I'm still at Microsoft TechEd, and the response to my question about how to effectively use my time at software conferences was overwhelmingly "networking is the most useful part of software conferences".
Problem: I have no idea how to even approach that task. I've always been kind of an introvert. At school and at work I've generally not had issues because there are enough extroverts around that approach me that I've made some awesome friends over the years. However, at conferences, it seems most are introverted like myself, and those who aren't seem to be salespeople.
The couple of times I've felt okay approaching people it's been after a session where there's been healthy discussion throughout the whole room, and just when I get the nerve to go up and talk to some people, they leave and go on to other things.
Is there a specific books I should read? Advice I can take? Anything as far as approaching people one does not know? 'Cause every time I try I just feel like an awkward mess. :(
(Oddly enough, I don't have problems speaking to a group of people -- it's the one-on-one things that trip me up :P) (Oh, and by the way, if anyone from here is also there and would like to meet to talk about things, I'm game :P)
So, how does an introverted programmer like myself network effectively at software conferences?