German Recap


Hi all, I've just been coming back from TechEd 2009 in Berlin and let's write some impressions about the conference, the MSPs from Europe and the stay in the city of the wall.

We left Milan on Sunday 8th, early in the morning: thanks to Andrea, who brings almost all of us at the airport, we arrived in time and quite relaxed. We met in MXP Francesca and Francesco V and we received our Microsoft Presenter Mouse as the first real cool gadget in this trip.

Berlin Worst Airport

What to say? The travel was nice until Berlin was reached: Shonefeld (or something similar) is not to be considered as a civilized airport; it was unbelievably unconnected with the city, with a network of train absolutely unexisting and probably under development. In a word: awful. After about three hours of retries (about 10 changes of public transportation) we arrived in our Ringhotel Chateau Berlin, pretty cool, quite and clean.. With the funny random wireless connection available.


Wifi was great: about 600kb per seconds and great signal. The pity was my very-low budget laptop that probably screwed the wireless router (each time i connected the router went down). Anyway it helped us to resolve some issue and, definitely, wifi connection nowadays is mandatory for business and vacation travels. Except some calls to the reception, everything went right and we found something interesting to do in the late evening all together on the web.

First Day at TechEd

We had the smart idea to go to the convention just the first day to get some stuff at the attendees reception to be hands-free the day after. Great location, but apparently unreachable the first time because of a little confusion related to the S-Bahn stop we had to take. Francesca got angry and she came back in taxi with Dave, AndreaC and Fabio. Actually we were so tired but AndreaDA, FrancescoV and I were to proud to come back in taxi so we tested our smart S-Bahn to Savignyplatz (thanks to this stop in the days after we found restaurants, mates and it was a real nice crossroad to make our night walks.


Probably the name is wrong, but it doesn't matter. That place was great, we ate some berliner great food and we drank some good beer. Who paid? :D It's a secret. Probably that funny guy red-dressed didn't know that mess we caused two days after. After that great dinner to the bed directly or not? I don't remember at all. The one thing I'm sure is that we were pretty tired and confused and that status stayed with us for the entire lasting of our week.

Real-First day at TechEd

As i said, we went at the Messe on Sunday just to take bag, badge and some information/directions for the days after. So, in a late fashion we arrived to TechEd at 9.10 about, in time to take a seat in my first session about the "10 top mistakes that a web developer has not to do in his/her life". It was a crap, definitely. Fabio and I decided to move out from that session 10 minutes before the end, to go somewhere else and spend time better. Maybe we were also curios about the exposition area (the place where we spent most the time in the days after). We enjoyed about everything the first day, even that funny meal (I said funny for a reason); everything except the Keynote that was worse than a crap: only IT Pro focus and, in my honest opinion, low-quality. I have to spend a word about organization: it was great! Never been in a bigger convention than that, and proud to be there with my team.

First MSPs

First MSPs we met: Portugal ones. AndreaDA discovered that one of them (Nuno Silva) was an MSP last year and now he's a MS employee (this things in Italy never happen, except Francesca of course). At least we moved to the commNet zone to blog something (but probably we blogged less in 6 days compared to what I'm blogging now (FYI: I'm on the Paris-LA flight and it seems to not finish, never)). <= WOW two nested parenthesis!!!

First day concluded and, after we knew the Swedish guys and the Spanish ones, we moved to the hotel to get prepared to the 20th anniversary of the fall of the wall.

The Fall, The Wall and the Plug

In the inverse order i think, but we saw each one of those. First of all, we needed a plug to recharge our laptop, mobile phones and other stuff. So it was mandatory to go to a HiTech store (mediaworld in Berlin exists, :) it's great) to buy that plug (the cheap solution) and the adaptor for Francesca (the expensive solution) <= I like very much parenthesis. After that I figured out how to get Francesca angry with me because of a misunderstanding running after we (AndreaC, Fabio and I) came back to hotel: but the plug worked!

I remember now we were so hungry that night and we ate something at about midnight in a foreign pub (definitely not Irish). We also waited for the Swedish guys and we met Louisa first time well.

Louisa (Lou, or Lola as she wants)

Lou deserves absolutely a paragraph to speak about her, but not now. The first night we just only met her and her mates for a while and then we were too tired to do some good conversation (even because of Dave that was very angry for the Portuguese Blog that never started). Lou left us all in a kind of emotional confusion after knowing her. I was probably the last she captured (with her sweetness) but, some days after, I fell too.

The Second day: the rise of the MSPs

Apparently that night was easy but, actually, it was not too easy to achieve a nice rest. We woke up early in the morning because of the TechEd and we arrived of course on late but not too late to listen the Psichometrician session (maybe 3123 errors in that statement ;)). The second day was the one related to our socialization (among MSPs) and about the cool sessions from our Corp Team, came just to celebrate and motivate us with some news and goals. Thanks of course to Caroline, Jennifer (I was so brave to tell her something like this: "To do better, we have to unleash our potential") and Leandro who made this event possible and so unforgettable. I started on Thursday to be more social-oriented and, after MSP meeting, i organized from scratch a nice dinner with about 40 people of 9 countries (of course we have name and emails as witness). Great conversation with Caroline who had the right perception about our italian group. In a word her words were really appreciated and she told us, in a congrats fashion, how much we worth. Really great!

MSP Social Dinner Preview

As i called it in the email of dinner recap, "preview" stands because of the dinner that was planned for the day after. So, just to don't make confusion and steal ideas, i preferred to call it a "preview". So in our favorite berliner restaurant (the Zillemarkt) we brought about 40 people with success and fun. This is not the good place for photos, but i think this one really deserves a small space here. Unfortunately neither the Swedish guys neither the Romanian ones were there :(!

The coolest TechEd exclusive experience

You all (oh no, just MSDN subscribers) had to go to the teched Wednesday morning (at 8.00) for an amazing and unbelievable unique experience. As stated into the booklet, "Wednesday at 8.00 there will be an Exclusive session in the Hands-on Labs only for MSDN subscribers".

We thought it was a real cool opportunity: we thought about huge gadgets and a business-class treatment for us "elected". Unfortunately, they did not satisfact our wishes: and when i tried to ask the guy what was the difference between the Exclusive and non-exclusive session, he replied to me: "well, this is the exclusive session because you are all MSDN subcribers!". Simply unbelievable.

They were definitely crazy

I'm not talking bad about anybody: I'm just saying freely that it's crazy to make a trip of two hours at 10pm (after a short dinner) to see a part of the city under the rain also!!!

Let's start from the beginning: TechEd day ended => we went to Phlemnghtplatz to eat => we ate (US-like hamburger)  => we did a trip in the nearby (TWO f...d hours!). The trip was nice, especially the musician in the cavern: but we were absolutely too tired to afford that cultural walk and there was also raining to close the circle. After that we tried to come back to the restaurant (where we drank something more) and (now we can say) we tried to make AndreaDA and the sweet Lou have some nice time together. She figured out of course, but it was funny. She also had some little interviews with us all during our dinner. Where are those movies now?!?!? Please get in touch!


Day by day, we went to bed always later, and Tuesday (for me) was probably the worst day in terms of my personal lifetime and lasting of the entire week. Starting from the assumption that nobody slept much, we arrived at Tuesday with a sort of drug-coma related to the stress pooled inside us all.

So, after sessions (I personally didn't follow any sessions on Tuesday) we came back to the hotel where Francesco V saved me from a stress crisis and suggested to me to have a immersion in the bath hub. It worked, thanks vale. Last night with our mates and there were also Lou and John the Greek (great guy). We ate Italian food (thank godness) and almost everybody enjoyed that choice. After that, second chance to make AndreaDA and Lou have some nice time together. And, second time, she was quite embarrassed for that situations. He tried.

Last Day

First time in the week I've been on late because I didn't figured out with my stress and i woke up at 10 => teched at 11.00. The last two days were famous for the AndreaC's statements like:

"è anche vero che il limone stringe, ma la banana tappa"

"elemosinare la patata è cosa poco dignitosa"

"ehi tipa... Ma lo sai che in Italia, quelle come te, fanno le domestiche?"

One of them (the one with the lemon and the banana) is also on the wall of the teched while Dave was writing it (yeah, live). After some fun we performed an interview with surface (before closing) and I got some other business cards, now i've many. Francesco and I just said goodbye to all and entered that sad taxi to the airport: after is cold water.

Cold Water

(Space intentionally left blank just to represent the emotions felt after coming back to home.)

by Roberto Freato on 11/16/2009
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