Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday Five

These past two weeks have been a complete blur. I honestly cannot believe it's already 13 Jun. That just seems crazy to me. Although this past week in Houston was much less hectic than my TechEd week.

And if you're curious, the schedule I had at TechEd was as follows:

  • Landed Friday late and crashed.
  • Worked Saturday in the hotel room trying to get prepared for all the work I had that week.
  • Sunday was training with the crew where I met who I was going to be working with. I worked the "Cram 4 Exams" section, where our job was to help people put together the last couple pieces of the puzzle to pass an exam. As the couple of trainers that read this blog can tell you, there's next to nothing more satisfying than having an excited student come back with their passing score report in hand saying, "Thanks - I couldn't have done it without you." That night was a pretty low key dinner.
  • Monday was the pre-conference day, which meant it was relatively slow for us - a small portion of the attendees actually spring for the extra day.
  • Tuesday was my big day. And when I say big, I'm not just talking about *that* lunch. My schedule was as follows:
    • 10:30-11:45 - Cram 4 Exam presentation for the 70-536 exam (which is a core exam for almost all Microsoft development certifications)
    • 11:30-1:00 - That lunch. Yes, I had a small overlap there. Fortunately the two guys I was working the cram room with were aware of my schedule and nice enough to throw me out when I needed to head out the door.
      Of course, that's where things got interesting. I was in room S330 in the Orlando conference center. The lunch was in N320. In other words, the other building. As I found out later, I was given bad directions by the security guard who sent me around the long, long way - the way that involved going outside in the 90 degrees 90 percent humidity. By the time I arrived I had worked up a pretty good sweat. Fortunately, Bill was  late enough that I was able to calm down before the lunch.
    • 1:15-2:30 - Cram 4 Exam presentation for the 70-561 ADO.NET 3.5 exam (ADO.NET is a way of accessing databases). Back in S330. Another long run back.
      As a side note, I'm forever indebted to Susan, my "manager" during the conference, who also attended the lunch. She told me flat out she didn't care one bit if the presentation was a tad delayed, that I should stay and enjoy the lunch. I didn't stop to shake his hand (hindsight being what it is I wish I would have), but I was able to enjoy the conversations.
    • 3:00-4:45 - LINQ to SQL Instructor Led Lab. Downstairs in the main conference center. I had about 5 minutes to relax before booking on down there.

      I was exhausted by the end of this, but had enough in me to head out with the crew for dinner.
  • Wednesday was rather relaxed for me all things considered. I had just one presentation (a repeat of the 70-536 session). That night was the MCT party. The MCT party at Howl at the Moon. Howl at the Moon is a piano bar that encourages audience participation in a big way.
    A little background about MCT's - we are by our nature very outgoing, type A personalities, who are very comfortable in front of large groups of people and being the center of attention - and we all to some degree or another revel in being the center of attention.
    So take a piano bar that encourages people to get up and make fools of themselves, add a group of people who have no problem making fools of themselves, and toss in some alcohol to grease the machine, and you have a recipe for a fun, fun, fun night. And that's all I'm going to say about that.
  • Thursday was the lightest day of my week - I worked for just 3 hours that day. That night was the party at Universal. Whenever Microsoft holds a conference they close down some attraction and open it up to just the attendees. Free food, free booze, and short lines for all the rides. Always a good time.
  • Friday was the last day of the conference, and when I delivered the LINQ to SQL ILL the second time - which turned out to be the second highest rated ILL of the week and 8th highest session. Pretty cool if I do say so myself.
  • Saturday was the MCT only day where we had some Train the Trainer sessions. I presented two - one on ASP.NET (a web technology) and ADO.NET.
  • Sunday was sleep.

An amazing week.

I've typed enough so I'm going to forgo any travel note for the week. On with the five. I'm going to try to follow through on Brian's request to list five things I presented on in layman's terms. Fortunately I had five different presentations (2 delivered twice). I have a feeling this will be like trying to explain Chandler's job, but I'll give it my best.

  1. 70-536 Exam Cram - The 70-536 is a core exam for almost all Microsoft development certifications. It tests the taker's (writer's? (inside joke)) knowledge of core programming concepts with Microsoft technologies.
  2. 70-561 Exam Cram - the 70-561 is about ADO.NET, a data access technology. It's what developers use to program access to a database.
  3. LINQ to SQL Instructor Led Lab - An ILL is a basic computer lab where a trainer will intro both the technology and the lab. LINQ to SQL is a streamlined mechanism to access databases and create code.
  4. ADO.NET Train the Trainer - ADO.NET again, just a different presentation style. Instead of trying to key on exam topics, I'm teaching a group of trainers how to teach the technology to their students.
  5. ASP.NET Train the Trainer - ASP.NET is what Microsoft developers use to create websites. Again, as it is a TTT event, it was focused on getting trainers up to speed on teaching their students the technology.

And if you made it to the end, you deserve a prize of some sort. Not that I have any to give out, but you deserve one.


Anonymous said...

Perfect explainations! My eyes read the words but my mind read: banana, banana, banana.....
Just make my computer work.

~B said...

It always frightens me when I understand more than about 75% of something like this. :)

Susan said...

I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy (you beat my ILL scores) now excuse me I have to go study so I can 'write' an exam. It's good to be home