I used to love to attend TechEd sessions in my earlier years of programmer in Bangalore and I get little opportunities to attend these sessions as lot of them have become webcasts or conducted over weekends. I am sure a lot of professionals benefit out of them, but I find them useful while listening on Volvos and miss the human interaction from in-person event. Weekend sessions are trickier to attend with a family to take care at home. As VS 2010-ALM final event at Bangalore was in-person even, I choose to attend. As I had already installed VS 2010 and learnt some of is features(thanks to Microsoft and internet), I thought attending this session would help me to educate on new features and view the features in action(hands –on). Thanks Microsoft for the in-person event. I attended the event, but left the session at 3. I thought I should write why I left early from an interactive session and this is my experience.
I liked the sessions conducted by Microsoft speaker. Though he was good, the time was too short to describe all features. He was good and explained well and was passionate about his talk. I was happy to attend his talk, But there was a little pinch in the talk. The pinch(not exact words of the speaker), but to the effect “ Based on statistics 85% of developers in India are on maintenance projects and VS2010 was being sold as a tool that can help people perform maintenance”. I am not questioning the statistics and the intent. I like Visual Studio from the time way back I started my hands on Visual C++ and I would have liked the speaker to have taken a different route towards the need of VS 2010.
There were a set of 10 finalist who have come to the session. There was a video followed by talk by finalists for a total span of 75 minutes(all put together) which provided little information to the audience, other than what could be found on the internet. All of them say “ VS 2010 rocks”. The audience was asked to evaluate them. I decided not to participate in the evaluation as I felt equipped to evaluate them based on communication skills and not based on the VS 2010 knowledge. I really liked one of the remark of finalist to an extent that “ what was not is VS 2008 is in VS 2010”. When some one describes about Dump files, it would be nice if he or she can create Dump file and show people how to look though Dump files and identify the cause of the problem. When some one describes about Gated check-in a great concept, it would be nice if they also show the maturity of the challenges that are given raise by this feature for the infrastructure needed to have good performance when the team sit across oceans.
I understand that this might be Microsoft marketing event. But I would think that could have been organized different, They would have asked the finalist to have a booth and showcase the features and the participants can visit the booth and the finalist could have explained the features of VS 2010. By going this way, there is a real opportunity to the finalist to learn their strengths and increase their knowledge by interactions and answering questions from the participants and the participants would gain value from questions/ interactions between them and the finalist. May be they did this approach after I left and if so then I have missed the same!.