Back from Microsoft Tech Ed

Filed Under Mindjet


June 16, 2006

I just came back from a trip to Microsoft (msft) Tech Ed conference in Boston where I was invited to speak about the new MindManager add-in that I built for software requirements gathering for Microsoft’s new Team Foundation Server. When I was invited, I was sent a PowerPoint template to use, but I adapted it to a MindManager map template and, of course, I did my presentation with MindManager:
Click to view with the Mindjet MindManager Viewer

Click on the image to view with the Mindjet MindManager Viewer (Internet Explorer 5.5 or greater required)
Download This Map

The conference was huge: 12,000 attendees with sessions and activities spanning over 6 days. In addition to the sessions that I presented, I went to some very interesting sessions about some of the new technologies that are coming out from Microsoft and their partners. Here are a few of the things that I learned about:

1. Windows Workflow Foundation: This is a free component of Microsoft’s .Net 3.0 that is both a workflow runtime that can manage very sophisitcated client- and server-based workflows. It also comes with a drag and drop workflow designer that can be integrated into other applications. Workflows are made up of activities that can be anything from web service calls to custom code. Very interesting….

2. MSDN Wiki: The team at MSDN is trying something new: with their online developer documentation, they are integrating a Wiki so that users can add their own comments and code samples to any article or page. Should we do this with our DevZone? 

3. SQL Server 2005: Britt Johnston from Microsoft talked to me about the upcoming features exposed in ADO.Net which abstracts data sources into an entity data model. I need to learn more about this because many of our customers are wanting to get their enterprise data into MindManager and we need to make it easier.

4. TechSmith Camtasia Studio: This is the product that I use to make the flash demos that I post on Mindjet Labs. It is a very cool tool and I got to meet some of the people from TechSmith to tell them how much I love their software. I would like to know how our customers would like to see their SnagIt and Camtasia products working with MindManager.

5. Altova SemanticWorks: I have started looking at SemanticWorks because I want to find ways of working with the semantic web with MindManager. Very slick interface and easy to learn.

6. CodePlex: This is a community software development site, like SourceForge. Should I put any of the Mindjet Labs solutions on CodePlex?

7. I picked up an excerpt of the upcoming Perason Education book Essential C# 2.0 by Mark Michaelis to read on the flight home.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that at the beginning of each chapter he has a mind map (that looks like it was made with MindManager).  In the preface, he explains that he does this because "Mind Maps allow you to absorb the flow from high-level to more detailed concept easily, with less chance of encountering very specific knowledge that you might not be looking for." 

What is clear to me is that by the number of Microsoft employees with the title of "Evangelist", Microsoft really values explaining their technologies and products to software developers.

4 Responses to “Back from Microsoft Tech Ed”

  1. Brett Bumeter

    >MSDN Wiki: The team at MSDN is trying something new: with their online developer documentation, they are integrating a Wiki so that users can add their own comments and code samples to any article or page. Should we do this with our DevZone?

    Answer: Yes


    Please consider developing a MindMap Wiki. This would make an excellent compliment not only to the development of MindManager but to many discussion boards online.

    Best Regards,

  2. Michael Ruminer


    I’m sorry we didn’t get to connect as fully as I desired to Tech-Ed. We were in a few BoF sessions together and some chalk and talks and even had a meeting psuedo-planned and never got to make that connection. I’ve been trying out MindManager for bit and do enjoy the product (you’ll find a few maps on my blog). As you know since my area is largely VSTS/TFS I am definately interested for us to make that missed connection. Drop me a line and let’s see if we can actually get the dialogue going now that Tech-Ed is complete.

  3. j stremikis

    “I would like to know how our customers would like to see their SnagIt and Camtasia products working with MindManager.”

    Michael — it’s like your “Charette” font and blueprint working together, behind the scenes to “invite participation”. that’s a start.

    from this side of the table, I’d like to see the natural next step with what you’re suggesting.

    the NetViewer application already makes it easy to “invite participants” to colloborate on small-scale.

    add-in the SnagIt/Camtasia, first as “add-ins” similar to how SnagIt/Camtasia install themselves into the menu bar of MS Office products. Do that with MindManager.

    next, in addition to the “meet now” that’s possible with NetViewer – add to MindManager an “Archive Now” option, right into the Menu Bar somewhere.

    Make it easy to record the meeting, behind the scenes as it were.

    This will put you and MindManager on a par with the
    Big Box and Big Bill tools called Live Meeting and WebEx. The Big Boys have come at this from the other way. They are struggling with “Meet Now” and with “Archiving” from their side of the equation. But, they do have it working. It’s easy to use the Big Box tools to not just do the big webinars, do the application sharing, such as MindManager into WebEx or into Live Meeting — but also to do the small Meet Now kinds of things. And, to record and archive.

    But the recording is Klunky.

    No user options. Difficult to get to the archive at their warehouse. Difficult to use their tools.

    Difficult, but possible to get the archive, and to
    repurpose it.

    Camtasia Studio could do such a neat job here.

    Just like the Web 2.0 and 2.5 tools. You scale right in there, when you ask questions like this. You are only a small step away. and, you just took a great step by asking your question and being open to feedback.

    It is easy to agree with you, about the TechSmith folks and Betsy Weber. She even came to see us !

    That is, she traveled to see her customers, and listened to them. Her colleagues put up with all sorts of grief with people under deadlines and who want to get things done now, without reading manuals.

    Troy Stein is just as amazing, as are the persons working to keep .swf and Flash under a users control.
    Try their Tech Support staff sometime. Try their user group community. They’ve got it right.

    Oh. One more thing. show us some demos of tablet PC, MindManager, NetViewer, and Camtasia working together. Not just a “desktop demo” or Screencast of one. It’s time to start collaborating by example, and putting feedback in.

    It’s time to start connecting MindManager to the Camtasia timeline and markers. It’s time to show us how to connect from a MM Map right into the particular mark-in the archive’s footage.

    Why don’t you and Betsy and colleagues put something together, over distance. I am pretty sure Betsy will be back here in town in August, and at our huge world conference on Distance Ed. I’m not sure why she’s not on stage, but her style is more like engaging participants right at their level on the street and in the aisles.

    But, you needed wait for that event. The collaboration starts now.

    So, are there more tools in this “MindManager, Application Sharing over Distance, NetViewer, Camtasia/SnagIt” integration?

    How does VoIP fit in ? Skype. It would seem pretty easy to have a “Poor Persons’ Collaboration and Archiving Suite”. In fact, we have it all, already.

    Give us a MindMap of those tools.

    After the map, “do the laundry”.

    We’re just lacking you and TechSmith putting your heads together, at the applications level.

    many, and best, regards.

    thanks for getting together with TechSmith.

    the two groups, it seems already have “participation” and “collaboration” pretty naturally hard-wired into their DNA. You’ve also demonstrated that with your ‘blueprint’ project.

    Encore. Encore.



  1.  Gary Slinger » links for 2006-06-21