I am in the midst of TechReady, an internal event that is simultaneously the coolest event at Microsoft, and the most frustrating. Similar to TechEd (but only for blue-badgers), thousands of Microsofties descend upon the Washington State Convention Center for 5 days of technical events. The mornings start with keynotes from the executives (yesterday was Kevin Turner, today was Bill Gates), and then it is off to session after technical session with folks from the product teams.
There are more sessions available then minutes to attend them all, and the frustration comes in two forms: 1) Picking between two (or more) awesome sessions (Do I want to learn about Windows Server 2008 Kernel Advances from Mark Russinovich, or learn about Implementing Highly Available SQL Server 2005 and Microsoft SharePoint Server Solutions?), and 2) I cannot blog about the vast majority of the information presented, as product teams are demoing features that have not yet been announced.
That having been said, this is also a great opportunity for the worldwide technical folks within Microsoft (whether consultants, technical sales, architects, evangelists, etc.) to interface directly with the Product teams. If there is any feature that is missing in a product, a pain we are hearing from customers, or communications that are lacking in the field… there is NO-ONE that is shy about sharing (oftentimes quite vocally!) that feedback with the product teams. Believe it or not, Microsoft employees can be some of the most critical and vocal proponents of improving Microsoft software (which is a good thing ;).
By the way… I’ve already met one of my favorite bloggers (CC Hameed from the Ask Perf blog, and a regular contributor to the internal discussion lists), and if I’m lucky, I’ll run into my other favorite blogger (Keith Combs) at the blogger gathering tomorrow. Woohoo!