Monday, October 19, 2009

Tech Days Toronto - mettles tested & knowledge ionized

Tech Days Toronto wrapped up, all well, house full with 1200+ folks from all walks of life!, on Sep 30th @ the Metro Toronto Convention Center (MTCC). I took a good long break and now am back to blog about it.

This article is going to be a long read. The train will run off-course thru the fields and sometimes on track too. There, I warned you!

It has been a very learning and blessed experience for me. I still recall the day 1, on Sept 29th, when I started out to the venue from the Go station in Cooksville, as the train ride would give me ample time to think on stuff while avoiding downtown Toronto traffic and parking worries. Among other things, I was also trying to think how it would all go, trying to look at it from a future point of view, as if what was going to happen was past. It was day 1 of 2, in my life when the gravity of things increased as if someone had placed a paperweight on my fabric-of-life. Everything gravitated in right there.

Entering the MTCC and all the way to the Speakers' Room was a breeze, glad I had the Speaker badge hanging off my neck :). There in the room I met Rodney Buike, who was the Track lead for the Windows Client track. Rodney & I were off to the presentation room upstairs to install s/w, demos and load VMs to the latest high-end Dell laptop which was nicknamed "Dellosaurs" by the team. While on our way up, saw Rick Claus, walking with other folks putting things together.

This reminds of the time I first met Rick. My first face-to-face with Rick was at the Windows 7 event at the MSHQ Mississauga early this year, where Rick was on the stage speaking to all of us (attendees). Rick's looks reminded me of my school friend Mukesh Bisht. Same intelligent looks, same style and sharpness of mind, I was amazed. I felt very comfortable instantly and went ahead to speak with him, after he finished speaking on stage. While Rick, treating me as every other attendee who would have some questions, asked me to ask questions I might had. I on the other hand, just wanted to say "hi" for the moment, tell how great the event was & how much he resembled my school friend. Well, that certainly didn't happened, so I ended up asking about his hat, and how similar it was to the hunter Van Pelt in the movie Jumanji. So, Rick laughed and then told me that the hat was actually a Tilley hat, known for it's lifetime warranty and endurance.

I instantly became a fan of this sharp, smart, fluent-public-speaker-geek, who came out so warmly even to people like me.

Alright back to TechDays now; So, after all was set-up with the Dellosaurs, I ran downstairs to the welcome and keynote hall to grab some breakfast first & then to listen to the keynote/welcome address. Was thrilled and excited to see the crowd of Tech geeks & how they got-together with their peers on the round dining tables spread across the hall & started out chit-chatting while grabbing something to eat after the welcome keynote. Met Rick there again, while he was manning the stage. Man, this guy was everywhere!

Back in Speakers' Room, everyone was sitting there around a huge rectangular table with their laptops heating it up, working their way thru the slides and demos. I joined them and thus my day started out.

Few minuted later, Day 1 Session 1 was about to begin, & being a bollywood fan, I didn't wanted to miss out on it (1st day 1st show)! Next, I was standing in the Windows Client hall, jam-packed, people standing as the seats were all occupied. The CMS guy I met a day earlier, Christopher Diachok, was standing on stage with his hands folded at back, giving a sharp MIB look. I waved at him and let him steal the show. Chris was sharp, went smooth and in-control & took 2 sessions back to back. The guy had a sore throat, when he met me back at the Speakers' room. Nice down to earth guy, never knew he had so many Microsoft designations behind his name.

After Diachok's first session, I was on my way back to the Speakers' room to work on my presentation, on my way, I could see attendees around the "ask the expert" zones, queing up their "asks" :)

My session was on Day 2, and it went well. So, was I told by the session attendees! Anyways, all this long story short, guess what I want to say is, Microsoft TechDays is a knowledge-jam-packed event, & you will be surprised to know, after you attend events like this are:
1. there's at least handful of horses running faster and quicker then youself!
2. interacting with other attendees gives you more insights into existing issues and more resources to learn
3. the geeks at Microsoft have a lighter side as well, you will be glad to share your stories with them, and they will complete the rest :)
4. the msdn goodies are worth it!
5. maybe if someones' eye catches you, you could be very well presenting a session next time!

You might want to have a look at the TechDays picture I clicked, posted on flikr here.

A solid piece of article stays at TechNet Blogs:

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