Tech.Ed 2013 – Day 2, Wednesday 4th September

So now we move onto the start of Day 2 (which is technically Day 1…I think >.>) Also, I forgot to mention one of the most memorable events from Day 1 at the welcome reception – the “head licking” incident. There’ll be shout-outs later for that one.

Wednesday, 4th Sept:

I was exceptionally proud of myself – I got up when my alarm went off at 7 so that I could have breakfast (cereal and tea, for those wondering), get dressed, grab my gear and head out the door so I could be in place for the first session at 8:15am. I’m pretty awesome, if I do say so myself – others think so too, I had a Twitter hashtag for Tech.Ed – no joke! #jessisawesome was *all* about me! ^_^

For those who are unaware, I am a baking fiend. I love baking. LOVE baking. So, as a nice gesture, I baked for the presenters at Tech.Ed 2013 – this was due to my cupcakes being such a hit at the BIG AU presentation on the Monday night. So I came down with 4 dozen cupcakes – 2 dozen large cupcakes and 2 dozen mini cupcakes. Sadly, I wasn’t up quite early enough to get to the speakers room (if I could’ve found it by myself!) in order to drop them off, but that was fine. Headed off to my first session, which was insanely good by the way – “Intro to Windows Server 2012 R2” – no point going through the nitty gritty, because you’ll all be going off to look at the presentation, but WOAH! Hyper V changes, storage changes, cloud changes, availability changes. Mind. Blown.

Must’ve been good, held my attention for the entire sessions and before I knew it, it was 9:30 and time to move to the next session! I’d spotted a speaker I knew (again, shout outs will be on my wrap-up Firday post) who was kind enough to take me past the speaker room to drop off my cupcake load. They went down very well – when I walked past a few hours later, all cupcakes had gone O.o

I still have a few left, bumped into some Twitter peeps who rapidly consumed my remaining cupcakes (I can’t do it justice in words, you have to watch the video), and then headed off to my next session: “Active Directory Deployment and Management Enhancements” which was an instructor led lab. Must’ve been popular because when I rocked up, there was no room. Sad face. Really wanted to poke it with a stick seeing as how I live and breathe AD. All good there’s a duplicate session on tomorrow!

Wandered through the Expo Hall, speaking with vendors, collecting some more swag and grabbed myself come morning tea when it became available (I remember there was fruit, so I was happy). It was nice to just sit and chill for a little while, because there’s so much information, there’s so many people to talk to, so many vendors to get data sheets from…it can be a little overwhelming. I remember my first Tech.Ed, I came home and needed to sleep for 24 hours just to catch up!

Next session up was MSCA exam cram – this was by far one of the most useful sessions I’ve attended at Tech.Ed, seeing as how I’m an MS Cert n00b, and haven’t yet obtained my certification (or even sat a single exam). It was really good to hear from someone exactly what’s involved in the exam process, the types of questions you’re going to get, how they try and trip you up and the material that would be covered for the 2012 exam that I’m planning on sitting. If you’re at Tech.Ed and you’re thinking of sitting an exam, make sure you attending one of these sessions – they’re absolutely invaluable.

Headed off a little early so as to get a good seat for the WiT lunch – which was AWESOME, as usual. It’s amazing to see so many talented and interested women at Tech.Ed and I swear the number keeps going up. I’d be interested in getting the numbers from Microsoft in regards to the split of attendees over the last 5-10 years. Sorry – sidetracked there! The WiT lunch was probably one of my favourite sessions, from a personal perspective. The main subject was “The Importance of Mentoring and Your Career” – which couldn’t be more important. Sitting and listening just cemented in me how important it is for me to ensure I do have mentors within my life for my career. I’ve already started working on that!

There were a few different sessions after lunch, but none immediately grabbed my eye. I wandered into three or so over the next few hours (including “Real World Troubleshooting” which was really good!), as well as sitting down and doing some labs in the TLC area. Always nice to poke at things in your own time rather than trying to follow along with an instructor. I tend to learn a bit more while playing (and breaking!) things.

I then decided to wander off to the hotel, relax for a bit, catch a half hour nap, and then head on out for food prior to the vendor party a bunch of us were attending that night. Worked well, except the nap – being on the 8th floor meant that I could hear all the traffic and traffic is quite loud at 4:30/5pm along the Gold Coast Highway. -.-

Poked people who were out for food and then sauntered on down the to Beer Thai Garden. Seriously, if you’re down at Broadbeach, head here. The guy who runs it is hysterical. Going there was worth it just for him alone, but the food was really good too (if a little slow due to the large number of geeks that had just descended on the place). Food completed, with much giggling at the host, we then wandered back to MooMoo’s for $Vendor party, which was pumping by the time we got there. The place was just *packed*. There was barely standing room. I was lucky enough to have some gents save me a seat, grabbed a wine (or two) and sat in for a night of drinking. Stomach, however, had other plans – so headed back to hotel around 9pm. Was probably a good thing, considering the previous evening. All in all, a good day, with plenty more to come!

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