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The fuse for Ignite is lit!

Less than  5 days from now I’ll be winging my way to Chicago for Microsoft Ignite!
Tech-Ed last year was phenomenal and had a tremendous impact on my outlook on our industry. I can’t say enough good things about how these types of events are crucial for the IT pro in a small/medium business. This year with the combined Ignite conference, it’s even bigger and with even more things to learn and people to meet.

Let me tell you my week is BOOKED! Sunday is badge and materials pick up first thing in the morning, then on to a full day pre-conference session on Windows 10 Deployment. Sunday night I’m going to call it a night early to do some last minute review for the 70-411 Administering Windows Server 2012 exam I’m going to take instead of lunch on Monday.
The exams are half off with a free retake in 30 days so I figure what the heck right?

The rest of Monday is going to be keynotes and sessions.I’m really interested to see if there are going to be any announcements for Windows 10. The latest ‘leaked’ info is late July. Maybe Satya Nadella will give us a solid target date! Monday evening is the opening of the Expo and this year it’s tied in with the Ask the Experts so that should be interesting and fun. I have a list of people to meet. Some of them are to shake their hand and thank them for their work, some to pick their brains, and quite a few of both. The top of the list are the guys and of course the Microsoft guys. This year I’m going to come out of my shell a bit and get some pictures and signatures,

Tuesday-Friday is all classes wall to wall! In most cases, I’m at least double and sometimes triple booked. That may seem strange at first but as the week progresses things may pop up that change your focus. Like for example last year PowerShell was a minor thread when I arrived in Houston for Tech-Ed but by Tuesday it was the major thing I wanted to hear more about. That caused me to be scurrying to change schedules midweek. I learned quickly that having a fallback schedule in case the room fills or your focus shifts is a good idea.

Then of course there are the happy hours, the vendor parties, the Microsoft parties, and all the social stuff going on all week. There should be no lack of things to do, food to eat and people to meet! On an interesting side note, I find our from our Marketing department at work that one of the biggest “Marketing and Design” conferences is also in Chicago that same week! So downtown Chicago should be rocking all week!

With this being a “new” conference melded from several other conferences ( Exchange, SharePoint, etc) there are some new things that are kind of cool. Like for example there is a Yammer network dedicated to the event. There is a method of publishing your schedule, which may or may not turn out to be a good thing. All in all , it seems like there is even more focus on social media and cloud this year.

So to wrap this up here’s the goals for this year:

    1. Learn more about Windows 10
    2. Learn about Office 365 migrations and ROI
    3. Learn everything they’ll tell about Windows Nano Server
Plus I have a small list of other questions to ask specific vendors.
So I’ve got a big week next week. That makes this week all cram and prep and make sure everything at work is locked down so I’m not distracted by problems back at the office.

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