The title sounds more arrogant than I wanted to make it sound, but the truth is the truth :-).
Last 2 weeks was the yearly EMEA TechEd conference in Barcelona with 1 week of in-depth knowledge transfer for ITPro’s (IT infrastructure oriented people) and 1 week of developers goodness. I’ve made it a habit if spending 48h in Barcelona during the weeks to touch base with the Microsoft friendly crowd that frequents the conference. Why? It’s these 400 Belgians that eat and breath the stuff we’re putting in the market (their bosses pay for it), but these are the real heroes that add their brains and make it a solution. So it was very enriching again in getting feedback from the real world. And next to that, Barcelona is a nice city to spend some time on good food and ditto wine
And yes you read that correct 400 Belgians made the investment in traveling to the conference ad learn, learn, learn …
What makes it even more Belgian is that the conference is being organized by 2 Belgian people too: Hans Verbeeck is the overall business Owner and Ann Van De Voorde the event manager, and both did a great job in delivering a spotless conference experience.
And more Belgian twinkles: Kurt Claeys (consultant / trainer at Ordina) has won this years Speaker Idol at TechEd Developers. He’s the 3rd Belgian that wins this speaking contest: a few years ago Bart De Smet (now working for Microsoft in Redmond) won and last year Ilse Van Criekinghe got the IT Pro trophy. When you think “Speakers Idol” think about the event you might know from your favorite commercial channel, same intensity, same nasty judges, same high level of performance in the finals. I’m sure the big Belgian crowd that was there to supporter for Kurt has helped influencing the judges picking him as no 1. Way to go, and part of the price is that you’ll see Kurt as speaker on next year’s conference that makes the move to hip Berlin.