Another TechEd done and dusted and what a great one it was. I enjoy New Orleans so having it there was a lot of fun (except the heat and humidity – that was a bit rough). There was a ton (or tonne, for my UK mates) of 2010 content. I didn't get to see many sessions but I talked to a bunch of people who came by the Office TLC and it seems they were all very pleased by the presentations. SharePoint was definitely the belle of the ball once again, with more SharePoint-related vendors in the Expo hall than you could shake a stick at. Having the TLC's and vendors all in the same area was a great move – I hope they stick with that format in the future.
'Nawlins really rolled out the red carpet for all of us (there were several very, ah, "interesting" advertisements from proprietors up and down Bourbon Street catering to the Microsoft crowd). As always, the food was great (except at the conference itself but that always seems to be the case) and the Hurricanes were dee-licious. I'm especially thankful for the gelati vendor in the conference center – they kept me going in the heat. Whoever they were, they should get a key to the city. The only real bummer was that Rob Foster and I couldn't find any big buckets of steamed crawfish to gorge ourselves upon – I do love me some crawdaddies.
Massive props go to the AvePoint team for throwing the best party of the conference in celebration of their DocAve 5.5 release. In a stroke of pure marketing genius, my buddy Tony Lanni managed to somehow arrange for a brass band to lead a couple hundred of us technogeeks through the French Quarter, complete with a police escort and red beads flying in every direction. Tourists were thoroughly confused, lining up Bourbon Street to take pictures and gawk at the scene. It was complete pandemonium. And seeing Mike Watson ride the mechanical bull at the Bourbon Cowboy afterwards – that was priceless.
One of the highlights of the conference that I will remember forever is watching the Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup with fellow MVP's Andrew Connell and Paul Schaeflein. I know it sounds a bit strange for a Texas redneck to be a hockey fan but I'm a huge NHL junkie (too bad my Stars didn't make it to the playoffs). I have relatives in Chicago and watching them win the cup was priceless (and made so much sweeter by watching that big crybaby Jeremy Roenick sob on national television – oh, the irony). Job well done, 'hawks – you deserved it.
I also got to spend some time hanging out with a few of my favorite non-SharePoint folks – crazy man Alan Stevens, the always beautiful and engaging Amanda Laucher, and party animal Steve Andrews. Y'all rock!
For those who attended my talk on SharePoint 2010 development, the slides and sample code have been posted to my Presentations area here. Also, for those who asked about customizing deployment in Visual Studio 2010, you can find that code here.
Next year, we'll all be storming into Atlanta to geek up the South a bit more. I'm looking forward to it. See you in 2011!