The Durban ICC was transformed into a hive of technological activity last week as Africa’s largest technology showcase descended on the city. Microsoft’s iconic TechEd Africa event drew over 2,000 developers and IT professionals to the centre to experience the freshest developments from top local and international speakers.
Various editions of the TechEd event are held in every major region around the globe and these events have grown in size and scope every year. Having outgrown its previous venue in 2007, this was the fourth time the event was hosted at the Durban ICC and shows every sign of growing from strength to strength. “There’s a lot going on in the world of technology right now, and TechEd is a critical platform for us to share our roadmap and insights with our IT Professionals and developers.” said Clifford De Wit, the Developer and Platform Evangelist Lead at Microsoft South Africa.
The event kicked off with various forms of entertainment accompanied by a keynote presentation by Clifford de Wit, and colourful displays of artistic dance inspiring the audience’s creative energy. The event saw more than 200 technical sessions, 36 ‘chalk and talk’ sessions and a self-paced hot lab offering certification opportunities focused on areas like Client Infrastructure, Business Intelligence as well as Server and Cloud Infrastructure.
This year, TechEd Africa also featured the Best of the Microsoft Management Summit (MMS 2013) held in Las Vegas the week before. Delegates were able to get the lowdown of all the hot-off-the-press announcements made at this year’s summit by attending one of over 50 virtual sessions hosted by some of the world’s most renowned speakers from the MMS 2013 event.
Balancing all the serious shop-talk was a host of fun and entertainment throughout the event, notably, TechIdols, where rock star presenters of the future got the chance to strut their stuff on stage and wow the judges and the developer community with their talent. In the exhibition hall, the Xbox 360 stand drew a huge following of delegates trying their hand in one of the eight gaming console booths. Delegates could also engage in their own Amazing Race experience offered at the Mecer stand or compete with each other at the scaled-down F1 racing experience at the Mimecast stand trying to chalk up their best lap times.
“We are excited to be hosting this event again this year under the theme ‘Africa Rising’. Technology holds immense potential for improving the quality of life in Africa”, said Julie-May Ellingson, Chief Executive Officer of the Durban ICC. “We are hopeful that the unique solutions presented at this conference will enable further innovation for businesses in our communities and the rest of the African continent. We look forward to being part of this exciting event for many years to come” added Ellingson.