Don't they both have keynotes , breakout sessions and vendor booths etc....
They do both have all of those things. The difference is about the focus of the content.
First, TechEd is for everybody in IT - developers, operations, database, even management in some cases. The PDC is strictly about the care and feeding of developers.
Secondly, TechEd topics are focused on products and technologies that will are available now or in the very near term. The PDC tends to focus on things that are a ways off in the distance. So this year's TechEd focused on things that are shipping or will ship
by the end of the year (Visual Studio 2005, .NET 2.0, Exchange 2003, etc.), PDC will likely discuss technologies that don't even have product names yet (Longhorn, Avalon, Indigo, WinFX).
TechEd is a conference that I can't afford to go to right now. PDC is a conference that I can't afford to go to in September.
David's response is pretty good (as is Minh's Here's how I think about it:
If you are looking for a conference that will give you immediately practical training, so that you're more productive the minute you return back to the office, then TechEd is for. Whether you're a developer or in IT, TechEd will have sessions and labs focused
on the technologies you rely on every day.
PDC, on the other hand, is where we talk about our strategic platform roadmap for developers and architects -- what are the attributes of the next generation of applications, and how is the Microsoft platform growing to enable those kinds of apps? You should
come home from PDC with a clear understanding of what Microsoft thinks are the signficant trends in software, and how you can architect your own procuts over the next few yeras to take advantage of them.
If you're a person providing input into the 2 to 3 year roadmap for your products/services, PDC is for you.
I work at TechEd, I learn at PDC
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