Well, it didn't happen yesterday, even when I was late for one session by 5min, but, it happened first thing today. Jeffrey Snover and Don Jones session on exploring PowerShell- I was there 15min early, but unfortunately, it was full. Not a good start to the day.
A group of 40+ people outside standing around awkwardly thinking “what do I do now”. Thankfully, there is the Microsoft Ignite 2016 app where you can stream sessions live at the conference. Very cool, very handy! I found a quiet nook and missed only the first 5 minutes. Saw the rest of the session, but, not quite the same.
From the overall schedule there appears to be a lot of 300+ sessions on today. After two days of keynotes, intro's, build up etc, we're starting to get into the nitty-gritty.
Things quickly went downhill. Either I had the wrong expectations for the higher level sessions, or I had not selected the sessions well enough based on the session type. I struggled for the rest of the day. Session after session I had 4 on each time slot that I wanted to attend. Rolling the dice and picking the one that I wanted to catch based on the title / description, I overlooked the session type and the level. Growing more and more frustrated I began to really feel down and out. I was not getting the value from the conference and started questioning ever coming back (in the years of conferences to come).
By the time the last session came about, I was spent. A combination of the final stages of jet lag, lack of food (I'll get to that shortly) and a combination of not getting what I wanted from the sessions put me into a real negative mindset. I couldnt take it anymore and went for a long walk about the showcase.
I had a couple good conversations in the showcase. Of note was a chat with the program manager of HyperV and Azure containers. A great discussion on the uses of containers in the landscape of infrastructure and what's next beyond containers- in his opinion the Azure Service Fabric and Azure Functions. Serverless architecture. Very interesting and very cool indeed. My spirits were beginning to rise and some complementary bier helped take my mind off of the bad time I was having earlier in the day.
Microsoft Ignite has some 20,000 attendees. Speaking to different people, both Microsoft and non-Microsoft, that number went from that 20K baseline to 23,000 and even as high as 28,000 given the availability to host a lot of people in the George Convention Centre.
That is certainly all well and good, but, there is breakfast and lunch provided for everyone every day, EVERY DAY- BREAKFAST AND LUNCH for 20k to almost 30k people. A logistical and planning nightmare. This is where I had some preparations and expectations around service and accessibility of the meals area. However, the quality was another issue. To feed that many people, warm food and freshly cooked food is a hard task to accomplish. So this isn't a dig at any of the awesome people that worked on those meals. However, lunch was not up to par. Breakfast was reasonable. Some fruit, some carbs in the form of muffins, croissants; eggs (or egg like something… soft, scrambled yellow stuff…) and the usual drinks and beverages. That was okay, no real complaints- except for the eggs maybe..
The lunch was the issue for me. The bread was soggy. Like the meals were frozen, then defrosted only to have the bread in the sandwiches absorb that moisture. That was not cool. The rest of the meal was great. A nice piece of cake, some fruit, and a small side. Without much options, I had to suck it up and eat up or get too tired and zone out during sessions.
After a day where I struggled, I lost motivation for a while, was super tired and not getting over jetlag, I hope that Thursday turns things around…
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