Live from DevTeach 2009 in Vancouver

DevTeach/SQLTeach 2009 in Vancouver kicked off this morning. Tim Huckaby of InterKnowlogy is delivering his opening keynote address as I type this. His topic: Visual Studio – Your Development Happy Place. Tim is well known in his sphere and always delivers an entertaining and passionate session during his time in front of the audience.

Tough choices

This DevTeach/SQLTeach looks to have a great line up of speakers and sessions laid out for the next few days. That’s great in many ways; I get to choose from interesting topics from well known and highly respected people in the industry – people like Peter Debetta, Don Kiely, and Brad McGehee to name but a few.

But this inevitably leads to tough choices. There will be two or more sessions that I’d love to attend happening simultaneously. For example, in 30 minutes I’ll have to choose between Kevin Kline’s “Stored Procedure Best Practices” and Bill Graziano’s “Understanding the Procedure Cache”. I want to have my cake and eat it too. But this is a good problem to have.

It’s not what you know; it’s who you know

But for me one of the best, if not the best, reasons to attend a technical conference is not directly for the content itself, although that is important. No, for me the true measure for a conference is in its attendees. And I’m not speaking strictly of numbers either. It’s the people who you meet at the conference that makes a conference truly worth your while. It’s the connections you make or have with others, who perhaps have traveled from other parts of the world to attend the conference, that are of real value. I know of no way to measure the value of the connections I’ve made of the years through attending conferences like DevTeach and PASS.

I truly enjoy catching up with friends that I only get to see a couple of times each year, typically at conferences such as this. Last night I had dinner with Jessica Moss, Bill Graziano, Scott Stauffer, and Blythe and Kate from PASS Head Quarters. We had a great dinner at a local steakhouse. The technology will change but the friendships and memories we make together will last for years to come.

So, what about you? If you attend conferences, what kind of things do you find of most value? What do you like to see in a conference? I’d love to hear your experiences, your likes and dislikes.

And if you’re here in Vancouver at SQLTeach and would like to get together for a cup of coffee during one of the breaks, look me up. I’d love to chat.

Cheers!

Joe

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