If you ask whether I'll be at a conference, the answer is usually No

Raymond Chen

It seems that whenever there is a technology conference, there’s a decent chance that somebody will ask me via email or a comment whether I’m going. The default answer to Are you going to this conference? is No. You may find it hard to believe, but going to conferences around the world is not part of my job. My job is to sit in front of a computer and read ema^W^Wwork on code. I’m not a marketing person or a program manager who goes around promoting some feature or service. I’m the person back in Redmond actually implementing it. The answer to “Why isn’t Raymond at TechEd?” is “Hm, let’s see. Spend a few vacation days and a few thousand dollars of my own money on travel, accommodations, and registration for a conference I will derive no benefit from? For some reason, that’s not my idea of a fun time.” In other words, if you want me to attend your conference, you have to invite me. That’s what the folks at XV Semana Informática do Instituto Superior Técnico did. I’ll be there on March 11th to tell stories about Windows history. I don’t have a specific list of stories set up yet, so if you want to suggest something, you can post a comment and I’ll see if I can work it in. I’ve got 90 minutes to fill, so that’s going to be a lot of stories. I’m usually game for burning some vacation days if the conference is held somewhere interesting, because I can tack on a little vacation after the conference is over. (It also means that this Web site will be on autopilot from March 10th to the 20th because I’ll be out of the country and unlikely to log on just to moderate comments.) The conference organizers have reassured me that I will not have to give my talk in Portuguese. You can save having to foot my travel and lodging expenses if you hold your conference in Seattle. Then again, I’m not actually an invited speaker or anything at TechReady, so I won’t be able to get into the conference center. I’m just showing up at tonight’s blogger geek dinner offsite.

Pre-emptive snarky comment: “Blogger” and “geek” are redundant.

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