My final day at TechEd. Packed up and checked my bag at the hotel, off to the bus. Noticed that no transportation person there managing things today – whether that’s because we’re fully trained on riding the bus now or just someone calling in sick I don’t know. Arrived just in time to miss breakfast, went to Starbucks, caught up with Brian Knight and Bayer White on the way. Better than expected blueberry scone!
Then upstairs to see what was going on at the press room. Nothing. Closed. Apparently news only happens the first two days!
From there my day was fragmented. I spent some time in the Dallas section, a MS project that focuses on data you can buy/license. Interesting, because you have multiple vendors providing data, you get it all through one provisioning system and same kind of data access – oData. Also checked out the new advanced language features in VB 2010 session, some I could follow, some…not enough background to fully appreciate. One strange/interesting syntax is that you can embed a method in a method, like this:
Sub DoSomething Else
It’s another way to handling scoping of variables. Scoping is a big deal in trying to minimize bugs, you want the smallest scope you can manage without craziness, definitely don’t want a lot of global/system/session level vars.
Also attended a Master Data Management session. Conceptually I get the problem they are trying to solve, but maybe because I work in smaller environments (by preference!) I don’t feel the pain enough to convert that to a need for action. I think it’s one of those cases where a real case study with solid demos might be what I need to see.
Lunch was crawfish pasta, catfish fingers, some kind of chicken, red velvet cake. Not bad, line moving quickly once you got into a food line, a little slow getting to that point.
Toured the Expo one more time. SQL vendors seemed to find it not as good as PASS. Not horrible, just that TechEd is a diverse crowd. Saw the MS server container that is cooled by a water hose. Designed to take ambient air and pass it through a container (think a metal shipping container, but nicer) and exhaust the heat out the other side. If temp rises too much, they start to spray these blankets/filters with water from the hose, evaporation lowers the temperature. If humidity is too high they can pump heat back to the intake to raise the air temp, changing the proportion of heat to humidity so that it’s still effective. I don’t know if it works in a desert, but they were talking about supported ranges of up to 90 degrees and 80% humidity. Still burning a lot of electricity for the servers, but for cooling it’s got to be cheap – water measured in gallons and a few fans plus control systems, a lot cheaper than the standard water cooling/HVAC system most data centers use.
Left just after 2 pm for the airport, quick stop at the hotel and then a reasonably quick trip (traffic gets bad to airport from 3-5 pm, plan for it). Checked in, no delay at security (though if a crowd leaves on Thurs/Fri I can see it backing up, not much capacity there). Back home just after 7.
It was a good trip. TechEd is still a good conference if you’re multi-discipline, not enough SQL content if you’re focusing just on SQL. Was a relaxing trip. No serious obligations, just attend sessions and be a spectator made it more like a vacation than these trips usually are. I think it was also less tiring because there were fewer people to talk to. At the Summit I spend the better part of 5 days talking to people – it’s incredibly valuable time, but it’s tiring too. Yet, I still missed it. Nothing like the critical mass of people with shared interests.