In 2008, I visited my first TechEd conference in Orlando. The event was huge, I met a number of people there who still influence me to this day, and I learned about the buzz that comes from speaking at conferences. I knew on my way home from that event that I wanted to be able to speak at a TechEd conference some day. It immediately became a career goal to be a TechEd speaker.
Over the past two years, I entered and competed somewhat successfully in the Speaker Idol contest at TechEd 2012 and 2013. After being a finalist twice, and a runner-up in 2013, I knew I couldn't compete a third time. After I didn't win the contest and automatically become a TechEd speaker ,I resigned myself to not appear again in the competition.
I earned a recognition as a Microsoft MVP in July of 2013, and thought this would give me just the right amount of additional boost to put me in the conversation to be a speaker at TechEd 2014 in Houston. When the call for speakers went out in December, I immediately began writing presentation abstracts and outlines for possible sessions to present at the conference.
This afternoon, after two months of waiting to hear the results of my submissions, I learned that I would be going to TechEd. I have been accepted as a speaker, and will be presenting one session on Modern Web Forms Development with HTML 5.
I am so excited to have earned this opportunity to present at one of the largest shows in the software industry. As I get more information about my speaking slot and links to my place on the agenda, you can be sure that I will share them here, twitter, and Facebook.
I hope to get a lot of pictures at this monumental event in my career. You can bet I'll share them as well.
Finally, I want to thank a few people who really helped me realize this goal: Bill Wolff - leader of Philly.NET where I learned a LOT about .NET development, Ralph Julius, Chris Sells, Stephen Forte, David Giard - my nemesis from Speaker Idol 2012 who showed up at all kinds of events I was speaking at, Richard Campbell and Carl Franklin - hosts of .NET Rocks and Speaker Idol, Dora Chan, and of course my wife for supporting me as I traveled to all kinds of crazy places to present lectures on .NET and web development.