I used to go along to the Microsoft TechNet UK events but I stopped attending after the content and quality of the presentations dropped. Tonight, I went to my first TechNet event in years and was pleasantly surprised by the new format. Gone are the uncomfortable hotel venues (many of the events are now held at Microsoft’s UK headquarters in Reading); the time slot has switched to weekday evenings (easier for most of us to get out of work to attend, even if it did necessitate some spirited driving down the M40 after I fought my way out of Birmingham this afternoon); in come quality (if a touch arrogant) speakers; and finally a sure fire way to keep 200 techies happy – beer and pizza!
Tonight’s event was presented by Fred Baumhardt, who spoke about ISA Server 2004 network design/troubleshooting and inside application layer firewalling and filtering. I must admit that I was a little disappointed to see him dump the slide deck part way through in favour of just demonstrating the features of ISA Server 2004 Enterprise Edition, but overall, the new TechNet event format seems to be a huge improvement.
Details of future events may be found on the Microsoft UK TechNet website.