techniques for creating applications involving Microsoft Office, composition, collaboration, software-plus-services, VOIP, Open XML, Silverlight™, and more!

    Unified Communications

    Owners: Johann Kruse and Paul Dolley

    Microsoft unified communications technologies use the power of software to deliver complete communications-messaging, voice, and video-across the applications and devices that people use every day. The Unified Communications track strengthens your knowledge of Microsoft Unified Communications platform and technologies, including Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft® Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Microsoft Office LiveMeeting and Microsoft® Exchange Online. Explore how you can streamline your organization's communications, build presence aware applications, roll out an on-premise, hosted messaging and collaboration system, and much more!


    Owner: Michael Kordahi

    The Web and User Experience track brings you all the latest information on cutting-edge Web technologies and provides you with the latest in developing great user experiences from the Windows® desktop to mobile devices to cross-browser and cross-platform on the Web. Get the latest information on Windows Presentation Foundation, XAML, Microsoft® Expression® Studio, and Microsoft® Silverlight™, as well as all the in-depth coverage of Microsoft® Internet Information Services (IIS), ASP.NET, ASP.NET AJAX, Microsoft® Internet Explorer®, Windows Live™ Platform, and Commerce Server. Whether you are interested in taking your ASP.NET development to the next level, or finding out how you can use your .NET development skills to build rich experiences that run in the Safari browser on the Mac, the Web and User Experience track is for you.

    Developer Tools and Practices

    Owner: Dave Glover

    Your knowledge of development languages and proficiency with the tools you use to create software are the core of your skill set. The Developer Tools, Languages, and Frameworks track is packed with deep technical training that covers the best of Microsoft® Visual Studio® 2008, and the upcoming Visual Studio® 2010. Get in-depth information on building mission-critical software using Microsoft® Visual Basic® and Visual C#®. Amplify your application development impact with Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) best practices using the Visual Studio Team System. Acquire the skills that you need to make an immediate impact in your organization while preparing for future versions of Visual Studio.


    Owner: Nigel Watson

    The Architecture track offers sessions focused on Architecture of technology and Architecture as a practice. Elements include the architectural process of translating business vision, intent, and strategy into effective technological change in the Enterprise; addressing the skills of creating, communicating, and improving the key tenets, principles, and models that describe the Enterprise's future state and enable its transformation, evolution, or migration.

    SQL and BI

    Owner: Ron Dunn

    The Microsoft® SQL Server® data platform helps your organization manage any data, any place, any time with the security, reliability and scalability that your mission-critical applications require. The SQL and BI track offers the knowledge you need to maximize your Microsoft SQL Server investments and gain the skills needed to seamlessly run a mission-critical environment. Gain insights into future SQL Server technology investments so you can rest assured knowing the bets you make today will continue to pay off in the future.
    Now more than ever, your business needs a quick means of getting the right information to the right people so that they can make smarter, more informed decisions. Microsoft's Business Intelligence solutions enable you to do just this. The SQL and BI track also offers sessions covering how to integrate, analyse, and report on all of your corporate data easily using the Microsoft Business Intelligence platform, end-user tools, and analytics applications. Learn how to build custom, robust Business Intelligence solutions using Microsoft® SQL® Server 2005 and 2008 (Integration Services, Analysis Services and Reporting Services) and the 2007 Office system (Microsoft® Office Excel®, Excel Services and Microsoft® Office SharePoint® Server technologies) and how to easily manage them.


    Owner: Rocky Heckman

    Security continues to be a major concern for almost every company in business today, and technology professionals are always looking for ways to improve and bolster their security strategies and tactics. Microsoft brings unique capabilities together to deliver comprehensive, integrated solutions across IT security, identity, access, and management. The Security, Identity, and Access track provides guidance and technical detail on Microsoft® Forefront™ products, identity-based access technologies, Windows® security technologies, and more!

    SOA and Business Process

    Owner: Graham Elliott

    Organizations of all sizes use technology to automate, manage, and improve business processes, and many are using SOA to create a more flexible set of IT assets. Designing, building, deploying, and managing these distributed applications can be difficult and complex. There are a range of capabilities, products, and technologies that you will need to understand in order to do your job effectively. The SOA and Business Processes track helps to explain these choices, give you concrete approaches to designing distributed applications particularly around loosely coupled service oriented architectures, and to show you the Microsoft products and technologies that you will use to develop and manage these systems. See products such as Microsoft® BizTalk® Server 2009, .NET LOB Adapters and the Microsoft® .NET Framework 3.5, in addition to some major new technologies that are in development and soon to be released.
    With a multitude of new tools and technologies in the middle tier, Microsoft's broad platform offering has created tremendous opportunities for you as a developer. Our experts show you products and technologies that provide successful strategies to take advantage of the platform and development tools.


    Owner: Catherine Eibner

    The Microsoft Dynamics suite of products provide a comprehensive platform for developing and deploying applications and services for retailers, manufacturers, wholesale distributors, and service companies, doing business domestically or in multiple countries. With these tools in hand, people in every key position in your organization can contribute to the success of your company. Microsoft Dynamics enhances all lines of business in your organization and delivers exceptional benefits. Come and hear how to deploy enhance and leverage the base Dynamics products and integrate them with Line of Business Applications through the extensive services interfaces provided.


    Owner: Rick Anderson

    With the increasingly mobile nature of computing today, the Windows Mobile® track gives you the background that you need for selecting, developing for, and securely managing Windows Mobile phones. Did you know you can build for Windows Mobile with Microsoft® Visual Studio® skills you already have? Did you know that you can securely manage your mobile devices with Microsoft® System Center Mobile Device Manager? Find out this and much more in the Windows Mobile track

    Azure Services Platform

    Owner: Greg Willis

    With the new Azure Services Platform, developers can take advantage of an Internet-scale cloud services platform hosted in Microsoft data centres to build new applications in the cloud or extend existing applications quickly and easily, using a flexible and interoperable platform. The Azure Services Platform track explores Azure's cloud operating system and set of developer services, including Windows Azure, SQL Services, .NET Services, and Live Services. Sessions provide an overview of services currently in Community Technology Preview (CTP) and beta release, in addition to discussions on the future of the Azure Services Platform and the possibilities it provides for your business to reduce costs and accelerate innovation.


    Owner: Amit Pawar

    With today's IT budget constraints, virtualization enables you to maximize your current hardware investments and provide increased services. The Virtualization track covers all of Virtualization from the desktop to the data centre. Learn about Microsoft's virtualization strategy, as well as our current solutions: Windows Server® Hyper-V, Microsoft® Hyper-V™ Server, App-V, MED-V, System Center Virtual Machine Manager, and Terminal Services (Remote Desktop Services). Sessions include real-world lessons from both Microsoft and industry experts. Come learn all about the present and future of Virtualization at Microsoft.

    Submitting a topic

    So how do you go about submitting a session? Go to the Call for Content tool and register with your email address and the RSVP code TechEdANZ. Fill in all the details and hit submit. You can come back to the site at any time to update or review the progress of your submission.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Free training in Sydney May 19-21. Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4.0

    We’ve got a few seats left for some more great free training in Sydney next week – 19-21 May, this time on VS2010 and .NET 4.0. If you're interested in attending please email Shuk Chan.
    Begin Length Session Title
    Day 1 Visual Studio Team System 2010
    8:30 AM 30 Registration and Breakfast
    9:00 AM 45 Visual Studio Team System: Modular Training – Modules 0 - 2
    9:45 AM 15 Break
    10:00 AM 45 Visual Studio Team System: Modular Training – Modules 3 - 4
    10:45 AM 60 VSTS Hands-On-Labs
    11:45 AM 60 Lunch (Provided)
    12:45 PM 30 Visual Studio Team System: Modular Training – Modules 5 - 7
    1:15 PM 15 Break
    1:30 PM 45 Visual Studio Team System: Modular Training – Modules 8 - 10
    3:15 PM 15 Break
    3:30 PM 45 Visual Studio Team System: Modular Training – Modules 11 – 12
    4:15 PM 15 Break
    4:30 PM 30 VSTS Hands-on-Labs
    Day 2 .NET Framework 4.0
    8:30 AM 30 Breakfast
    9:00 AM 30 Visual Studio 2010 & .NET Framework 4.0 Overview – Module 1
    9:30 AM 30 Managed Languages Overview – Module 2
    10:00 AM 15 Break
    10:15 AM 75 CLR 4 Overview – Module 3
    11:30 AM 60 Lunch (Provided)
    12:30 PM 75 WF/WCF – Module 4
    1:45 PM 15 Break
    2:00 PM 75 ADO.NET Data Services v2 – Module 5
    3:15 PM 105 Hands-on-Labs
    Day 3 Visual Studio 2010
    8:30 AM 30 Breakfast
    9:00 AM 75 ASP.NET AJAX 4.0 – Module 6
    10:15 AM 15 Break
    10:30 AM 60 Project Velocity – Module 7
    11:30 AM 60 Lunch (Provided)
    12:30 PM 75 Parallel Computing Overview – Module 8
    1:45 PM 15 Break
    2:00 PM 180 Hands-on-Labs
  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    TechEd Online – Chat with Michael Kleef


    Screen shot of the TechEd online player I had a chance to catch up with former IT Pro Evangelist Michael Kleef yesterday at TechEd in LA and  we had a chat about what he’s doing now, how he’s found the transition from a customer facing role in Australia to a corporate role in the US and about a bunch of other things.

    The interview’s up on TechEd Online. Check it out.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Upgrade your MCP for only $25 US*


    120x240_MCP_042309 I had a great response from the certification vouchers I gave out three months ago. Unfortunately I don’t have any more of those to give away, but Microsoft Learning have announced an offer that’s almost as good. If you’re a MCP and you got your last certification before July 1 2007, you can get a voucher to sit an exam between now and 30 June this year for only $25 US.

    MSL launches up to 80% off exams to help you up-skill!

    We have taken off up to 80% off the price of exams for any MCP who has not attained a new Microsoft Certification Credential since July 1, 2007. From now to June 30th, 2009 MCPs are eligible for a Microsoft Certification exam at a special price of US$25.

    Get up-skilled in new Microsoft technologies so that you remain competitive in the market. Visit the website for terms and conditions.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Live Q&A with Scott Guthrie


    Brian Madsen and his mates at LIDNUG have done it again. Following on from hugely successful meetings with Brian Harry and Greg Low, they’ve managed to secure Scott Guthrie for an intimate Q&A. Don’t forget that previous recording are archived here.

    Upcoming Talks

    Stephen Toub talks about the .NET Parallel Extensions, May 7, 12:00 PM PST

    Scott Guthrie talks shop with developers, May 11, 11:30 AM PST

    Sara Ford talks about Open Source with CodePlex, June 21, 9:00 PM PST

    Also, don't forget that by simply registering and attending the Scott Guthrie event, you could be in the running to win a 1 year MSDN Premium VSTS Subscription, worth US$10,000+.

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