In our final "Scheduling Tips" post, we hear from alumni Fredrik Nilsson, as he shares how he makes the most of his time onsite at TechEd, and extends the learning experience all year.
Fredrik Nilsson, Senior Consultant, Infrastructure, Crayon AB
"How I plan my TechEd year." TechEd is more than a week, it's a multiyear experience. Let me explain. First of all, the amount of information available during TechEd is too much to take in during four days (five if you attend a Pre-Conference Seminar). There are currently over 500 sessions and labs divided into 6 tracks, and some 100 exhibitors in the TechExpo—and the Content Catalog isn't full yet. To be able to attend everything, you would have to visit 18+ sessions/exhibitors each hour over the four days of TechEd Europe.
So how do I plan my schedule?
First of all I have a rule of thumb, attend at least one session that covers something you don't know that much about. It can be an IT-pro session if you are a developer, or an area of expertise that you feel you should learn more about. In my case, I will look deeper into disaster recovery scenarios and solutions using Microsoft technology.
I used to make room in my schedule for contemplation but I have found that ad-hoc pauses work better for me when I need to digest some of the information received.
Don't forget that it's your schedule, you don't have to follow it. If a session doesn't meet your expectations, leave and go to another. If you feel tired, relax, tour the TechExpo, have a cup of coffee, or just start a conversation.
When I leave a session, I make a mark of that session in my conference guide so that I can watch it later. (Sometimes my first impression changes.)
Also, make sure you don't miss the opportunity to interact with fellow attendees, speakers, Microsoft product experts, and exhibitors. Don't rush away from a conversation just because a session starts, most sessions are recorded and the slides are downloadable within 24 hours.
Populating My Schedule
I fill my schedule with content that interests me without considering such things as time slots, conflicts, and so on. Since I work with the infrastructure parts of cloud computing, most of my sessions are in that area. I then prioritize my time-slots by indicating the preferred session and keep the other ones as alternate sessions. This helps the TechEd Team to size the rooms, popular sessions get bigger rooms and sometimes more slots.
The Year-Round Experience
The sessions I decide not to attend are those that I will watch online during the year. Sometimes I watch older sessions from previous conferences to get more information. Below you'll find my TechEd week as it is today. As you know, Microsoft released the Technical Preview of Windows 10, Windows Server and System Center on 1 October, so my agenda will most likely change a bit as new sessions are announced.
TechEd Europe 2014 Schedule for Fredrik Nilsson
Tuesday, 28 October
08:30 KEY01 Keynote Session, Hall 6
11:00 FDN03 Optimizing Your Datacenter with Windows Server, System Center, and Microsoft Azure
CDP-B212 Microsoft Azure for Enterprises: What and Why
CDP-B362 Architecting a Modern Datacenter: Windows Server 2012 R2 End-to-End Design
DP-IL308 System Center 2012 R2 Lab: Application Management
CDP-B226 Introduction to Microsoft Azure Infrastructure as a Service
CDP-IL206 Speed Lab: System Center 2012 R2: Introduction to Infrastructure Provisioning and Monitoring
CDP-IL300 Constructing Your Private Cloud with Windows Server and System Center, Part 1
CDP-B415 JEA: A PowerShell Toolkit to Secure a Post-Snowden World
18:00-8:30 PM TechExpo Welcome Reception, Hall 7
Wednesday, 29 October
CDP-IL305 Configuring Networking with System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager
CDP-B227 Introduction to Microsoft Azure Networking Technologies and What's New
CDP-B350 StorSimple 8000 Series: Enabling Enterprise Workloads for Microsoft Azure
CDP-B329 From Demo to Reality: Best Practices Learned from Deploying Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V
CDP-IL204 Introduction to Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines
CDP-B211 Microsoft Azure and Its Competitors: The Big Picture
CDP-B244 TWC | A Game of Clouds: Black Belt Security for the Microsoft Cloud
CDP-B239 How to Stay Calm When the Lights Go Out: Business Continuity in the Real World
CDP-B336 In-Depth Introduction to Service Management Automation
CDP-B343 Operational Intelligence with System Center Advisor and System Center Operations Manager
CDP-B213 Role-Based Access Control for Microsoft Azure Resources
CDP-B356 What's New in Microsoft Azure IaaS and Roadmap
CDP-B210 Cloud Identity: Microsoft Azure Active Directory Explained
CDP-B363 End-to-End Design for a Highly Available Datacenter
CDP-B231 Microsoft Azure Storage Overview
CDP-IL302 System Center 2012 R2 Lab: Infrastructure Monitoring
CDP-B360 An Overview of Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration
CDP-IL207 Azure Pack Overview
CDP-B319 Building Disaster Recovery as a Service: New Opportunities for Service Providers with the Azure Pack and Azure Site Recovery
CDP-B216 Data Protection in Microsoft Azure
20:00 Country Drinks, Barceloneta Beach
Thursday, 30 October
CDP-B316 Best Practices for Deploying and Operating Virtual Machine Manager at Datacenter Scale
CDP-B333 Extending Your Network to Microsoft Azure Using ExpressRoute
CDP-B364 How to Develop a Successful Hybrid Cloud Strategy
CDP-IL306 Managing Your Storage with System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager
CDP-B416 Azure Pack Extensibility
CDP-B209 Designing Hybrid Scenarios with Microsoft Azure
CDP-B365 Hybrid Cloud Solutions with Microsoft Azure: For Architects
CDP-IL204-R Introduction to Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines
CDP-IL303 System Center 2012 R2: Infrastructure Provisioning
CDP-B373 TWC | Malware Hunting with Mark Russinovich and the Sysinternals Tools
CDP-L392 Hyper-V Management Made Easy with System Center and Veeam Management Pack for System Center
CDP-B412 Datacenter Integration Using Automation in System Center 2012 R2 Orchestrator
CDP-B326 Managing Platform-as-a-Service with the Azure Pack
CDP-B314 Microsoft Azure Site Recovery: Leveraging Azure as Your Disaster Recovery Site
18:30 Ask the Experts, Hall 5
Friday, 31 October
CDP-IL301 Constructing Your Private Cloud with Windows Server and System Center, Part 2
CDP-B324 Deploying Hyper-V Network Virtualization
CDP-B351 Real-World Customer Deployments of StorSimple and Microsoft Azure
CDP-IL202 Introduction to Hyper-V High-Availability with Failover Clustering
CDP-B229 Mark Russinovich and Mark Minasi on Cloud Computing
CDP-B311 System Center 2012 R2 Service Manager in the Hybrid Cloud
CDP-B335 Hyper-V Best Practices for High-Availability with Failover Clustering
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