Greetings, App Compat Army! I’m busy putting the final touches on my presentations for TechEd North America, and wanted to give a quick overview of what I’m going to be covering:

WCL204 – Removing the Shackles of Legacy Software: Best Practices for Enabling Platform Agility in the Enterprise
Monday, June 11 - 1:15pm – S230C

This is a session I’m actually planning to rename to “App Compat For Humans” (in contrast to App Compat for Nerds), and while not excruciatingly nerdy in a debugger-sense, I do plan on yanking out my tablet’s pen and doing some math. Because it turns out that by being a little bit smarter about things, we can be drastically more effective. So, come on by and learn how to stop wasting time on things that don’t add value, and instead focus on those things that do. More importantly, become agile again – the “dark ages” where you can just keep an entire application stack static are behind us now, and we need to re-learn how to stretch the muscles that allow us to move more quickly!

WCL401 – What’s New in App Compat Tools
Wednesday, June 13 – 10:15am – S320E

My friend Marc Sweetgall, the program manager for the Application Compatibility Toolkit, will be joining me to have a look at all of the changes that are taking place in ACT 6.0, part of the Assessment and Deployment Kit. We’ll be tying in changes in tools to the best practices we discussed in Removing the Shackles of Legacy Software because process should drive tools – this two are a good pair if you both want to learn the process as well as apply tools to it in a sensible, evidence-driven way. Now, we’re trying to get this one re-leveled – it’s not going to be a 400-level session. So, come prepared for a 300-level session.

OSP304 – Deployment Jeopardy
Thursday, June 14 – 1:00pm – S220G

This session has become an ongoing favorite. Essentially, we get a number of top deployment engineers into a room, and then ask questions so insanely hard that they stump us. Along the way, we hope to teach you a few things and have some fun doing it! My favorite, of course, was at MMS 2011 where we actually had an open bar set up inside of the session room. (Well, it was the final session of the conference, and it was Vegas after all…)

WCL304 – Embracing the Future: Modernizing Legacy Software Assets
Thursday, June 14 – 2:45pm – S330C

This is an all-new session, where my goal is to begin to broach the subject of application modernization. You see, as we’ve been furiously trying to retire Windows XP, IE6, and Office 2003, we’ve used all kinds of duct tape to try and get the applications working at all on a modern platform. (Sometimes just barely!) But, if you don’t do anything about your individual applications, and your application portfolio in general, then are you really “using” the new platform? Or are you just living awkwardly in the past – a black-and-white character in a Technicolor world? Now, since it’s new, you’ll be the very first audience to ever hear it – so let me know what you think! This is a fairly challenging topic, and the approach depended on which track accepted it. Had the developer track taken the session, I would have been going through code. But, since the Client track took it … well, we’ll still look at some code, but we’ll also get into a lot of strategy and management topics. I hope you come and enjoy it, and most of all let me know how to make it better!

WCL402 – App Compat for Nerds: Understanding, Troubleshooting, and Fixing Busted Apps
Thursday, June 14 – 4:30pm – S320C

This will be the latest update on demonstrating how to apply app compat knowledge to solve real-world compatibility problems. We’ll be applying proven troubleshooting techniques to resolve real compatibility challenges discovered with live applications! Assuming they don’t fix it before then, I’ll even be debugging the TechEd North America site itself! (Shhh… if we tell them it’s busted, then I’ll lose a demo!) How do you apply a disciplined thought process to resolve challenges with Windows 7, Windows 8, IE9, IE10? Come and watch! It’s kind of like watching me work, only way less boring. (I elide the parts where I just sit there for hours wondering what the heck that stupid app is doing and just get to the good stuff.)