Yes friends, its that time of year again!  IT professionals from all walks of life and all over the world will gather in Orlando, Florida next week to attend the 2018 version of Microsoft Ignite,  If you're not familiar with it, Microsoft Ignite is an annual conference for developers and IT professionals hosted by Microsoft.  As Wikipedia describes it, "The conference normally lasts between three and five days and consists of presentation and whiteboard sessions and hands-on labs. It offers opportunities to meet Microsoft experts, MVPs and community members. Networking is enhanced through parties, community areas and "Ask the Expert" sessions. The event also includes an exhibition area where vendors can show off technologies and sell products. There is a vast content catalog from which attendees can select sessions that will be most beneficial. An agenda is published online before the conference begins."  This year, the conference runs September 23rd through the 28th.

This year's Ignite sold out weeks ago, as it always does, and, sadly, I won't be attending it, though I certainly would love to.  I've attended Ignite's predecessor, TechEd, a number of times in the past and, for an IT person, its Disneyland, 7-Flags, Universal Studios, and a Willie Wonka's Chocolate factory all wrapped up into four frenzied, utterly delightful days, though you may not have functional feet when it ends.  The event is pricey, $2395 this year, but you definitely get your money's worth and then some!  Indeed, the times I was able to attend were some of the most rewarding and educational experiences I've had.

I have a tip for you, if you're attending!  In between sessions and anytime you need to take a breather, head on over to the MVP booth/Lounge/Reception area where you'll likely find one or more session presenters hanging out.  Many of them are Microsoft MVPs and ALL of them love to talk about what gets their motors started, namely, the subject they just presented or about to present on.  A couple tastefully placed questions to these folks will get you a TON of information, if not the whole presentation (apologies to Arlo Guthrie and "Alice's Restaurant") along with 8x10 color photo glossies with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back to explain what they all mean!

Now, if you are NOT attending, there is ZERO need to despair!  All you need to do is head on over to Microsoft's Tech Communities and click the Browse Sessions link:

If you're a Tech Communities member, log in, grab some popcorn, sit back and enjoy the sessions.  If you're not a member, you can join the community for free with your Microsoft Account.  Joining the Community has its own benefits, it is THE place for News, Views, and technical support.  Too busy to watch the streaming sessions?.  Again, not a problem, many, if not most, will be recorded and available for viewing on either Tech Communities, or Microsoft's Developer Channel on Youtube.