Mark Pearl

Since I got back into programming, I have really been a Microsoft fan boy - our company develops applications solely on the Microsoft stack and we have always felt “well” treated when attending Microsoft sponsored events. In 2008, I and a fellow employee attended our first TechEd, we were blown away with what we saw – we had no idea how behind we were – and since then we have been hooked at attending Microsoft events.

So when at the end of 2009 Microsoft announced that for the first time it was planning on charging an entrance fee for attendees at the local Microsoft Dev Day, I was not to put out. There were great presenters scheduled, and it seemed still worthwhile. However, since that announcement there has been quite a bit of activity on the local community blogs and forums about whether Microsoft should be doing this.

There are two main viewpoints

1) No problem paying – the entrance fee covers only a small portion of the event and you will still be gaining huge value in learning the new Microsoft technologies.

2) We should not be paying for this since we promote Microsoft technologies, and this is really a platform to market and promote a specific vendors products and solutions.

After looking at the various comments on both sides, I am not sure where I stand on this. The fee Microsoft proposed to charged is really reasonable (about 27 US Dollars per attendee), however I also think it may be a bit of a slap in the face since my company has definitely promoted the Microsoft stack in the past and encouraged companies to upgrade and purchase Microsoft products such as Windows 7, etc.

What I want to know is this…

Around the world, is it a standard to be charged to attend Microsoft Dev Days – or is this simply a regional thing?

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