Build 2012 … counting down

Tomorrow is the day I will drive to the airport, hop on a plane and move myself to Redmond (Bellevue to be exact) to settle down for the second edition of //Build, Build 2012.

What can we expect? I don’t know … According to the agenda registration opens on Monday from 3-8PM to collect a … badge (again, according to what we know is published on www.buildwindows.com).

Other than that, there is Breakfast, Sessions, Lunch, More Sessions, Lunch, Breakfast, Sessions, Lunch, More Sessions and hé a “Beer Fest”, on Haloween!

Breakfast, Sessions, Lunch, More Sessions and another (!) party, the Attendee Party. Breakfast, Sessions, Lunch, More Sessions and … Conference Ends.

What?!?!? You say … Is that it? Is that why it sold out within the hour? What is all the fuzz about, you may think?

Well yes and no. Sure, it’s ‘just’ another conference as every other conference. Sessions, eating, drinking and sleeping. That’s it.

No, stupid! That’s not it! There is so much more than meets the eye! Let me discuss a couple of things and maybe I can convince you.

First of all there is the dedicated attention from you to the presenter. When I’m at home, I often try to find a webcast, recording, LiveMeeting of session done on earlier shows and conferences just to learn a couple of new things when I’m having my lunch or just ate dinner. I start to listen to what they have to say but I realize that after a while I started to do some other things. Opening another browser, working on my administration, test some code … you get the picture. My attention moved away from the presentation to do ‘more important’ stuff. It is not more important, but that is what you think at that time. On a conference, you are traveling light. You don’t bring all the stuff you have at home so even if you wanted you cannot do what you did at home. Also there he/she is, right in front of you, so it is somewhat embarrassing to do other things in a big crowd.

Second, there is the networking element. The conference is hosted on Microsoft Campus this year, so changes are that you’ll meet one or more guys from the development team and talk to the guys one on one. I’ve been there before and it appeared that the bug you reported and never got through to fix you were able to show them but now one-on-one and you could put your comments next to it and all the sudden the bug is picked up and fixed a couple of weeks later. It really happens! That alone is worth a lot more than the conference fee and T&C all together.

Third, there is the networking element. Ohw, I already mentioned that? No I didn’t! This time I mean networking with your peers. You are there with hundreds, no thousands of other developers, designers and architects and there is a 100% chance, not even a chance anymore, that you will see some things from those guys that you have never seen before. A shortcut, a library, a method, way of working, whatever. Guaranteed you will pick something up that you can use from now on!

Fourth … Energy! You’ll get so much energy from these events. Everyone who has been at one of the shows before, PDC, TechEd, DevDays, will confirm that they left the conference full of new ideas and can’t wait to start working on it. Downside is that, almost immediately, you also get back into the old issues that are still there when you return home. But now you have this glow of energy to move on. Think of other great solutions that you haven’t thought of before!

Fifth, meeting all your old other conference buddies. There are people that I know from years and years ago, and it is always a pleasure to meet one or more guys from the ‘old boys network’.

Sixth … Well I can go on and on about it. Even as the contents for the conference is not revealed I am pretty sure the conference will be a success. And if I have a couple of hours left I drag what’s left from me over to the Microsoft Store, Apple Store and Best Buy to name a few and bring some cool gadgets home that we don’t have (yet) in the Netherlands!

Looking at the clock it is almost 1PM again and in about 6 hours I must be up and awake again, ready to move to the airport. The next days I will keep you updated and if there is news you’ll hear it, through my Twitter account (@aafvstam), Facebook or this blog!

See you at the other (for some the right) side of the ocean!

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About Maarten van Stam
I'm a Software Engineer, working at one of the top 3 accounting firms. Technology watcher, always looking for news and trends on technology. Received 13 Microsoft MVP Awards.. "My work is my hobby/my hobby is my work" - so you can find me almost at any time near a computer. If I'm not there it's most likely that I spend my time with my family - wife (undisclosed ;-) ), daughter (15) and son (13).

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