From 6:15 AM yesterday until almost 8:00 PM last night (CST, -06:00 UCT/GMT) I was up and running inside the Microsoft Certified Career Conference (MCCC). During three different one-hour periods I ran real-time chat sessions with attendees to answer IT certification and career planning questions. My typing skills and on-the-spot thinking skills got a killer workout yesterday and by the time the last one-hour chat session concluded I was more than ready to call it a day.
But man, was it ever busy and fun! During the first one-hour chat the focus was mostly on general certification and career planning. But perhaps because my old colleague and co-author Don Poulton joined me for the second session (he’s the author of the brand-new Pearson title MCTS 70-680 Cert Guide: Microsoft Windows 7, Configuring) we spent nearly that whole hour answering very pointed and specific questions about that exam in particular and Windows 7 certification topics in general. In the third hour it was a mixed bag, and I wasn’t anywhere near as frantically busy as I was during the first two sessions, probably because everybody online (including me) was getting somewhat frazzled near the conclusion of a very long day.
Microsoft employee and conference organizer Tjeerd Veninga told me at one point that over 2,200 people had registered for the conference, and I saw the number of active online participants break 600 several times during the day, and cross the 700 mark on a couple of occasions. Let me hasten to observe that these numbers represent my occasional and desultory checks on site activity and are by no means either complete, thorough, or anywhere near official: they just represent what I saw myself during those few idle moments when I had time to look, and remembered to check the event counter page whose URL Microsoft made available to me.
Upon visiting the Recordings page in the conference, I can only report that there aren’t any visible yet, and that the page blurb now reads “Recordings will be available after the weekend.” Once I get a crack at those materials, though, I’ll report back here about what’s available, and would be happy to approach MS about making some of them publicly accessible to interested readers if they’d like to see them for themselves.
All in all, it was a great experience. I look forward to getting even more involved in the next MCCC, and hope you’ll be more inclined to join in the hubbub as well.