Blog Posts from May 2004 (page 1 of 3)

Tech·Ed Day 4

My session yesterday went very well. Current score is 7.95 which makes it the second highest session from the track so far – John’s Realizing SOA session currently scores an 8.17 and there are several other sessions in the high 7′s. It’s very interesting to watch the scores change. For example, the score for the Metropolis Discussion has gone from 6.8 to 7.08 since yesterday.

After the session, I had a full cabaña session that felt like it could have gone on for hours if I hadn’t cut it short in order to make it to SeaWorld for the attendee party. The party was fun. I spent the early part of the evening hanging out with the overall owner of this year’s Tech·Ed, next year’s Tech·Ed, the content owner for Tech·Ed and several of the other track owners. Then, a la PDC, I hung out with Peter and started conversations with whoever walked by. Not as many spontaneous conversations as PDC since the audience at Tech·Ed is only half developers, but still very interesting. Also, having the event in San Diego drew lots of families. Attendees could buy tickets to bring their family members to the SeaWorld party, and it looked like many people took advantage of that opportunity. (Something to keep in mind for next year.)

It’s amazing how much work goes into this event. Planning for Tech·Ed 2005 (Orlando, FL) & 2006 (Boston, MA) is well underway and they are just getting started on Tech·Ed 2007. Thankfully, content planning hasn’t started yet. There’s a big internal MSFT conference in July and many of the Tech·Ed track content owners also own content for the internal conference, so I think content planning won’t start until at least August or September. I was a late addition to the Tech·Ed 2004 virtual team – I’m looking forward to being involved much earlier with next year’s Tech·Ed. I learned a ton this year both by thrown-in-the-deep-end experience as well as observing my fellow track owners who have done this many times. I’m very happy with this year’s track, but I know next year will be even better for the Architecture Track!

Today should be a easy day hanging out in the cabaña, avoiding mail and having low-key conversations with customers. I fly out tonight – I get in late, but I just found out I’m got upgraded to first class so at least I’ll be comfy. The big question is whether I will watch a movie or start hacking around with the May VS2005 preview. Given my exhaustion level, I’m guessing I’ll go for a movie, but I’m setting up a new VPC for VS2005 just in case.

TechEd Days 2 & 3

After the first two days left me in a daze, I’ve been taking it as easy as I can. Most of my time during the day has been spent in the cabaña where the couches are very comfy. Of course, time in the cabaña isn’t exactly “taking it easy” – we may have less traffic than the Dev and Office cabañas on either side, but there are still lots of attendees to sit down and chat about architecture with. I’ve had several fascinating discussions about SOAP-enabling building control systems (HVAC, Access control, lighting, etc) with the chair of the Open Building Information Exchange (oBIX) OASIS Technical Committee.

Tuesday night was laid back – dinner @ the hotel pub and a relatively early night. Last night I went to the Office party @ the Hard Rock Cafe. There were a bunch of guys who had come to the Road Rally on Sunday so we hung out for quite a while drinking and talking architecture. Tonight is the big attendee party @ Sea World. I assume it will be much like the attendee party @ PDC – mostly drinking beer and talking w/ other attendees.

My final presentation is in 45 minutes as I type this – Data in Service Oriented Architecture. So far, my scores for the sessions I did Monday are pretty good. The Metropolis overview scored ~7.6 out of 9 and the Metropolis Discussion a ~6.8. These keep changing since the eval systems stay open until the end of the conference. Given the craziness with the last-minute speaker change, I’m OK with those scores. They give us access to all the anonymous raw scores and comments which is great for improving my performance in later sessions. For example, apparently I spoke too fast on Monday (hey, I was nervous!) so I’ll be specifically working on that today.

Of course, you can’t keep everyone happy all the time. A few members commented that they didn’t like the Metropolis analogy. Apparently, someone who didn’t like the Metropolis Overview also showed up for the Metropolis Discussion, still didn’t like it and commented we should “get off” the analogy. Why you would show up for the discussion if you didn’t like the overview? I’ve also seen several comments that the Architecture track has no code. Not sure how to address that since the lack of code is by design! Of course, such growing pains are to be expected for our first time at TechEd.

Apparently, Nagging Works

My father, who I’ve written about and who has commented here several times, finally started his own blog called Hal 9000 . He’s using Google’s new service, which I guess means there is no RSS feed. I can’t find a link to any syndication feed on the site. Of course, since it took him a week to email me the address, maybe he’s looking to duck my criticism? 😄

Seriously, my Dad has been a *HUGE* influence on my career (though he always thought I switched jobs too often – I say I was just looking for the right place which I finally found @ MSFT). He’s been around UNIX and C since the start. From Dad’s first post:

I’ve been around computing for a long time! My first job after getting my doctorate was at Bell Labs. In the Spring 1971 I installed my first Unix system – with Ken Thompson help. Because my thesis delt with compiler theory I was interested in C from the beginning – static routines was my suggestion.

Over the years I’ve worked on air traffice controls systems, case and office tools, handwriting recognition algorithms, to name a few. I am one of the authors of the Systems Engineering CMM.

Currently, I teach OO Programming, and OO Analysis & Design at Johns Hopkins University (part-time engineering school)

My current interests include Security & Enterprise Architectures for a large gov’t agency; designing Service Orient Architectures; and software development tools.

Just yesterday, I ran into a TechEd attendee who worked at Bell Labs back in the day who recognized my last name. A friend of mine who’s an architect evangelist for MSFT also recognized my name from his days at Bell Labs. Sure is a small world.

Dad has also commented on Clemens lightweight transactions post and discussed modeling. I can’t wait to see his reaction to Visual Studio 2005 Architect Edition’s modeling tools.

I added a link to Hal 9000 in my navigation links section. At this rate, will I need a family blog roll?

TechEd Days 0 & 1

I wasn’t kidding about the calm before TechEd – I’ve been slammed for the last 36 hours – hence the lack of posts. Between 11,000+ attendees, our Road Rally and having to fill in for Pat, I’m only just now getting a chance to blog, 36 hours after TechEd started.

I had some free time during the day Sunday, but there wasn’t anything going on yet, so there wasn’t much to post. Then, Sunday night, we had our Architect Road Rally, which I think was a success. There were some issues – registration was a real problem in the beginning. The first three buses brought 50 people each, most of whom we had to register on site so it created a reg backlog. Even though we made some changes on site – primarily not printing event-specific badges for on-site registered attendees – I realize that registration really stunk for about 30-45 minutes after the event started. I think that, once we got past that issue, most people had a good time. Our event staff found a great venue and hired a great company to provide entertainment in the form of RC racing. John introduced me to the Rallisport Challenge 2 people, so we had Xboxes featuring RSC2. The raffles were very popular as were the event shirts – I saw around a dozen people wearing the event shirts today. So, other than the reg issues, I’d say the event worked out as well as I had hoped. TechEd 2004 is our team’s first large scale event to be formally involved in – our events typically run 250 attendees total. To compare, we drew almost 300 for the Road Rally. Marketing an event like this is really tough. The venue could support 300-400 people,  but there are 11,000+ TechEd attendees. Even if we only invited architects, there are still somewhere around 1500 attendees who consider themselves architects @ TechEd this year. In the end, while we could have done much better on registration, I really enjoyed the party and think most attendees did too. We certainly had a large number of people on the last couple of busses back to the convention center.

Today started with SteveB’s keynote and the announcements of WSE2 availability, the Information Bridge Framework, and the VS Team System. Becky demoed WSE2 + IBF and Prashant demoed VS Team System. The website was live before the keynote started, a fact I pointed out to Peter who blogged it as Steve was announcing it. Lots of people have been waiting for WSE2 RTM, but I’m really excited to see the response to Team System. I’m working with p&p on some community efforts that will plug into the Architect edition of Team System – watch for that in the coming months.

After the keynote, I delivered ARC300 and 302 – Pat’s sessions. They both went well, though I was pretty nervous during the ARC300 – the Metropolis Overview. Funny, since I’ve delivered that session many times before. Of course, I hadn’t ever delivered it to this large an audience (300 or so – standing room only) or on tape. ARC 302 wasn’t well attended, but those who showed got a preview of Pat’s drilldown on the parallels between the evolution of buildings and applications as well as a good half hour discussion about the metaphor. Maybe since I didn’t have high hopes for that session, I was less nervous. Once Pat finished those new sessions, we’ll tape him presenting them and get them up on the Architecture Strategy Series site as soon as we can.

After the day finished, I ran around getting some track-owner stuff done for tomorrow and then had a HUGE margarita with my team. Now, I need sleep very badly! 😄

The Calm Before The TechEd

Sorry it’s been so quiet around here. And I just had a meeting with a few days ago with Sara Williams where we talked, among many other things, about the need to blog regularly…

I’ve been heads down on final TechEd prep. I’m fairly certain that I’m the only track owner who is also presenting. I know I’m the only track owner who is also doing a track general session. If you keep a close eye on the list of breakouts, you’ll notice that I’m not only presenting ARC 402 (Data in SOA) but I’m now also presenting ARC 300 (Metropolis). Unfortunately, Pat had to cancel his trip to TechEd at the last minute for personal reasons. So, in addition to all the normal last-minute billion details that a track owner has to deal with (most of which would have slipped thru the cracks with out the help of my trusty cabana cohorts Ed and Richard – thanks guys!), I’m also putting the finishing touches on my own session and having to prepare to do Pat’s. I’ve presented Metropolis many times before, most recently last week at the P&P Summit, so presenting ARC 300 isn’t a huge deal. However, we did have to cancel ARC 303 and are still figuring out if we can cover ARC 302. I’m bummed about that, but we’re going to try and get that material recorded at TechEd Europe next month for inclusion in the Architecture Strategy Series.

Even without ARC 302 & 303, we still have a great track. One thing we really tried to do is cover all categories of architecture. Most of our track covers application / solution architecture, but we also have several sessions on infrastructure architecture. I’m really looking forward to ARC 404 – Managing SOA Using Existing Platforms. We had a bit of a crisis on this session a few weeks ago, but we took care of it and the session looks great. I’m guessing lots of people will be interested in “how Microsoft is internally managing Services using current Microsoft technologies”. ARC 304 (Bridging the Gap) and ARC 403 (Defense in Depth) also cover infrastructure architecture and should be really good. We’re also have a session on Business Architecture. ARC 301 (Service Oriented Business Architecture). It’s really interesting to think about how SOA is going to affect the business as well as the application architecture.

See you in San Diego!

Update: for ARC 302, we’re going to have a Metropolis Discussion where we can talk about the Metropolis overview as well as drill down on how applications learn and how data interoperates (i.e. the combined contents of the original ARC 302 & 303 talks). I’ll be moderating and several members of my team will be on hand, but we’re hoping to listen as much as if not more than we talk.