I enjoy TechEd. It's always good fun. Last week was my fourth TechEd, having attended for the past three years, plus in '99. The last three years have seen my involvement increase each time. Last year I proctored with the Hands-On Labs, and this year I presented both a session and an Instructor-Led Lab. I'm a big believer in giving back to the community, and I see this as part of it.
I do find that the more I'm involved, the fewer sessions I actually get to attend. But I don't feel like I'm missing out, because it's not why I go to TechEd. I go to meet people, to help people with questions, see old friends, and to be a part of the big event. In '99, I went because my employer sent me. I went to learn things, and I did. In the last few years though, my approach has been quite different, and I think I've got more from the event. This year, as a speaker, I was able to mix with a slightly different crowd, but also had an entirely different Ask The Experts experience to previous years.
There's something about community – the more you give to it, the more you feel a part of it, and the more you want to give. If you're reading this, you should get involved in your local user-groups (or even think about starting one, like the Hobart-based Datawise guys).