Leaving Strong from Hong Kong!

So Hong Kong Tech Ed 05 is over for me and Clarry, and although I couldn’t keep the little guy out of the canned coffee (now there’s one way to keep caffeinated), he seemed to sleep pretty well through most of my sessions.

For me Hong Kong was a blast; I met heaps of great developers (the .NET User Group dudes were classic, they have they’re own User Group business cards!), more awesome presenters (both from Microsoft and partners), and ate some nice food (although Steve Reilly’s Ice Tea with noodles and potato was a little too wicked for me).

My sessions were almost all on Visual Studio Team System, and I even got my 7 minutes of fame up on stage at the Keynote with Michael Raheem, Richard Tkachuk and Payam Shodjai. The rehearsals were a bit scary, but I think I did ok. I know Peter Ty from Microsoft Hong Kong video taped the whole thing, so I’ll review the tapes before making my judgment.

Key takeaways from Tech Ed HK:

1. They HK’ers don’t like to ask questions. EVER! In fact, I heard in the speaker room from someone that it’s considered rude. So it was a little bit freaky when at the end of your session, you ask the customary, “So, does anyone have any questions?”, and you get nothing but silence. I tried everything to coax the crowd, even offering them a chance to straight out sledge me, but nothing worked. At the end, we had to give away shirts at question time, not for the best question…for ANY question! But I have to say one thing, the HK’ers really love their technology, the keynote speech with the 4 way, dual-core, hyper-threaded SQL Server 64–bit demo had them gasping and awe’ing…it was very cool.

2. Tech Ed is growing in Hong Kong. The year before, they had about 400 attendees, this year they had 1000! In fact, I think they would have got away with a bigger venue, next year will be awesome.

3. Always keep your eyes open in a foreign country! I was actually taking money out of an ATM, and saw this brochure on the wall! Check it out! It’s Donchichi’s long lost relatives. I spent the good part of the last day trying to find out where I could buy one of these little dudes (and trying to locate a Chinese Fan for Yil), both to no avail :( In fact, the shop assistants reactions to me (looking really tired and tattooed, pointing frantically to this brochure and mumbling Monchichi) was somewhere between scared and intrigued.

So, I’m off to get on my plane (I’ll have to pry Clarry out of the courtesy bar where he is winning a wrestle with a Heineken beer can) and I’ll see everyone back in Oz!