TechFest: achieving world domination! HoustonTechFest was a blast!

This post really should have came before my TulsaTechFest.com post chronologically, but I already had that one prepared, so I picked the lowest hanging fruit first.

I had the opportunity to speak at the first annual HoustonTechFest.com on August 25th, 2007. It was a very awesome event. Michael Steinberg and the team from the HoustonDNUG did a terrific job. I got to talk to Ben Scheirman, who I got to meet recently at the OKCodeCamp where we were both presenting again as well, fellow Commodore-64 starter Scott Bateman. It’s always great to see Microsoft supporting these community driven events with the likes of Chris Koenig, Zain Naboulsi, Phil Wheat and of course Brad Abrams speaking.

It was very inspiring to see that the concept I began with TulsaTechFest in 2006 has started to spread into the larger cities. VancouverTechFest was the first thanks to Rob Chartier and Richard Campbell. They even started up a manifesto for it. Which we tried to follow, but we very successfully found that only having content on weekends doesn’t appear to be as successful as the weekdays (see previous post) and below numbers.

My Windows Communication Foundation Presentation:

The thing that I find most astonishing is that even after a whole year of it’s release, the .NET 3.0 Framework is still unheard of by many attendees to these types of events. Therefore, even though as a presenter I feel like Microsoft Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) is old news, since I have been studying and presenting on it for a year and half while it was still in Beta. I will just continue to bring the personal in-depth experience on the production usage of WCF in a high volume environments as well as consistently looking for the best way to present on the technology in easy to understand terms. With nothing more than the end goal of getting developers to start studying, learning and at least experimenting/playing with this and the rest of the .NET 3.0 Framework. Do I even have to say that these things have not changed much in the newly released Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 – .NET 3.5 Framework? The tools only continue to improve thanks to the Microsoft Patterns & Practices Team and the WCF Service Software Factory project, which Nov 9th released version 3.0 – Modeling Edition! Definitely download this and the 2.0 version and start seeing what interconnected application development can do for your enterprise solutions.

With good reason, I had to delay this post. I just happened to come across Bill Steele’s post regarding IndyTechFest.com! It is amazing to see an idea start to benefit all these other communities! It’s a good thing I started it with pure intentions – the contribution to the community, if I had been seeking ulterior motives I would have done things a lot differently.

Here’s the events in a chronological order for everyone:

  1. October 14, 2006 – TulsaTechFest 2006 – 20 tracks, 119 sessions, 60+ speakers, 650+ registered, 360+ attendees
  2. November 14, 2006 – Santa Fe TechFest – details unknown, info from J. Michael Palermo Blog
  3. November 15, 2006 – Phoenix TechFest – details unknown, info from J. Michael Palermo Blog
  4. February 24, 2007 – VancouverTechFest – 4 tracks, 28 sessions, 25 speakers, 575 registered, ??? attendees
  5. August 25, 2007 – HoustonTechFest – 7 tracks, 36 sessions, 29 speakers, 865 registered, 476 attendees
  6. October 13, 2007 – IndyTechFest – 5 tracks, 26 sessions, 16 speakers, 370+ attendees
  7. October 19 & 20, 2007 – TulsaTechFest – 16 tracks, 100 sessions, 67+ speakers, 870+ registered, 650+ attendees on the 19th, 400+ on the 20th
  8. November 10, 2007 – AlbertaTechFest – 3 tracks, 18 sessions, 15 speakers, almost 200 attendees

If there hasn’t been one already in your area, why not start one? There’s just a couple major differences between a TechFest and a CodeCamp – TechFest can be any thing technology oriented, Microsoft Exchange, Sql Server, Data Security, Project Management, etc, where as a CodeCamp is typically "developer centric". A TechFest can have sponsorship, vendors, etc. – why not have the funds to provide bigger prizes, T-shirts and just an all around bigger event?

www.TechFests.com will be up shortly ( it is currently redirecting to TulsaTechFest) to be the one stop location for locations, dates and details on any and all TechFests.

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