TechMentor Orlando 2011 is almost here (March 14-18 ). To get ready for my first TechMentor, I am looking at the sessions more closely to choose which ones to attend.

For the first three days, there is a PowerShell Boot Camp taught by Don Jones and sponsored by Sapien Technologies. Don has authored several books on PowerShell and is finishing up on his soon to be released book, “Learn Windows PowerShell in a Month of Lunches” Don has also created several videos for CBT Nuggets including Windows PowerShell On-the-Job Training Series and Windows PowerShell V2 — Advanced and New Capabilities, This boot camp requires a special registration, but it looks like it should be good.

I won’t be able to attend the boot camp, but I am looking forward to PowerShell presentations by Jeff Hicks. Jeff is a Microsoft MVP, author and speaker. In fact, he and Don Jones co-authored “Windows PowerShell 2.0: TFM”. Jeff is presenting three sessions on PowerShell: PowerShell Scripting Best Practices, Top 10 Active Directory Tasks with PowerShell and Getting Started with PowerCLI and VMware. As a Server Administrator, I definitely want to attend the Best Practices and Active Directory sessions. My toughest decision so far has been with the scheduling of the PowerShell Best Practices session. Mark Minasi is presenting “The Secrets of Technical Talks: How to Explain Tech Without Tucking ” at the same time. I enjoy any chance to improve my speaking skills, but I want to learn PowerShell! Decisions, decisions, decisions! I should be able to attend other sessions by Mark Minasi, especially the session on Windows Power Tools Treasury: Best of the Power Tools.

Whether he knows it or not, James Conrad is responsible for helping me upgrade my MCSE Windows Server 2000 to MCSE Windows Server 2003. James helped me through his CBT Nuggets videos on the topic. Currently, James is the Lead Recruiter and Instructor for CBT Nuggets. In the past, he has worked with Microsoft on their certification program. For me, seeing James at TechMentor is like going to see a favorite band in concert. After watching several of James’ recordings, I will get to see him perform live. Can his live performance match his recorded performance? I will get to see him first hand. James’ teaching style is very personal. As part of his videos, it is not uncommon for him to share his personal photos to illustrate a point. James is teaching four sessions and I am looking forward to “Using Free Tools to Control who Gets on your LAN. It’s More than Just Security!

For you Exchange Admins, J. Peter Bruzzese will be presenting five sessions on Exchange. I have watched some of the training for Exchange 2010 that Bruzzese created for TrainSignal and it is incredible! I know enough about Exchange to know that it is a difficult topic to master. It seems that every system administrator skill that you have must come together for one product (skills like Windows Server, DNS, database, PowerShell, and Exchange specifics). However, when Bruzzese explains Exchange in his videos, it looks so easy. And it looks easy because Bruzzese has a gift for not only understanding Exchange, but also how to teach it. If you are an Exchange Administrator, you owe it to yourself to attend TechMentor just to attend Bruzzese’s sessions. He is also presenting a Pre Conference tutorial on Four Hours of the Very Best Windows 7 Tips, Tricks, and Tools on Earth. In addition to being a TrainSignal instructor, J. Peter Bruzzese is also co-founder of Clip Training. Also, joining Bruzzese for the session “Capacity Management for Exchange: Lessons from the Field” will be Jay Paul Gundotra, founder and CEO of ENow, who has worked with Exchange since version 4.

I think that I will be spending a lot of time in HP Master Consultant Bruce Mackenzie-Low’s sessions. I am especially looking forward to taking his pre conference tutorial on Windows Crashes and Hangs: Simple Steps in Finding Every Root Cause. I believe this session may have the biggest impact on my current job as a Server Administrator.

In addition to looking forward to the instructors, I am also looking forward to the venue at Disney’s Yacht Club. Having stayed at Disney before and being a Disney World Annual Passholder, I can tell you that it will be a lot of fun. Disney’s Yacht Club is located close to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios. If you are attending TechMentor and are bringing your family, they will love it. The Yacht club has its own beach and the pool is beautiful! Transportation is available to take you to any of the Disney theme parks or to Downtown Disney for late night entertainment and shopping. You can even catch a ride to check out other Disney hotels. You will find the staff at Disney’s Yacht Club very friendly and helpful.

I am looking forward to going to TechMentor next week! How about you?

Registration continues through Friday, March 11th. Save $400 on a full conference registration by using discount code UGTM6. First time conference attendees will receive a $400 discount off the five day conference.