Got down Monday afternoon – checked into hotel, took husband out for lunch. The giantest schnitzel I’ve ever seen, at Koi.
Once he’d bailed back to Brisbane, unpacked (I don’t travel light >.>) and then decided to head over to go through registration before the hoards descended. Registered, got my bag, got to the traffic lights to head to the hotel…and then THE HEAVENS OPENED.
I was saturated – head to toe. Clothes, shoes, hair bag. Had to have a shower, blow dry of hair and (luckily, as I’m in a self-contained apartment) put my clothes through the dryer to get them both warm and dry.
Headed out for a few drinks at Jupiters with some Twitter people and ended up at a lovely Japanese place. Really nice food! Back to the hotel and a good nights sleep ready for the next day.
Tuesday morning dawns and it’s time to head over and get “inducted”. Go collect my speaker shirts (yes, two…because I’m speaking twice!) and then head to the speaker induction. It was a really good presentation from Jeff Alexander and made those of us who were new speakers feel somewhat calmer about the whole thing. The whole speaker thing is a bit daunting for those who’ve never done it before, and it’s great to have such a supporting team. All the people I’ve dealt with at Microsoft have been absolutely amazing.
It was also at this time we were given our speaker gifts – got an *amazing* Plantronics headset which I will be using the living bejebus out of, because anything that’s noise cancelling and wireless is just awesome.
It was then time to start lining up for the keynote – and had an impromptu interview (of which part of was included in a “Day 1 Wrap up!” (around the 30 second mark for all of 3 seconds :P) and then we headed into the keynote.
The keynote was pretty amazing – it was great to see a product leader (Brad Anderson) being technical and showing technical stuff – a lot of which was just brilliant (but then, I’m biased!) around security and how to do things better. I think the part that stuck most with me was the following:
“Be a leader – for things to change you have to *do* things”
I’m big on that – if you want something to change, you have to do something about it and be the champion for it yourself!
So after the keynote, I floated between a few different talks – have to say, was a little disappointed with a few of them, as they were very sales-pitchy… which is not what I really want to hear. I came to hear people talk about technical things that I can look at doing, not try and sell me a product that I will never get my org to buy…
I did attend a great talk by Stu Fox on Azure networking stuff – if anyone can explain networking in a way that *I* can understand it, you know they’re good!
Ended the day at the Expo opening – sadly, didn’t get a chance to have any dinner, talking to too many people! (Did manage to sneak a few glasses of sparkling wine though… >.>)
The Expo opening was great fun – lots of people, lots of exhibitors, lots of laughing. A really good time.
Have to say at this point, a huge shoutout to NetApp for having *THE BEST* swag I’ve ever got at a conference – build your own Lego minifig. Seriously. Freakin’. Awesome. ^_^
After the Expo opening, heading across to Jupiters again for a few drinks…which ended up being quite a few, as it took so long between rounds (must’ve been student night or something – so packed!) before finally crashing back at the hotel around midnight.
So Day 1 (and Day 0 :P) done… will be back with a recap of Wednesday tomorrow!