I am sitting in a session at SD West right now, as Juval Lowy discusses WCF for a full house. The first day of the conference consists largely of half-day sessions - the keynotes start tonight, and the exhibit hall opens tomorrow.

Juval is one of our columnists in MSDN Magazine - look for him in the Foundations section of the magazine. He's talking about performance vs. scalability in per-call services, and making services state-aware. He probably knows as much as anyone about WCF. The point he's making right now is quite salient:

Always design a system for 10x the number of users and load you expect. This is how engineers design systems. Never design anything on the envelope. Think of an elevator - it will say "1500 pound capacity" when it can actually hold 15,000 pounds. Plan your load for scalability and growth.

The conference itself has 1230 attendees and oversold its exhibit floor. It's the largest SD West in nine years. That's an excellent sign for the industry in general - when you've been to a number of these, you get to a point where you can get a feel for the strength of the industry by walking into a conference. The buzz is different when the industry is in a growth phase. The show floors get bigger, and more people can take a couple of days off to learn. That's how it feels here so far, and the show floor isn't open yet. At this rate, Microsoft TechEd should be quite interesting.

- Josh T

P.S.: I forgot to mention this last night. The only thing I could find open when I was driving down to Santa Clara was a Jack In The Box, where I got a 99c menu chicken sandwich. It's 18 hours later and my non-driving hand still smells like fast food mayonnaise.