All in all, tech-ed was worth it this year.
If you’re an an IT professional, then visiting tech-ed is a valuable learning experience. Even though most of my job involves off-the-shelf process control software, this software is still running on the Windows platform, and uses Windows and Microsoft technologies to work.
So for the purpose of administering and troubleshooting software on the windows platform, it is important to know how the software works, what it’s capabilities and configuration options are, and how it fits into the larger ‘Microsoft’ eco system.
By attending tech-ed and choosing the appropriate tracks, it is possible to keep a broad perspective. By knowing the important basic aspects of Windows 2008 and SQL server, Active Directory and other related things, I can get a better understanding, which will always come in handy eventually. Sooner or later we’ll run Windows 2008 and Vista, or ‘7’, or SQL server 2008, or something else.
And some things are downright practical already: The capabilities of powershell are astounding, and can definitely make life much easier in cases where now batch files are used that are not always easy to understand, or unable to provide much feedback when run as a scheduled task.
From that perspective, tech-ed was definitely a success.