TechEd: Something new, Something old

I am in Orlando, FL at TechEd. I have not attended that many TechEd conferences in my career; I was mostly a PDC bigot. I think this is my third or forth TechEd conference. There is another guy from my division here who is all of about 25 years old and I can’t help but notice the difference in how we approach the conference. The first thing of note is where each of us is at this moment – about 10pm on Monday night.

I am in my hotel room typing this entry and getting ready for bed. He is out partaking of the different events being sponsored by Microsoft and/or the different vendors here at the conference. I think I heard that there are things going until 1am tonight. There was a time when I would be out until the wee hours, stumble back into my hotel room for a couple hours of sleep and a shower and make the first session of the morning. On more than one occasion I was still a little (OK allot) intoxicated in that first session I have this image that my colleague is doing just that – but I don’t want to incriminate him .

Ahhh, youth.

I tend to go to sessions that fall into one of two categories; either ones on topics that I know very little about or where I want network with the presenter and/or other attendees. My expectation is that any detail I see here I will have forgotten by the time I leave. So I am just trying to get the gist of something. My colleague, on the other hand, seems to be focusing on WPF in hopes that he learns enough to start using it when he returns to the office. Part of the rationale I think is that I have to bring big concepts together and understand paradigm changes; whereas he needs to just bang out code.

Lastly, the food. I just can’t eat that conference food anymore. I am convinced that it’s the reason I ended up sleeping through a couple post lunch presentations. I realize that may be hard to believe after reading that I was still blitzed at breakfast. I have experimented enough with the permutations of this enough to know that the food was certainly the nail in the coffin. I think at 25 I could eat just about anything. Now 15 years later, it’s another story altogether. I think there should be a special dietary line for guys like me – I don’t know what to call it but I know what it would look like. Hey I know what you’re thinking – not it’s not a can of Ensure. It is much lighter; less pasta and meat more vegi’s and sustaining foods; you get the picture.

Anyway, times have certainly changed – at least for me. Maybe I can find the retirement room.