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Words of Wisdom as a Service (WoWaaS) from Alistair Speirs, Technology Specialist for Online Services @ Microsoft Australia.

Tech.Ed 2008 - What to expect in the Office System Track

Tech.Ed 2008 - What to expect in the Office System Track

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We've started planning the Australian TechEd content already. How do we do it?

  1. Think really hard about what we need to cover. This year:
    • With the big release of Office, SharePoint last year and SP1 earlier this year, adoption has well and truly moved from the bleeding cutting edge early adopters to the mainstream. Deployment guidance and good practices will be a big focus
    • You earlier adopters, having kicked the tires of the out-of-the-box-experience have some hunger to do hardcore development or casual glue-coding to deliver very useful Office Business Applications
    • People are doing some really cool stuff on the Office/SharePoint platform.
    • The Office System is about Business Productivity, not any specific products. Expect to see sessions that outline scenarios that use a variety of microsoft apps, code samples, reference architectures and third party products.
    • We want to make sure all of this stuff is relevant for you and easy to implement when our masters force us back into our cubicles/server rooms/penthouse suites
  2. We take the HUNDREDS of session topics that are covered in other events such as TechReady (the internal Microsoft technical field conference), TechEd North America, Office Developer Conference, the SharePoint Conference etc etc.
    1. All these raw sessions are summarised onto an excel workbook (2007 of course, 64k rows is not enough :P)
    2. We then developed a nice-to-have list of about 70 sessions, based on our themes
    3. We quickly realise that we don't have enough session slots
    4. Negotiations begin with other tracks to squeeze in more content
    5. Using evolutionary algorithms, we watch each session eat, adapt, breed or die with the other sessions in its environment. The last sessions standing move to our shortlist
    6. We quickly realise that we don't have enough session slots
    7. Negotiations begin again...
    8. Evolution continues, until...
    9. A meteor comes crashing down (aka Deadline) wiping out all but the strongest sessions.
  3. We are also trying to line up the best speakers to deliver these sessions.

Did I mention that we also run all of our conference planning through Groove, automatically syncing back into SharePoint periodically. This gives us the ability to invite in speakers, regardless of whether they are inside or outside of the Great (fire)Wall. And Groove will still be working away at the conference site, in the congested, hostile, austere and unstable networks that inevitably appear when you have the top 3000 geeks in the one conference centre. But that is part of the fun that is Tech.Ed!

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  • Alistair and I did a session at the recent SharePoint Forum on "Delivering Systems that the Users

  • Tech Ed Track content - where are we?

  • …you are probably hanging out on the Hands On Labs too much. Previously I talked about what to expect

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