Every year Microsoft holds a developer conference called TechEd. This 3 day dev-fest celebrates all kinds of technologies that professional developers are faced with in their day to day working lives. Things like Visual Studio, SQL Server and Windows Server are covered at a variety of depths and set the attendees up with a bunch of knowledge chunks they can often apply directly to their jobs. However, it's not all about learning new things in the technology. Equally important is the networking opportunities that TechEd brings - a chance to meet up with colleagues, competitors, prospective employers, Microsoft employees and share experiences.

On the front of TechEd is a special day dedicated to university and high school students. Hiding under the normal-sounding name, Student Day, this opportunity is jam-packed with the same kind of stuff that the professionals see, but aimed squarely at students of all ages along with teachers and lecturers. While it does include a number of presentations, it's more about showing you what you can achieve with technology and to give you some ideas of what you might want to do if you decide to move into IT as a profession.

What can you expect to see?

  • How about how to create your own Xbox 360 games using XNA Game Studio Express?
  • Or the ultracool PhotoSynth which can stitch normal photos (even ones you take on your mobile phone) into a 3D meshed representation of the subject?
  • Or maybe you want to see how much easier it is to make programs in modern development tools.

What can you expect to learn?

  • How getting an IT career in today's world isn't just necessarily about programming or being a network administrator - there are many other opportunities to grab hold of.
  • Or getting the inside scoop on Imagine Cup - the world-wide competition run specifically for students to show how their imagination and creativity can help solve the world's problems.

What can you expect to receive?

  • DreamSpark - more info about what you're able to get without paying a cent will be revealed at Student Day, but the big thing is "FREE SOFTWARE"
  • A chance to win some great prizes, both entertaining and functional.

Whether you sign up for the high school morning session or the university afternoon session, this is just the tip of the iceberg. And spaces are going fast, so head over to the registration page ASAP and sign up.