Our Blog

where we write about the things we love



Highlights of Microsoft TechEd New Zealand 2013 (Part III)

Over the past few days we’ve brought you part one and part two of our TechEd highlights. Here’s the third, and final, instalment. And now we start the countdown to next year…

Maryanne Sutherland

Arriving at TechEd you quickly learn how big this event is: 2500+ IT Professionals from over 500 New Zealand companies, all hoping to see and experiment with the latest technologies available from Microsoft.  In the keynote address, where Signal was mentioned , and having played a part in the success of this project, was a feeling of great joy.  

TechEd was an amazing experience and having the opportunity to be part of it was awesome.  I attended sessions around a series of What’s new in Windows Server 2012 R2, Networking and Hyper V, where we find we can totally embrace the cloud with this new OS which will be released on 18th October 2013 – this OS has a lot of new capabilities and enhancements. 

A question was raised in one of the sessions: Who here manages their environment’s IP addresses in a spreedsheet? Most hands went up.  The answer to this is that Microsoft has produced IPAM (IP Address Management), a new feature in 2012 that you install on the server and build on by adding in all your network IP scopes.

I also went along to a session on Conquering your fear of PowerShell, where James Finlay talked us through 10 tips and tricks on how to use Windows PowerShell 3.0 and using ISE (Integrated Scripting Environment) for every day administrative tasks in Active Directory and Exchange.  

Another focus at TechEd was Windows Azure. I went to a few talks and found all of them very interesting and took away with me a lot of useful information to look into in more depth.

The Hub area, along with free coffee, was a great central place to catch up and soak up the atmosphere in between sessions. And, of course, TechFest was a lot of fun. If you get the opportunity to go next year, definitely take it.


Luke Hopton

TechEd featured some great content on the latest tools and technologies – from new Application Lifecycle Management features in Team Foundation Server 2013 to reasons for a C# developer to branch out and write code in F#. IT is an industry of innovation where living at the cutting edge is the norm. So much so that we often don’t question why we should adopt new technology – we adopt it simply because it is new. I think it is an important not to be seduced by new for the sake of new; instead we need to analyse the latest developments and take up only those that will increase productivity and deliver value. New and cool is all well and good, but let’s focus on new and useful.


Krishant Lodhia

I mainly attended SharePoint presentations (I work in our Portals, Content and Collaboration team), but I also mixed it up with other streams as well. For example, I went to a couple of presentations that were to do with Microsoft Kinetic development. These presentations were very interesting and showed what other experts in the industry were doing with different technologies. These developers created a music making application using body movement and a kinetic sensor: here it is in action. They showed how they managed to put together parts of the project and create this within two months.

My approach to getting the most out of TechEd? I tried to avoid going to Intergen presentations and go to presentations by other companies so that I could get more exposure to the different experts. I also tried to network as much as I could and ask lots of questions to the presenters and meet with them after their presentations and talk further about their work stories.

But it wasn’t all work! It was good to catch up with some of our brethren from Wellington and Dunedin.


Jess Kane

Highlights of TechEd for me included... 

A really good range of sessions, giving me the opportunity to spread my time over (a) day-to-day work topics (SharePoint-specific), (b) theory topics (eg. general programmer interest), and (c) innovation topics (eg how TradeMe runs their business, a show and tell of coding for the Kinect).

TechFest. Cowboy themed, complete with beers and burgers, and a lady cracking a whip and giving out lessons! Also, The Adults were great.

Seeing friends from lots of different companies, from all across the country.

A pretty sweet delegate deal – a half-price Surface RT. A lot of people who didn't even want a Surface couldn't pass up that deal!


Particular nuggets from sessions that stood out include...

  • F# features that C# developers can use in their everyday code
  • TradeMe FedEx days – these are a competition where small teams have to deliver a 'something' (not necessarily work related) within 24 hours. At the end of that time, all of the contributions get judged, and a winner is chosen. Sounds like a lot of fun.
  • A demo on how to get the Kinect to pick up spoken words and respond accordingly, even with a measure of how confident it is that it has picked up the right word.


All in all, a very awesome experience! 


Intergen Race Cars Simulator update

Intergen Racing Car Competitors at TechEd 2013


Drivers checking personal results on touch screen panel

The Intergen Race Cars Simulator is custom built, allowing conference attendees to compete against each other throughout the event (you can watch a behind the scenes video here). This year's winner took home a Microsoft Surface RT. As usual these racing car simulators attracted a lot of people during the whole event and we thought some of you would be interested in some stats for this year's "competition":


  • Total laps: 1264 (over 48 hours of driving)
  • Total drivers: 474Most used car: Ferrari (334 times)
  • Most laps by a single driver: 86 (almost 3 hours of driving)
  • Winner won with time of 1m 40s.38 @ 302km/h max speed driving the Mercedes (He managed to begin his winning lap 10 seconds before the cut off time)
  • Average lap was 2m 17s.00
  • Longest lap was 7m 57s.51
  • Top maximum speed was 317km/h in the Red Bull (resulting in a high speed crash I’m sure)

Posted by: Katy Sweetman, Marketing Director, Empired Group | 24 September 2013

Tags: TechEd, Microsoft

Blog archive

Stay up to date with all insights from the Intergen blog