“Huh? What do you mean? Are they having one conference for boys, and another for girls?”
<sigh> Don’t be silly. And anyway, that (unfortunately) would be extremely lopsided. No, I’m talking about now having two separate weeks – one for Developers and the other for IT Professionals.
And that’s what was announced just the other day. As you see from the graphic above, TechEd U.S. 2008 Developers is happening June 3-6. And TechEd U.S. 2008 IT Professionals is happening June 10-13. Both are back in Orlando, Florida this year.
“Interesting. And how do you feel about that, Kevin?”
What are you? My analyst? **
Quite honestly, I wasn’t too happy about it, initially. As regular readers (big assumption, I realize) of this blog know, I’m one of the very biggest and longest fans of TechEd there is. I have only missed three of the U.S. TechEds in its entire 15 year history; attending many more as a customer than as an employee. So when I heard the news, my first reaction was, “Shoot… they’re going to make it smaller and less fun.”
However, one of the benefits of being an employee is that, along with the early announcement e-mail I received last week, I also received documents all about the reasons behind the decision. And they make a lot of sense. The full FAQ is available here, but I’ll summarize for you…
Reason 1 – TechEd U.S. is just so darn huge!
We sell out practically every year, which means there are a lot of people who miss out and don’t get to attend. And that’s sad. But the realities of handling the logistics of making one of the biggest technology event anywhere even bigger were just too much. There aren’t enough cities and venues available that can really handle anything bigger than what we’ve been throwing at them. So splitting this up makes it easier logistically, while at the same time providing a great opportunity for even more people to come to a TechEd.
Reason 2 – Developers! IT Pro! IT Pros!
Yeah.. I know.. the chant is “Developers! Developers! Developers!…” But the ratio at TechEd really has been more like 1/3 Developers, and 2/3 IT Pros. Many people look at TechEd as primarily an IT Pro event, and developers love going to the PDC or other events (I’m a new big fan of the HDC – the Heartland Developer Conference).
Reason 3 – People leave early
A large number of attendees just don’t stick around for the last of the 5 days. So these events will be 4 day events instead.
“Hey Kevin.. you were once a Developer.. then a Developer AND an IT Pro as you transitioned to being a full-time IT Pro. How can someone who is doing both roles choose which TechEd to go to?”
That, unfortunately, is quite honestly going to make it hard on some people. It will be a tough decision. Fortunately, though, the TechEd planners understand this also. They are going to do a couple of things to address this:
- There will be small amounts of higher (100-200) level sessions for the “other” discipline. So, at TechEd Developers there will be “some IT infrastructure sessions to cover mixed job functions“, and at TechEd IT Pro there will be “some developer content to address the holistic view of Microsoft’s Application Platform.”
- And for those who really need to, you can attend BOTH events for a cost that is less than what the two individually would be.
Pricing for this hasn’t yet been announced, so I highly recommend you get on the “TechEd 2008 guestbook” at http://www.microsoft.com/events/teched2007 so you’ll get updates in e-mail on the event as the details become available.
“Are you going to TechEd IT Professionals this year, Kevin?”
I sure do hope so. And then I’ll see you there!
** Disclaimer – I don’t actually have an analyst; although I probably should. I spend an awful lot of time arguing with myself in the form of this here stupid blog.