Glastonbury for Geeks: How I won a free trip to TechEd Europe 2013


Ryan Boud works at Inframon as an Implementation Consultant. He deploys Hyper-V and System Center Virtual Machine Manager installations for customers across a wide variety of businesses. Ryan will tell us about TechEd Europe 2013 and how he managed to win a place through the TechEd Challenge. 

I was lucky enough to win a place at TechEd Europe 2013 through the competition that the TechNet UK team ran. I wrote a review of System Center 2012 covering the product and my personal experiences of it. The article can be found here.

So what happened at TechEd?

After meeting up with Simon May, Sarah Lamb and the other winners James Murray and Richard Arpino at Heathrow we flew to Madrid and went straight to the hotel. We met up with the rest of the TechNet UK Team (Andrew Fryer and Dan Pilling) and had a relaxing evening and “relatively” early night.

As we were staying at the Speaker’s hotel we were fortunate enough to have a shuttle bus to the venue so we left early enough to get a good spot for the keynote by Brad Anderson. I had watched the TechEd North America keynote live so I was familiar with the content that was delivered. There was a definite buzz in the room with the excitement around the release of Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2; I believe there were some dev related announcements but I wasn’t too interested in those!

So once Brad had finished the keynote I was lucky enough to bump into Jeff Woolsey on his way to give a session and to ask him some questions that I needed clearing up.

The first day it was quite a surreal experience as I was able to engage with many of the Microsoft Product Managers and ask them for their advice and to clarify some things for me. By the end of the day I felt like a kid in a candy store! I had been able to ask the questions I had wanted to ask and get the answers straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. 

It was great to be so immersed in the Microsoft Technology stack for 4 days and being able to talk to MVPs, Product Managers and ISVs about the environment I was managing and to hear their thoughts on my ideas and receive their feedback.

During the 4 days I was there I went to a variety of Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2 sessions and learnt so much. For example I found the concept of Hyper-V Network Virtualization (NVGRE) quite difficult to get my head around when I first heard it, after two 75 minute sessions I understood how it worked and the potential it could offer.

In addition to the shear quantity of technical information available it was a great opportunity to network with other IT Pros and also vendors, not only at TechEd itself but at the numerous parties and events being held in the evenings.

Attending TechEd was certainly worth while and has really helped to understand a lot about how Microsoft develop applications.

The best analogy we could come up with was Glastonbury: you can watch Glastonbury on the BBC, just as you can watch TechEd on Channel 9 but being there is something else entirely!

As you can see, it is really easy to enter this year’s TechEd Challenge – all you need to do is send us a quick and simple video demonstrating your technical talent using Microsoft technology. There are four categories to enter, visit the TechNet UK Facebook page for more information.

Don’t forget!

4 days left to enter! Public voting has started but you can still enter up until the 29th of September!

Take a look at all the videos and start voting for your favourites. The top three in each category will be put forward to the final vote.

Prizes, prizes, prizes…

The UK IT Pro team are feeling very generous this month! On top of winning one of four paid-for trips to TechEd Europe, we will also be giving away a Lotus F1® Team prize pack! This prize pack is made up of the Lotus F1® Team branded rucksack, beanie and also some cubed speakers. If you would like to win this, all you need to do is either submit a video or vote for your favourite video (or both!) by Friday next week. The winner will be drawn and announced by @TechNetUK team on Friday 26th Sept, @ 2pm.

Make sure you get your videos in early to give yourselves the best chance to win!

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Comments (1)

  1. Congrats and thanks for sharing

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