Knock on wood, I’m going. The reason I’m going is not awesome, but I’m going. The person who was supposed to go, was laid off, and even though he was technically on another team, we really needed him on our team. Alas, he moved on and the ticket, air fare, and hotel were already paid for. So, they looked around and decided to pin it on my forehead. “Congrats!” Bittersweet, is the word that comes to mind.
In any case, I can’t say “no” anyway, so I make plans and get my things ready for travel.
I attended Microsoft TechEd in 2011 (Atlanta), and 2012 (Orlando). Both were compliments of the customer for whom I was consulting with at the time. Years before that, in my previous professional life, I attended more Autodesk University conferences than I can count. I still recall some of the locations, like Los Angeles, Boston, Las Vegas (more than once), and I think there were others.
They’re usually fun, and packed with all sorts of expected and unexpected information downloads. I’m looking forward to this one because I will actually get to meet some of my colleagues in person, which is rare at my company. I work from home, as do most of the others, so we “meet” via Skype, Webex and cell phone most of the time. The last time we met in person was October 2015.
I have to warn people who’ve only met me online, that in person, I’m boring as shit. I observe things mostly. Then I tweet about them, text or Instagram them, and occasionally blog about them. I may do some crazy things once in a while, but for the most part I’m boring and crack stupid, dry jokes at a rate commensurate with my caffeine intake multiplied by the square root of how much sleep I’ve had. If I’ve had plenty of sleep, a stomach full of food, and some sort of alcoholic beverage in hand, I can recite the entire King James Bible backwards and without any vowels. At least, that’s what it’ll sound like.
Anyhow, I should be easy to spot at the conference. I’ll be dressed just like everyone else, and probably have the same hair cut and blank expression. One sure way to find me, is to look for the guy who’s staring at his phone all the time. Not like anyone else does that.
Aside from that, I will be observing people and events. I’ll also probably tweet some silly mindless drivel as usual, depending upon my surroundings. If get detached from my brethren and become disillusioned I’ll wander around the expo area and, wait a minute, I’m heading there first! I need to grab all the good swag before it’s gone. But do so tastefully, so as not to offend or draw attention.
If you really want to run into me and chat, here’s a picture to help identify me. Good luck!
By the way, the image at the top is symbolic. It’s how I picture what we’ll look back at 2016 from 2026, assuming I live that long. If you think that’s too short in the future, keep in mind that ten years ago, Facebook was just announced and MySpace was king of the world. 🙂