TechEd 2010 - Day 2

Well what can I say? TechEd is an experience.

The reason I didn’t blog about day 1 is because, frankly, I was exhausted.

We were on the booth until after 9pm (The Expo hall closed at 8pm - People hung around to talk because a. (As Gary would say…) ”We’re awesome” and b. Our products rock .) People were just that enthused.

The doors open and the delegates flood the place. At some points during the day, it feels like all 6500 of them decide to enter the expo hall at once.

Meet the people

It’s great to get out and meet our customers (and future customers) and interact with them on a personal level.  It’s so much easier to do a good job of evangelising a product when you can ask people what they’d like to see, or have explained. Without this personal level of interaction, you’re usually stuck with just guessing. Also the feedback loop is much tighter and you can customize what you’re saying specifically for their needs. More often than not, others will be listening in the background and when the first person leaves, the others jump in with questions. The only disadvantage is that you worry that you might be repeating yourself. This is fine if it’s to different people, but in the back of your mind, you’re wondering if you were talking to these people a few minutes/ hours ago, and did you already tell them this.

What’s really great is the number of time I’ve been approached by people who needed no information at all, but just dropped by to tell us that we (DevExpress) rock. They comment on the controls, the IDE Tools and also on the support. At one point, I was in the middle of talking to attendee #1, explaining how you can use the support center for questions as well as bugs and suggestions, only to be “interrupted” (in the nicest possible sense) by attendee #2, so he could completely agree with my statements, and add that he thinks our support is some of the best he’s used.

Our multitude of products

I’ve spoken to people on WPF, WinForms, ASP.Net, Silverlight, a little bit of XAF/XPO (enough to indicate “You want Gary. He’s over there” Smile).

I’ve even spoken to people about a little known product called CodeRush.

It’s really only having attended something like TechEd, and being forced to think on my feet (which only added to my *cough* considerable preparation), that you realise just what an extraordinary breadth of good stuff we have. It’s great to be an evangelist for a product (or products) that you really believe in.

CodeRush

As you might expect, CodeRush goes over very well indeed. We’ve had one of our CodeRush videos playing in a loop almost constantly, and people almost can’t walk past it. Obviously people don’t grok everything all at once, but everyone seems to be able to point to pieces that they love, typically the piece(s) they can see immediate use for. Generally this is enough to pull them where they will ask for more info.

Gary and I have also done a few CodeRush demos which have also been a good hook for further conversation. Typically we only need to point to one or more of our Refactorings, Code Generation (Consume First Code Providers / Templates) and Navigation / Analysis (Quick Navigation, TabToNextReference and References Toolwindow) features and you can see people eyes just light up.

TechEd Rocks

All in all, it’s been a great (if a little manic in a fun sort of way) couple of days so far, and I have no real reason to think the next few days will differ.

If you’re here at TechEd swing the DevExpress booth and say hello. We’ll be happy to demo any products, and we have T-shirts too!

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