Finally as an attachment of this post you can find the demo I did in my session DEV412 about Composite UI Application Block at TechEd Europe Developers 2006 in Barcelona. I know, it took me some time, but as you’ll read in my next post I’ll do during this week-end, it was still stressy after TechEd as well.
This year’s TechEd was really a huge learning for me. Doing a pre-conference session, two conference sessions (whereas one was a repeat) and a whiteboard session altogether is really heavy for a week. And I really realized, how hard the attendees are with rating the sessions. It’s really about finding the right mixture between amount of technical contents, demos, stories and jokes - everything needs to be in the right dimension.
At the beginning my week started really good with a great pre-conference session (8,16 - but unfortunately that was just one session of our pre-conference) but on Tuesday I really realized, how hard TechEd can be. Personally I though, my demo-only session on Windows SharePoint Services, InfoPath Forms Services and Workflow was one of the best sessions I have ever done. But the attendees thought different - actually it was the worst rated session of my carreer (6,87). I was so disappointed, I really struggled the next view days and thought hard about what I did wrong. And even more frustrating were the comments - because they had no information for me of what I did wrong. From “great session” and “excellent” through “too much code” and “not enough details in code” I really had everything… So I was really unable to get anything out of these comments. Oh, and the best comment was “It was great. I felt to sleep and pissed the end :(“… actually that one was very amusing and made me feel better again. At the end after talking with a number of attendees I met around in the ATE corner they told me, that the session was good, but too early in the week as it required much knowledge which was built up in sessions later in the week.
Afterwards I really tried to re-focus on my next sessions and on monitoring the Office-track. And - the scores got better and better during the end of the week. Finally on Friday I had the “stressful-day” again. At 09:00 a.m. session on Composite UI application block, then at 01:00 p.m. repeat session on my Windows SharePoint Services, InfoPath Forms Services and Workflow session and then, immediately afterwards Whiteboard discussion on brainstorming about a possible Enterprise Library for Office Developers. It turned out to be a great day, the CAB session rated with 7,42 and I had cool, good comments in it, and believe it or not, the SharePoint-repeat session made it into the top 30 of 190 sessions with a rating of 7,92. At this point of time I didn’t understand the world anymore. Did I gut just the right audience the second time? Or was it because the foundational basics for the session have been delivered througout the week and the attendees had the necessary knowledge to understand what the demo… or was it just because of the fact that it was the last conference day. Anyway, although I had a good (one of the best) ratings, it made me think about what I could do better again… and… I am still thinking:)).
At the end this year I really, how different being the second time at TechEd can be and how close disappointment and good success can be:) This years TechEd was a great event, especially with a huge, personal learning process showing, that of course TechEd’s core is about technical education… but… not only:))… it’s much the same about humans and their expectations and experience at the conference… and sometimes it’s definitely hard meeting these expectations…