There are a jaw-dropping 844 events from which to choose at TechEd 2004.  When confronted with so many options (and such a kludgey search mechanism), I turned to my trusty blogroll.  Here's a list of folks who have been blogging about the sessions they plan to attend or host at TechEd 2004.

Brad Abrams, Dan Fernandez, Don Box, Becky Dias, Craig Skibo, Andrew Conrad, Harry Pierson, Adam Nathan, and Michael Platt...

Michael recommends several sessions that I plan to attend personally. He writes, Tech Ed this year is being touted as much more architecturally focused than ever before…“ [Comment: And much more 'team development focused' than ever before...]

He continues, “DEV200 General Session: Developer Tools and Technologies by Rick LaPlante. Rick is the General Manager of the Enterprise Tools division of Visual Studio which is the part of Microsoft providing architectural tools. Rick is a great speaker and it’s always worth listening to what his group is doing. Rick did the demo of Whitehorse at the PDC and it will be interesting to see what he will cover at Tech Ed. [Rick is a passionate and long time advocate for enterprise developers at Microsoft. And, as Michael mentions below, it's rare for a PUM to speak at TechEd. If you work on or with a team that develops software, you probably don't want to miss this event.]

“DEV300  Visual Studio 2005  by Lori Lamkin. Lori is a PUM (Product Unit Manager) working for Rick in the Visual Studio Enterprise tools division who I have not heard speak before. It is rare for a PUM to speak at Tech Ed so it will be interesting to hear this presentation” [Correction: Lori is a GPM, not a PUM.]

“ARC400 Tools for Architecture: Developing Service Oriented Systems by Keith Short. Keith is the lead Architect in the Visual Studio Enterprise Tools division working for Rick. I have heard Keith present before on this topic but it always evolves and I always learn something new. This is the underpinning of what Microsoft is doing in the modeling space.

ARC313 MSF by Sam Guckenheimer. The whole area of frameworks is getting ever more important and  it will be interesting to see what Sam has to say about what MSF are doing.” [Correction: Sam is not slated to to speak at any session, at least that he knows anything about.  But if he does get roped into a session, which is possible, I wouldn't miss it.]
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And finally, here are my top two picks for TechEd 2004 and why I plan to attend them:

DEV352  Visual Studio Top Ten Ways to Customize and Extend the IDE
Wednesday, May 26 3:45 PM- 5:00 PM, Room 31ABC
Speaker(s): Ken Hardy, Craig Skibo
Session Type(s): Breakout
Track(s): Developer Tools and Technologies
Abstract:
Have you ever wanted to add a menu command or a new window to Visual Studio? Are you interested in adding new features to the Visual Studio IDE? This session tackles the most popular scenarios using the full range of extensibility, including Visual Studio Macros, the Automation Object Model, and the VSIP SDK. See how to use them together.

Comments: Craig and Ken (who sit just down the hall from me) will demonstrate how to build (shhhhh) an integrated weblog aggregator for Visual Studio.  I built something similar for the Visual Studio Start Page when we were app builing using a VS-Everett beta internally and my feeble attempt doesn't hold a candle to their elegant implementation.

DEV303  Visual Studio 2005: Topic TBA
Thursday, May 27 3:15 PM- 4:30 PM, Room 20D
Speaker(s): Brian Harry
Session Type(s): Breakout
Track(s): Architecture, Developer Tools and Technologies
Abstract pending

Comments: Brian Harry is the former Product Unit Manager of the CLR. He was Brad Abrams' boss before transferring over to the Visual Studio side of Developer Division.  I don't know exactly how many tools Brian's team is developing in their Monster Garage but it's a safe bet that they have the gaga factor of the .NET Framework when it was first unveiled.

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