The following post was written by Silverlight MVP Michael Crump

This Sunday I will depart to Orlando, FL to attend TechEd 2012 which is Microsoft’s premier technology conference for IT Professionals and Developers. This is my first TechEd that I have had the chance of attending and I will be representing Telerik, where I have a focus in our XAML control suites. While I have been preparing for the trip, I decided to sit down and write out a short list of what I’m most looking forward to this year and share it with the MVP Award Blog. So, in no particular order, here goes:

Networking: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, networking is one of the single most important things you can do a tech conference such as TechEd 2012. It is a unique opportunity that allows you to have access to several thousands of IT/Developer professionals just like you. You should seize every opportunity that you get to mix and mingle with liked-minded individuals. You never know what new business cards or new knowledge that you will take home.

Deeper Understanding of Microsoft Products: If you are a Developer (like me), then you will get a new and unique look at the new platform for building Metro style applications for Windows 8. But it doesn’t stop there; other sessions include: Windows Phone 7, WebMatrix, Azure, SQL, ASP.NET and much more. Not only will you take this information back to the office, but it puts your organization at the forefront of cutting edge technology. They will also have tons of tracks focused around IT Professionals, so no one is left out.

TechExpo: The TechExpo consist of two sections:

o Partner Solutions Exhibition – This allows you to review all the new stuff from Microsoft Partners (companies making products using Microsoft technologies) and to meet and greet with members of the team.

o Technical Learning Center – This allows you to see Microsoft products demoed by the Microsoft team. Again, this is another great opportunity to ask questions and meet the team behind the products you use every day.

Other Familiar Brands: I’m looking forward to seeing the Channel 9 broadcast live and seeing the Coding4Fun BoxingBots! I also plan on hanging out in the bloggers hub and getting others excited about blogging. Also, being an MVP means that I’ll also be hanging out in the MVP Lounge to answer any questions that you might have. The Connect Zone will also be a great place to stop by to learn about INETA, which can help you find a user group in your area.

Archive of Sessions: Let’s face it – it is hard to go to every session with all the different things going on. Sometimes, it is just easier to learn at your desk with your favorite pair of headphones on. Thankfully, the session videos and slides of most sessions are available to members of myTechEd after the event. This is an absolutely great resource in case you forgot something or had to pick between two different sessions at the same time.

Conclusion

As you can tell, there are a lot of reasons that I’m looking forward to attending TechEd this year. I haven’t even mentioned all of the pre-conference seminars, workshops, hands-on-labs and certification information available. I’d also encourage you to sign up at myTechEd, where you can make sure that you don’t miss anything and it will help you connect with other attendees. Also, if you are in the mood to talk technology then I’m open for any discussion, so feel free to drop by the Telerik booth or send me a tweet, @mbcrmp. Thanks for reading and I hope to see you at TechEd 2012.