Honestly speaking - at first, Sid attending Microsoft Tech Ed 2006 almost didn't happen!
The story goes this way: having attended Microsoft TechEd 2005 at Amsterdam last year, the deal (in my company) was that this be the year when a ticket would be purchased and for another employee (actually, my boss... So, no scope for negotiations there).
It was pretty clear since the beginning of 2006 that I would actually not make it this time - clear, save for one small (but rather significant) detail. This time, I was a Microsoft awarded MVP too. Time passed, the event was announced, and finally I was landed an innocuous email asking MVPs that would wish to volunteer for the event as Product Experts to apply!
There wasn't much to think about, and certainly nothing to lose. Being one that has a reasonably long experience in the software development world, as someone who is responsible for the design and development of a popular product that literally reaches millions in it's current version and as an appointed Moderator in one of the most popular online Forums, I thought I had a chance.
Luckily, I was right.
No sooner came in an email accepting my candidature as a volunteer with "Ask the Expert" for Visual Studio, I got my supervisors to sponsor my flight, and my stay in Barcelona. Bless them!
Microsoft TechEd 2006 was already set to be a very different and a very enriching experience. I talk more about it in the posts to come...
Last but not the least - many thanks to Ronald Beekelaar for organizing the ATE and having me invited. It all started with you, Ronald - meeting you was a real pleasure and so was meeting Kim. I hope to see you both again.