On Wednesday of IT/Dev Connections 2016 this year, just prior to the start of the sessions for that day, we have scheduled an official timeslot for BOFs, Discussion Panels, and Ask the Experts sessions. While BOFs also happen periodically throughout the week, this specific time (8:00am-9:15am) is set aside to provide an organized and separate timetable for anyone wanting to participate without having to miss out on educational sessions.

The discussion panels and Ask the Experts sessions are starting to round out. Today, I’m happy to announce a brand new panel just added to the Wednesday time slot. This panel, led by fan favorite Orin Thomas, will hit a sweet spot with many attendees – and it’s absolutely not something you can expect to find at a large vendor conference due to the sensitive nature of the content.

Here’s the full description:

Mid-life Crisis of the IT Pro

IT has traditionally been a vocation for the young, and the average IT Pro is middle age. Because the industry grew up around us, it was rare to find anyone older than us doing the job. Now we’re the ones going grey and we’re wondering what future we have.

Mixed in with the grab-bag of fears that come with reaching middle age is the reality that Microsoft has almost stopped talking to IT Pros and are aiming their messaging at younger developers. This has left many middle aged IT Pros who have specialized in the Microsoft stack wondering if there is a future career path with Microsoft technology other than being the last ones to turn out the datacenter lights when everyone has migrated to the cloud.

Things aren’t that dire, but Microsoft’s narrative for IT Pros has drifted into incoherence and its time for us to find our own story. In this panel driven discussion, you’ll learn why there is a real future for IT Pros in the Microsoft stack, even if Microsoft can’t tell us precisely what that is.

I’m thoroughly excited about this panel. This topic is a dire need for many in the IT profession and yet another reason why a boutique conference like IT/Dev Connections continues to excel in value over any other.