Next week I’m going to be attending the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference or PDC. I’m very fortunate to have been able to attend three PDC’s previously in 2003, 2005, and 2008. These events included the first looks at Windows Longhorn, Avalon, Aero, Indigo, IE7, Office 12 and “the ribbon”, first looks at Windows 7, Azure, and the Surface SDK.
PDC 2003 was the first time I was able to hear Bill Gates speak live (And never would have guess I’d have lunch with him less than 5 years later). PDC is also first met some of the developers that have helped shape my career, becoming highly valued mentors and friends.
For anybody attending PDC for the first time this year, I encourage you to take full advantage of the opportunity, but don’t feel the you need to attend every single session. While the sessions are great, this event brings together that absolute best minds and talent related to Microsoft technologies. Make some time to interact and ask some questions. Take a few moments and sit back and listen to what others are asking. I still tell people the story about listening to Don Demsak, Kirk Evans, Peter Provost , and more debating over some minor aspect of the SOAP web service protocol, and during the course of that conversation having my eyes opened to more knowledge and viewpoints on a wide array of topics than any single session that week.
An excellent way to get out and meet some people is the INETA Birds Of A Feather sessions that are taking place during PDC. The list of sessions is on the conference schedule, so take a look at find a session that’s of interest to you. The BoF room is also a great place to stop in to see what’s going at PDC and meet some people actively involved in user group communities across the nation and around the world. For more information on the sessions, visit http://www.pdcbof.com/.
I’m looking forward to the technology surprises that lay ahead next week, but more importantly I look forward to the people I will share the week with, the things I will learn, and the opportunities that will be created by interacting with them. If you’re attending, I hope I get the chance to chat with you!
For anybody not attending, Channel 9 will be streaming the keynote sessions live and broadcasting live from the PDC with a variety guests. Many members of the developer community not attending are participating in www.notatpdc.com presenting a variety of sessions during the week via Live Meeting.