Tracking the tracks at Tech Ed New Zealand


Microsoft technologies and the Web at Tech.Ed New Zealand 2009

, posted: 8-Oct-2009 12:05

There were some interesting web-related sessions at Microsoft Tech.Ed New Zealand 2009. Just after the Tech.Ed was finished Microsoft announced WebsiteSpark, designed for independent web developers and web development companies that build web applications and web sites on behalf of others.  It enables you to get software, support and business resources from Microsoft at no cost for three years, and enables you to expand your business and build great web solutions using ASP.NET, Silverlight, SharePoint and PHP.

Here are some videos of sessions at Tech.Ed that would be interesting for web developers:

Advanced Search Engine Optimization: Drive more traffic from search (free)

Asynchronous ASP .NET programming (free)

Deep Dive into the ASP .NET AJAX extensions (free)

Light up your Sharepoint Website with Silverlight and AJAX (free)

For Tech.Ed official videos visit TechEd Online, a global online community where visitors can explore video interviews with industry experts, view on-demand sessions and keynotes, join the community with Tech.Ed blog posts from around the world.



Ben Gracewood talks about security with Andy Prown and Kirk Jackson at Tech.Ed New Zealand

, posted: 8-Oct-2009 12:01

Ben Gracewood talks to Andy Prown (Aura Software) and Kirk Jackson (Xero) about software security. Their session "Hack-Ed: Teaching the Good Guys Bad Tricks" (official video, subscription) was the busiest session at Microsoft Tech.Ed New Zealand 2009. Another security session was "The Spy who Hacked Me!" (official video, free)




For Tech.Ed official videos visit TechEd Online, a global online community where visitors can explore video interviews with industry experts, view on-demand sessions and keynotes, join the community with Tech.Ed blog posts from around the world.



Windows 7 Tech.Ed videos

, posted: 6-Oct-2009 10:33

You can now watch Microsoft Tech.Ed New Zealand 2009 Windows 7 sessions online. Microsoft New Zealand has uploaded the Windows 7 sessions to TechEd Online, a global online community where visitors can explore video interviews with industry experts, view on-demand sessions and keynotes, join the community with Tech.Ed blog posts from around the world, and post photos to share their event experience.

To make it easier for you I have compiled a list of links to these videos:

Windows 7 XP Compatability mode, Virtual PC and Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (Ben Armstrong, subscription required)

Windows 7 Security Defenses (Michael Howard, free)

Group Policies in Windows Server 200 R2 and Windows 7 (free)

The Amazing Windows 7 hunting game (Ben Green, free)

Developing for Windows 7 (Kyle Marsh, free)

Optimising your application for the Windows 7 User Experience (Kyle Marsh, free)

Windows Manageability: Windows Vista to Windows 7 (Corey Hynes, free)

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Kernel changes (Mark Russinovich, free)

Case of the Unexplained 3 (Mark Russinovich, free)

Windows PowerShell for Windows 7 Enterprise client (Clarence Wilson, free)

For more Tech.Ed official videos visit TechEd Online, a global online community where visitors can explore video interviews with industry experts, view on-demand sessions and keynotes, join the community with Tech.Ed blog posts from around the world.



Introducing Microsoft Tech.Ed Online

, posted: 1-Oct-2009 12:36

The Microsoft Tech.Ed New Zealand 2009 went really well, with staggering numbers - the largest IT conference in New Zealand with eleven tracks and 128 sessions.

Approximately 2,400 attendees all up – a similar number to the last two sell-out years, and a great result in light of a difficult economic climate which has impacted on many organisations’ training budgets.

Microsoft brought in 98 speakers this year - 43 Microsoft employees, and the others coming from partners, customers and the community at large (Microsoft Regional Directors and Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals).

I was told there was significantly broader industry representation with fewer “corporate” attendees and five times the number of individual registrations when compared to last year's event.

Tech.Ed lives on though, through the TechEd Online, a global online community where visitors can explore video interviews with industry experts, view on-demand sessions and keynotes, join the community with Tech.Ed blog posts from around the world, and post photos to share their event experience.

At TechEd Online users have access to the keynotes and TechTalks hosted at Tech.Ed events worldwide, plus hundreds of breakout session videos from across the Tech.Ed events in a single location.

Here are some links to videos to start your journey:

1. Microsoft Tech.Ed New Zealand 2009 Keynote – with new innovations from Microsoft including demos on Windows 7, Unified Communications, Office Web Apps, Azure, Silverlight 3!

2. The TechFest Party – The biggest party in the IT industry with more than 1500 guests, with lineup of kiwi talent including Oscar Kightly, Ben Hurley, Katchafire, Elemenop...

3. The Marketplace – with a great line up of NZ IT vendors and partners offering solutions and services.

4. Tech Girls Dinner – An exclusive evening celebrating women in technology. Line up included Julia Raue, CIO of Air New Zealand who provided an inspiring and insightful perspective into her career at Air New Zealand.

Over the next few weeks I will be posting about topics discussed during the event, with links to TechEd Online videos and other resources.



Security: Treat your input like trash.

, posted: 28-Sep-2009 21:00

By: Ben Gracewood

As a developer, I was intensely interested in a couple of the security sessions at TechEd. The first was Michael Howard's "Everything Developers Need to Know About Security". Michael is a software security expert from Microsoft. He is author of several computer security books, the most famous being "Writing Secure Code" - somewhat of a bible for developers interested in security.

Michael had several tips for developers thinking about security. He took a fun but cruel approach to the session by first asking for ideas to overcome each security scenario, then systematically tearing the responses down.

The key point I took from the session is that developers must treat all external input as utter garbage. Whether it be user input on a web form, or data coming from another system, if you can't control the input, then you must validate, escape, and clean the input before taking it any further.

The second session was part theatre, part information, and by far the most packed-out session I attended throughout TechEd NZ 2009. People sitting in the aisles, all around the walls, and 5-deep outside the doors. Hack-Ed: Teaching the Good Guys Bad Tricks was a double-act by Kirk Jackson (Xero) and Andy Prow (Aura Software Security) - otherwise known as "Flight of the Pwnchords". Kirk looked after a fake-but-real website, and Andy played the part of a hacker attempting to break in.

The Hack-Ed session was a real eye-opener. We all know about SQL injection, man-in-the-middle, and similar hacking exploits, but I doubt many people have seen them in action. Andy showed just how simple it is to bypass client-side validation, and how whitelists are pointless for SQL injection defense.

The key point from Kirk and Andy's session is that just one hole is all it takes. If a hacker can get just a small corner unpeeled from a small hole, then they can rip the lid off your entire site, and likely the underlying database. It's actually a little bit scary to see the hacks in action.

Overall, the two sessions have confirmed everything a developer should be thinking about when developing both public and private applications. For both developers and team leads, they offered up some scary reminders of why security needs to be top of mind. You can grab the presentation slides now from the TechEd website.





Microsoft Tech Ed New Zealand is a technology event run by Microsoft New Zealand. The Microsoft Tech Ed New Zealand 2010 is happening in Auckland (New Zealand), 30th August - 1st September 2010, at the SkyCity Convention Centre. If you are attending the Microsoft Tech Ed New Zealand 2010 and would like to contribute with stories, profiles, and feedback please contact us. This blog is written by Mauricio Freitas and published by Geekzone.



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