This week we were thrilled to host 2,000 Kiwi professionals who work with cutting edge technology to attend three days of deep technical training at the Microsoft TechEd 2011 conference in Auckland.

Since we started running the event 1996, our goal has been to work with a community of experts to offer a world class event right here in New Zealand. We hope it will help these professionals keep their skills current in the rapidly changing world of technology.

At the TechEd 2011 keynote in Auckland

Keynote

The event kicked off with a plenary keynote. Microsoft executive Norm Judah offered a perspective on what cloud computing means for the future, and explained why it can help organisations become dramatically more productive while saving time and money. Business leader and former All Black captain David Kirk discussed the Rugby World Cup 2011 tournament, as well as his involvement with Fairfax's acquisition of Trade Me. 

The keynote was concluded by Minister of Communications and IT, the Hon Steven Joyce.

Minister of IT, the Hon Steven Joyce, at TechEd 2011

“There's a wider view for our country, the reason we all do what we do, is to make this country go a little bit better. In this room there are a couple of thousand people who can make that happen.”

“We do need to change this country a bit. We need this great little country of ours to focus more on selling its goods, its services, and importantly its ideas to the rest of the world.”

“There's a role for Government, but the big role is actually for you. We need to work on our ideas, we need to encourage innovation and innovators, we need to encourage and support our entrepreneurs. We need to exalt the idea that we're a country of world class traders, a country that takes pride in our success, and a country that is confident in its place in the world.”

The technology demonstrations during keynote featured cloud computing and rugby, such as the technology behind Microsoft's competition to give away its corporate box at the Rugby World Cup 2011 final.

Logo - Microsoft is an official sponsor of Rugby World Cup 2011

Training Sessions

There were more than 140 presenters from New Zealand and around the world. Fifteen technical tracks covered diverse topics such as Cloud Services, Innovation, Security, User Experience.

UPT Digital presenting at Microsoft TechEd 2011

One session that offered inspiration for the future of our country was conducted by a group of students from Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti high school in Christchurch. These students are involved with the UPT Digital project.

“What do you do when you're too young to party, and too young to drive? Being a Dev Star in New Zealand is a pretty attractive lifestyle choice.”

“Dev Stars are today's Rock Stars. These guys have the power. For this generation, location is no longer an issue.”

“Windows Phone is the new lemonade stand.”

If you've ever wondered what it takes to run a leading website like Trade Me, we were lucky enough to have them share some of their experiences.

We know that not everyone who would like to be there can be there, so we also try to make content from the event widely available. Obviously it's not the same as being there, but selected recordings from TechEd NZ 2011 are provided online free of charge shortly afterwards.

Behind the Scenes

IT professionals attending a TechEd 2011 training session.

With the support of our sponsors and participants, TechEd has become New Zealand's largest technical training event. New Zealand punches above its weight - there is one event for all of North America, for all of Europe, China, Russia, the Middle East, Africa, Australia - and New Zealand!  When it comes to the costs of the event, we aim to break even to ensure sustainability and great value for attendees.

Microsoft New Zealand is proud that we can deliver this event, and we hope it plays a small role in the work that the industry's talented and passionate professionals do every day to foster a smart, connected and competitive nation.

We would like to thank our sponsors, and everyone who participated in the event.

Sponsors for 2011

Our sponsors play an integral part in supporting the TechEd conference in New Zealand.

Principal Sponsor - HP

HP - Principal Sponsor of TechEd 2011 in New Zealand

Hands-on Labs Sponsor - Intergen

Intergen - Hands-on Labs Sponsor at TechEd 2011 New Zealand

Major Sponsors

App Sense - Major Sponsor at TechEd 2011 New ZealandCommVault - Major Sponsor at TechEd 2011 New ZealandFuji Xerox - Major Sponsor at TechEd 2011 New ZealandJOOB Mobile (Jade Software) - Major Sponsor at TechEd 2011 New ZealandPB Technologies - Major Sponsor at TechEd 2011 New ZealandTelerik - Major Sponsor at TechEd 2011 New ZealandThycotic - Coffee Sponsor at TechEd 2011 New ZealandVeeam - Major Sponsor at TechEd 2011 New Zealand

What's Next?

Looking to the future, we're excited that Microsoft will be making significant announcements at the worldwide BUILD conference, which we hope will inspire a new wave of opportunities for Kiwis to export high value intellectual property and services to the world. There will be Kiwis at the event, and we'll be sure to share news as it emerges.

By Scott Wylie, Director Developer & Platform Group, Microsoft New Zealand

All TechEd 2011 event photos CC BY-SA 2.0 by techedlive.