Posted by Dan Rigsby on August 18th, 2008
I didn’t think it was possible, but I am heading to Microsoft PDC 2008 this year. I was lucky and fortunate enough to have someone hook me up with a miracle ticket to the event. The ticket does come with a “price” though: I have to speak at a couple of events afterwards. That isn’t much of a price really, I appreciate any opportunity to share with others and to be able to speak at bigger events (expect more information on these events later as I learn more). This will be my first major Microsoft conference and needless to say, I am quite excited.
For those you attending PDC, drop me a line and we can try to meet up. I would love to get together with old friends and meet those of you that I have haven’t had the opportunity to run into I expect to live blog and stay active on Twitter while I am out there. However, if you can, register and come to this event.
What is PDC
Since 1991, Microsoft’s Professional Developers Conference (PDC) is the definitive Microsoft event for software developers and architects focused on the future of the Microsoft platform. This is the first PDC event in 3 years. There are many well known and excellent speakers lined up over many sessions. Expect a lot of product announcements and get a view for Microsoft has in store for the future of developers.
PDC is part of a family of three Microsoft technical conferences for developers:
- PDC (Los Angeles, CA) is usually a bi-annual event focused on the future of the Platform and technical strategy.
- Tech-Ed Developers Conference (Orlando, FL) is an annual event focused on in-depth technical training on Microsoft’s current products.
- MIX Conference (Las Vegas, NV) is an annual event aimed at developers, designers and business decision makers who build next generation consumer web sites. This conference is used to announce new technologies for web development as well as training for current products.
When and where is it
Pre-Conference: October 26, 2008
Conference: October 27–30, 2008
Los Angeles Convention Center
1201 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015
You can register directly online at: http://www.microsoftpdc.com/Registration/. When you register you can also sign up for your choice of 23 different hotels that you can stay at ranging in price from $139 to $279 a night. You can always register now, then come back in and choose a hotel later. You will want to stay at one of the hotels listed on the web site so that you can take advantage to shuttles to the various events as well as being able to hang out with other developers in the bar.
If you want to book a room in the same hotel as me or want to meet up for a drink. I will be staying at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel and plan on checking in Saturday afternoon (October 25, 2008) and heading back Friday morning (October 31, 2008).
The cost of the conference itself is $2395. However, they have extended the early bird registration price of $2195 until September 8th, 2008. So you have some time still to get a “discounted” ticket.
The cost of the pre-conference is another $400, but is worth it if you are going to be making the trip out to LA anyway.
Registration assistance and questions:
|United States Telephone:||1-877-795-2478|
Registration Team hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Pacific Time.
Who should attend
The marketing definition:
“The PDC is designed for leading-edge developers and software architects. If you’re interested in the future of the Microsoft platform, you’re responsible for the technical strategy in your organization, or you’re a highly skilled developer who likes to delve deep into the heart of the platform, then the PDC is for you!”
Anyone who uses or works Microsoft technologies, particularly with .Net, should really consider attending this conference. I am not going to suggest that your entire team goes, but I do think it is a good idea for each company to try to send 1 or 2 people to this event. Those people can always come back and present to the rest of the company about what they learned and experienced. This will be worth your time and your company’s time/money. If you like to learn or ask questions, you should make your best effort to get to this event!
This year looks like it will focus on cloud programming with Oslo and Live Mesh. If you do any kind of work with distributed systems in .Net such as Wcf, Remoting, Web Services, etc, then you should pay extra close attention to what is announced at this conference. I’m sure there will be quite a few surprises for everyone though.
Why you should attend
They haven’t hosted a PDC since 2005 when they announced Office 2007, Asp.Net AJAX (Atlas), Silverlight (WPF-e), and LINQ. You can bet there will be some other big announcements this year too. Almost everything announced at the 2005 event has been released. However in the past there have been a few announcements that never saw the light of day (Hailstorm, WinFS, etc). In any case, I am sure the Microsoft marketing engine will make all of us very excited about the future.
Here are my Top 5 reasons for why you should attend:
- Learn about the future of Microsoft technology. This is what you will be working with, so get learning early.
- Meet up with friends, Microsoft Employees, and industry bigwigs.
- The Attendee Party will be a Universal Studios Hollywood again this year. This means free food and booze.
- All sorts of swag and freebies. Be sure to bring an empty suitcase or two just for this.
- Sessions, Sessions, Sessions!
The session list has been posted, but I bet there will be changes and additions before the event. There are currently 84 sessions listed on the web site with speakers such as Don Box and Anders Hejlsberg. I wish I were speaking at this event too. Perhaps someday I will work my way up to something of this caliber.
- A Lap around "Oslo"
- "Oslo": The Language
- "Oslo": Repository and Schemas
- The Future of C#
- Live Platform: Building Mesh Applications
- Live Platform: Mesh Services Architecture Deep Dive
- Windows Workflow Foundation: Futures
- Securing Your Service Using the Federated Identity Services
What is a conference without all of the “extras” outside of the major event?
This year’s keynote speakers are Ray Ozzie (Chief Software Architect) and Rick Rashid (Senior Vice President, Microsoft Research). According to the speaker site though, we should expect to hear about more major keynote speakers soon.
Unlike PDC which is focused on new technology, the pre-conference sessions will give deep training on current technologies. If you are going to make the trip out there anyway, you should consider joining one of these sessions for extra training. Personally, I would love to attend the “Working with Wcf” session presented by Juval Lowy and Ron Jacobs!
Tuesday night all attendees are invited to enjoy a night at Universal Studios Hollywood. Attendees have the park to themselves with food and drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) provided complimentary by Microsoft. You can even bring purchase Guest Passes for others for $125 each. So, if your spouse makes the trip out with you, they don’t have to stay in the hotel all week.
Got some code, tools, tips, architecture, etc you want to “show off” to others? PDC gives you an opportunity to show off your work to a large number of interesting and influential people. Not only that, but winners of the best “show off” will win some non-announced prizes.
Even if you don’t show off your own code, you can still attend this event to see what others are doing and to enjoy the free theater-style food.
Throughout the conference there will be a partner expo with over 100 sponsors and exhibitors ready to teach you about their products and technology. This is a great chance to learn more about 3rd party products, enter giveaways, take home swag, etc.
Want to see how others are using Microsoft and 3rd party technologies? Perhaps you want to learn how to make use of some technology, but never quite understood what all it could do. Amazing Scenarios are demonstrated Monday – Wednesday to show off how real customers are making use of of the products in the PDC Expo area.
Ask the Experts
Wednesday night from 6-9pm is your chance to ask the experts the questions you have been dieing to ask. Over 200 tables will be set with speakers and staff knowledgeable in all of the areas presented at PDC. This is an excellent opportunity to really dig in deep on a technology. I like that it is near the end of the conference. This gives you plenty of time to formulate questions and comments. Do not miss this event.
Hands On Labs
Hands on labs will be available to help you learn and drill down into the latest Microsoft technologies. The list of labs hasn’t been posted yet, but expect it to cover current technologies and maybe some of the new futures.
Microsoft Product Pavilion
This is your chance to learn and demo Microsoft products and technologies. Have you ever seen a Surface PC? I bet they will have at least one here to demo. The best part of this is that the hosts are the product team members who worked on these products, so you can ask some detailed questions and learn all you can.
You gotta love ad-hoc speeches and discussions. I am hoping we will see some interesting open spaces from some big names in the industry. Open spaces are interactive discussions about any topic the group deems worthy.
There is a lot to learn at PDC. The lounges offer you a place to unwind or meet up with friends. It’s the perfect place to share what you have learned, blog about the event, relax, etc.
Women in Technology Networking Event
There are women in technology and they are making a huge impact on the industry. the Women in Technology (WIT) networking event gives the opportunity to share stories and learn about women in the industry. Discussions will cover challenges that women face in the IT world and tools and organizations to help support women in the male-dominated field.
- Become a fan of Microsoft PDC on Facebook
- Follow PDC2008 on Twitter for up to date information
- Check out what others are saying about PDC2008 with Twitter hashtags:
- Post and explore PDC2008 images on Flickr