The closer the PDC track team comes to locking down our session list, the more we hear from internal Microsoft platform folks who wonder why their sessions didn't make the cut (or why out of the 10 sessions they proposed, only 1 got approved). When the track team first started their triages a few months back, they asked me for some guidance they could use to prioritize. I just stumbled across the mail I sent them, and I thought it might be interesting to paste it here verbatim (or almost verbatim -- any edits are in [brackets]). If you're wondering what kind of session content you can expect to see at PDC this year, read on...
The primary objective of any PDC breakout session must be to help our customers (senior developers and architects) make strategic decisions about how and when they commit to our platform over the next 2+ years. We want attendees to leave the conference with a clear understanding of the new scenarios we think our platform enables, and confidence that the platform is robust and complete enough to meet their needs. We also want them to be genuinely excited by our vision, to share in our enthusiasm for our work, and to evangelize our technologies to their colleagues back home.
I can envision several different kinds of breakout sessions that would meet the goals above:
Those 5 bullets make for a pretty broad umbrella, so let me scope it back down by adding one more criteria:
To me, that means the following kinds of breakout sessions are not appropriate for PDC
Another way to evaluate potential sessions is to think of what level content is being proposed. PDC is a technical conference, and we want to see at least 25% of our content at the 400-level this year. Here’s how I described levels at our first track team meeting in April: