I survived TechEd 2013!
This year was my first year to attend Microsoft’s TechEd 2013…Honestly I had never heard of Teched prior to my director asking me if I would like to attend. I agreed to go and started to do research for what was in store for me at this convention. During my research I learned about a group of IT Pro’s who attend Microsoft TechEd.
This group is called theKrewe (@theKrewe on twitter or on Facebook TheKrewe). I would advise anyone who plans on attending TechEd 2014 to join theKrewe. Membership is FREE and membership has it’s privileges… Because of theKrewe I learned what TechEd had to offer besides sessions, I gained access to after parties, not to mention I met IT Pro’s from around the globe, as well as Microsoft Rockstars like Rick Claus & Joey Snow. theKrewe is like a family of IT Pro’s who keep in touch all year round and get together at TechEd for serious learning and serious partying! I had a blast at TechEd and I am already planning my trip for 2014. If I can give you any advice about TechEd, JOIN theKREWE, seriously you will regret it if you don’t!
Another kudo for being in “theKrewe” at TechEd 2013, Microsoft was offering the Microsoft Surface Pro for $399 and the Surface RT with keyboard cover for $99 to attendees. Being part of theKrewe I received a tip that the Microsoft Store opened early on Sunday. I left the session 10 minutes before the scheduled break, and was able to purchase both units with only a 10-12 minute wait! On Monday thru Wednesday the line for the MS Store was up to 6 1/2 hours long to purchase the surfaces! theKrewe saved me from the long lines! Like I said… Membership has it’s privileges! Without theKrewe I would have been a lost puppy!
Let’s just say at TechEd there are more sessions than one could physically attend on various topics ranging from Microsoft to development, as well as network security. I chose to attend a Pre-Conference seminar on Lessons from the Field: Useful Hacker Techniques for Administrators. Paula Januszkiewicz, Marcus Murray, and Hasain “The Wolf” Alshakarti lead this pre-con and gave excellent presentations on tools (that they wrote) as well as easily available tools that anyone can obtain to do penetration testing. They showed how vulnerable a network really is. Let’s just say I would not want to make enemies with any of these professionals, as they have Uber hacking skills and can easily defeat most corporate networks. Did I learn a thing or two, yes I did, was the information they gave relevant, yes it was. I picked up a few new toys to play with and have added a few more penetration testing skills to my bag of tricks. Over the years I have learned many penetration testing skills, but these guys made me feel like a n00b. Was the pre-con worth the extra money, YES IT WAS! Do yourself a favor and plan on attending the whole event!
After the pre-con I decided to check out all of the cybercrime, cyberattack and security related sessions that I could physically attend. I attended a few more of Paula, Marcus, and Hasain’s sessions as well as a few by Andy Malone and Mark Russinovich. Andy Malone is a great presenter with a lot of useful real world knowledge. I learned a lot from his sessions. Someone told me not to let Andy near your wallet.. I’m guessing he’s a magician too! I would highly advise anyone working with networks or network security to attend their sessions. You will learn a lot, they will show you tools that you would not have known existed and you will learn to test your own networks for vulnerabilites. Mark Russinovich is a Microsoft Legend… all of his sessions are packed, so if you plan on attending get their early, or prepare to sit on the floor or stand!
I won’t go into details on every session that I attended, but there were many great sessions, I learned a lot at TechEd and because of my friends in theKrewe I was able to get software to download all of the TechEd 2013 session videos and power points for viewing locally… I’m looking at some public online storage to share these session, but for anyone who could not attend TechEd 2013.. you can visit http://channel9.msdn.com/. The session videos are currently online (except for the pre-cons). Once I have the videos uploaded I’ll post a link to the online storage 🙂
After attending I can honestly say that “I SURVIVED TechEd”! Thanks to a group of friends called theKrewe!
Here is a sample of my schedule when I was at TechEd… Sunday Pre-con – Sunday Night theKrewe Meet & Greet Party, Monday Sessions – Monday Night theKrewe Monday Mixer Party, Tuesday Sessions – Tuesday Night vendor parties, Wednesday Sessions – Wednesday Night The Windows Springboard party (best party of TechEd!) Thursday Sessions – Thursday Night TechEd Closing Party (unfortunately I was not able to stay for the closing party, but heard it was a lot of fun!).
Oh…I forgot to mention…the “SWAG”.. Stuff We All Get… At the Microsoft Tech Expo the vendors give you free merchandise and you can win cool stuff. I would advise bringing an extra suitcase, as you can get a lot of neat stuff!
Again…if you plan on attending Microsoft TechEd 2014… JOIN THEKREWE!