How is IT Forum different from Tech-Ed? Well, I don't know about the US (or other) version, but Tech-Ed Europe is more developer focused, because there is a seperate event for IT professionals. So while at Tech-Ed you will see both developers and IT pros, IT Forum will atract mostly system and network administrators, operations management people. Nevertheless, on the surface, just by looking at the people, you cannot tell the difference. Now, this is only the first day, and the conference will officially start tomorrow, so I may get back on this premature analysis.
I haven't been able to take pictures, because I forgot my camera (left it at the hotel), but I'll try to make up for that in the coming days.
So far, the sessions have been quite interesting. Kimberly Tripp shows her expertise on everything SQL Server and she's a good presenter. Same applies for Mark Raskino from Gartner research. Gartner's analysis shows that the future IT professional (and this is not the Microsoft definition, just anyone involved in information technology) need to be versatile. This is going to be a tough challenge, since you need to be proficient in technology, understand the business, be communicative, design for change etc. etc. He made a nice comment where an employee ask his boss after the latest reorganization “what's the end target to be at?” And the boss replies: “there is not end target, we will change continuously.” As a developer we, at least I, welcome change. But from my experience as an administrator myself, and dealing with them, the goal of infrastructure management has always meant “stability”. And operating a stable environment usually means trying to change as little as possible. And if something needs to change, it's scheduled, planned, tested and well-documented and reversible. So how to combine change and stability? Let's see if we can get some guidance in the coming days as I'm curious.
If anyone at IT Forum 2005 is reading this blog, please stop by the Windows 2003 RMS stand in the ATE area. I'll also spend some time in the Microsoft partner pavillion. In between sessions of course.