Barney's Rubble

Talking TechMentor: Now on the Microsoft Campus

If you've ever considered attending our independent TechMentor training conference (and meeting some of your favorite Redmond authors in the process), this year may be the year.

When I first went up to Microsoft the company had just moved over from Bellevue, Wash. I reckon this was either late 1986 or early 1987.

Bill Gates still got a cheeseburger and fries every day for lunch from a local fast food joint. The new Redmond campus had two buildings with a cafeteria in between (the burgers apparently weren't good enough for Bill) -- apps folks on one side, OS jocks on the other. This was all so the two teams could share ideas, and make the two families of software get along together.

Today there are some 70 buildings, though for some reason the numbers go up linearly to 44, skip to 50, then hop around again a bit until they finally hit what I count as 127. There are probably more now, as the cranes never stop working.

TechMentor, an IT training event run by Redmond magazine, is not nearly as ancient as Microsoft, but at 14-years-old is no spring chicken by show standards.

This August, for the first time, TechMentor will be held on the Redmond campus. We started using the Microsoft headquarters as a show site with Visual Studio Live! -- an event for Visual Studio developers -- and it's getting rave reviews.

Redmond, Wash., might not be your typical tourist mecca, but Redmond magazine readers aren't your typical tourists. I bet you'd think being on campus is pretty darn cool. Last time I was there I ran into Steve Ballmer and my ex-brother-in-law in the same building by accident. Surprisingly, both at least acted happy to see me!

There's another change in TechMentor. We've combined our traditional content from gurus and magazine authors such as Don Jones and Greg Shields with a brand-new set of sessions based on Microsoft TechNet that are driven by internal Microsoft experts. Kind of the best of both worlds.

Another cool thing: Hero to IT pros everywhere, Mark Russinovich -- who's now a Microsoft Technical Fellow -- will give a keynote address, and guaranteed showstopper Mark Minasi is scheduled as a breakout speaker.

The show starts Aug. 20, 2012, with pre-conference workshops. Tuesday the 21st is all Microsoft TechNet content, and the next three days are pure TechMentor -- independent, hands-on and in-depth training.

And while Las Vegas and Orlando, Fla., our usual locations, have casinos and amusements, the Microsoft campus has Lake Washington, Pike Place Market, Pioneer Square and Puget Sound all nearby. This makes it a good place not just for you, but for a spouse and family too.

If you want more information, the address is simple: TechMentorEvents.com.

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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