Adam Webster: What I Hope To Learn At TechEd

Come Monday, Team Lifehacker will be in New Orleans for TechEd North America, the climax of our World Of Servers adventure. Our series on what we’re hoping to learn continues with our first contest winner from this year, Adam Webster.

So I’m off to Tech Ed and the countdown has begun. I still have to pinch myself as a reminder that I’ve won this competition and that soon I will be heading off to New Orleans, the city of soul and sin. From Monday next week I’ll be attending Microsoft’s annual ‘be there or be square’ event for technology enthusiasts, Tech Ed. It was only a few weeks ago that I entered the Lifehacker competition and then received ‘that’ phone call advising I had won. That’s something I will never forget.

Part of winning the trip to Tech Ed in New Orleans is blogging about the event for Lifehacker’s World Of Servers coverage. The first thing that comes to mind is what makes a good blogger and will anyone read my posts? It is for me the trip of a lifetime but I do feel like the new guy on the football team and the one who’s not sure if he can kick properly. I’ve never done any blogging — in fact this is my first ever blog post (insert applause) — but I’m extremely excited about this opportunity and the challenges it will bring.

I’ve been familiar with Tech Ed for several years and while I work with many colleagues who have attended I have not yet had that opportunity. So now it’s my turn! That being said I do need to say thank you to a colleague who made me aware of the competition via a Lync message one late afternoon. Thank you Peter, I’ll make sure I bring you something back!

As for a bit about me: well, I’m 6’2″ and weigh in at about 100 kilograms. (Embarrassed editor’s note: No way am I disclosing my weight! I also work as an ICT Tech Lead for a government utility provider. My role is primarily focused around capital project delivery, developing ICT standards and operational handover activities. I can’t disclose a lot about the internal workings of my employment but we are seeing a landscape which is changing considerably with BYOD and SaaS.

In terms of Tech Ed itself, there are so many things I’m excited about and looking forward to, and not just meeting people, jam sessions and Po-Boys. A lot has already been written and spoken about with Windows Server 2012. The slogan “Built from the Cloud Up” is the first thing that comes to mind and it’s clear Microsoft has spent a lot of time and resources targeting areas like the Cloud and virtualisation. I have been to some workshops on Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 but to date my exposure has been minimal so I’m eager to get as much out of this event as I can. Hyper-V, Clustering, Active Directory and maybe even ‘Windows To go’ are certainly some areas I would like to visit and with Microsoft now having formalised the agenda over the last few weeks I’m now in the process of seeing how I can get the most out of the event. Thankfully Lifehacker’s Angus Kidman and last year’s winner David Klemke have shared some insights into Tech Ed and how to best plan for it. The pre event material and apps that have also been produced are also proving beneficial to newbies like me, so it’s time to get busy.

With less than a week sto go I’ve still got a bit of running around to do. It’s time to polish my boots and pump up the footy. I’ve always been known for leaving things to the last minute so hopefully I can avoid that this time. In terms of travel and long flights I have never been to America and I’m over the moon about visiting New Orleans. A quick YouTube search has had me viewing the history that is the French Quarter and the buzz that is the Smoking Time Jazz Club. I will blog each day about the event and share key points as I see it. My aim is to share as much of this experience as I can in the simplest way possible. You can also find me on twitter at @websteradam.

The chance to meet new people, travel to a new city and grow myself personally and professionally will be most rewarding. New Orleans here I come. I’ll see you there!

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