Software Developers from across Australia have gathered in Brisbane for Microsoft’s tenth annual TechEd Conference.

The four day event which gives developers and IT professionals from around the world a chance to expand their knowledge of Microsoft technologies, commenced Sunday August 10 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre Queensland.

According to Microsoft’s Asia-Pacific Chief Technical Officer, Peter Moore, TechEd 2003 is the largest technical conference held in Australia attracting over 1600 participants, including 410 students who were invited to attend the Sunday sessions of the event free.

This year’s event is to be broken up into two areas: one for IT professionals focusing on system administration issues and a second for developers focusing on software coding, engineering and architecture.

In all, 60 speakers are expected to be presenting at the event. Microsoft representative from the US, including Ari Brixhorn, Tim Huckaby, Steve Riley, Scott Charney and Cliff Reeves will be speaking alongside locals Adam Cogan, Charles Sterling, and Michael Leworthy.

Microsoft will is also be providing over 100 hands-on sessions, labs to test Microsoft technology and ‘ask-the-expert’ sessions which will allow attendees to quiz the experts behind the software company’s technology.

Steve Riley, product manager with Microsoft’s Redmond-based security division, told ZDNet Australia that he would focus on convincing the Australian audience that wireless technology can be secure.

“There is a huge fear around wireless networks and many organisations have delayed implementation because there is misunderstanding. The goal is to help people overcome their fear and get on with their wireless implementation because there is a great business need for wireless in a lot of [situations]” .

Riley also argues that IT professionals need to adopt new ways of thinking when implementing security plans.

“We can’t rely more and more on a few firewalls and say hey ‘we’re done’,” said Riley.

“There needs to be a new way of thinking about coding—building security into the application and into the system and into the people that are using it, which can be a challenge”.

Riley also addressed some recent concerns about Microsoft’s newer server technologies, especially Windows Server 2003.

-For a long time it has been very difficult to configure our products to be secure because we did not have default secure connections. The products could be made secure but it was a bit of work. Essentially everything in [Windows Server 2003] is locked down or not even turned on, which is a change of pace for customers, as they have to figure out what to turn on rather than turn off.”

ZDNet Australia’s Builder will be covering the event live from Brisbane. Visit our TechEd page for updates from the event.