March 2007 - Posts - Starbucks .NET Developer

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Starbucks .NET Developer

Coding tales from my 2nd home - Starbucks

March 2007 - Posts

  • MVP Summit - What a great time!!!

    I returned from the MVP Summit recently and it really lived up to everything that I heard about it.  Unfortunately, I was not able to make it last year, but everybody said such great things about it that I was really looking forward to attending this year.  It definitely lived up to it's expectations. 

    I have never been to the Redmond Campus before, so that was a real treat.  When you are there, the physical size of Microsoft really hits you.  The campus consists of one building after another, each one being the size of a medium to large size company alone.  It is really tremendous and you could only get through thanks to a very effective transport system (with some very friendly drivers to boot).  When you consider that this is just one campus and that there are numerous campuses all over the world, it really shows just how large the company is.  At the campus, the XML MVP group met with the developers and product managers of the products and technologies that we use every day, all day.  We had conversations with them, discussion in detail any questions that we had, give our opinions and discuss what is coming down the pike.  It is nice to experience a company that values feedback so highly.  Best of all, this was all face to face with the people who actually develope the products (literally) .  Having face to face discussions with these folks was really exciting!!!!  I can't wait for the next time to visit.

    The Keynote was given by Bill Gates and I had never seen him before in person.  Like just about everybody else in the audience, we were star struck!  Bill Gates is an incredible individual at many levels and the keynote was definitely the biggest highlight of the event for me.  The Q&A after the keynote was almost as informative as the keynote itself and I was amazed at how well all of the questions were answered. There are some truly incredible technologies coming down the pike and it is very exciting to be a part of it. 

    Lastly, I had a chance to meet with alot of people that I have only emailed with and chatted with online only.  Here are some folks that I met up with.  Some of them have photos, but I would love to get other photos that I was in, so I am in the proces of hunting dow a list.

    Lorenzo Barbieri and Mighell Locuratolo - These are good friends of mine from the Italian .NET Community.  I have had extensive conversations with them both over the years.  I chat with Mighell on a very regular basis and I was really happy to have met them in person. 

    Ken Lin  - He was an earlier contributor to community-credit.  I had a chance to meet with him, Nori Chun, Paul Lo and other members of the Hong Kong .NET Community.



    Ryan Olshan - We chat on a regular basis, but this is the first time that we actually met in person.  After the dinners we went out on the town with a bunch of folks and it was really a blast!

    Joe Healy, Stan Schultes and Rafael Munoz - We had some great times after the regular events ended.  Getting together at events like this really increases the fun by a factor of 10.  I must say that some of the best conversations that I had at the Summit took place here.

    Hima Bindu Vejella - She and I have talked extensively regarding  It was great to meet her, Abishek Kant,  and the other members of the India .NET Community.   One other thing that was interesting about meeting people from the Indian development community is that many of them have never met in person.  It is funny, a few of them live about 5 minutes away from each other and the first time that they met in person was when there were both 12,000 miles away from home.  I can tell you from my experience with, they are definitely an active community.

    Bruce Thomas - I have met Bruce a few times in the past and he somebody who I admire for the work that he has done.  In fact, his wrote the app that was based on.

    Shaun Walker, Nik Kalyani and Leigh Pointer - It was a real pleasure meeting them.  The funny thing is that Shaun Walker was speaking at a conference that I was also speaking at, but never really had a chance to meet up, so it was great to say hello.  I had also spoken with Nik Kalyani a few times on the phone a while back, but never met.  I met Leigh Pointer for the first time, but we had a bunch of things to discuss that we will definitely be working on something together in the very near future

    Greg Young - I do not have a picture, but Greg has been very helpful with as well as a good person to chat with and to get opinions on.  He always has a refreshing point of view.  It was great to meet in person.

    Terri Morton - We met up at a few places at the Summit.  I enjoyed some of the conversations that she and I had and it was nice to have them face to face.  She is the program manager for Telligent, of which this discussion board was built on.  She even contributed this great Real Technology Hero  - Mr "I got an error" guy

    Laurent Duveau - I met him and the Canadian MVPs.  They really added a new level to the event by all showing up in bright red hockey Jerseys.  I had a chance to give him his award and prizes in person.  The canadian guys seems to be having alot more fun than anybody else.

    Russ Fustino - This is the person who nominated my for my MVP, so I have you to thank for being there in the first place.  Thanks Russ!!!  It was a great time!

    These are all of the people that I have taken pictures with (trying to track all of the photos down and will be updating this post).  I did meet a number of other folks, so let me give a shout out to everybody that I met at the summit, new acquaintences and old alike.  Online is great, but it is always better to meet face to face.  Also, let me send a big thank to Joe Healy, Russ Fustino and everybody at Microsoft that  helped to make it happen!!!! 

    Between technical knowledge, meeting fellow computer geeks in person, visiting Microsoft Campus and seeing Bill Gates speak, I had the time of my life!!!!  I can't wait until next year!

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  • Excuse me, I have to go put a fire out

    How many times have you said this?  Some emergency comes up and you are on the phone or in the middle of something and you have to run to solve the emergency.  Well, last week this happened to me quite literally.  My girlfriend's daughter called me with a panic saying that there was a fire in her car and that I should come immediately.  So, I grabbed half a case of dasani water bottles thinking that it would be a small fire.  I guess that I would never make it as a fireman.  As I approached the corner of where the car was parked, I saw this giant red glow and my jaw dropped.  Once I rounded the corner, I saw the car and it was ENTIRELY ENGULFED IN FLAMES .  The car was just one giant fireball and my 6 bottles of dasani water would not have helped very much.  Pretty much the only thing to do was to just let the fire department put the fire out.  Wondering what happened?  She had some mechanical work done on the tail light and it seems that it caused an electrical fire in the car. 

    One interesting note about this whole incident was that there was a guy in the crowd who was complaining about what the fire did to his lawn.  My lawn! My lawn!  I guess that he thinks that she was inconsiderate to have her car catch on fire on his lawn.  His laments fell on daef ears.


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  • Real Technology Heroes - We Salute You!!!

    I just launched a new site,, which is a concept that just cracks me up.  Real Technology Heroes takes its inspiration from those great Bud Light Commercials, but with a Geeky Spin to it.   Instead of the traditional heroes that you may have seen, this site has Geek-oriented heroes.  For example, we have Mr "I can write my own version of ASP.NET better than Microsoft" Guy or Mr. "Select * from Table examples" guy.  Currently there are about 30 of them and they are all really funny, IMHO. 

    I have also added a bunch of features to get other folks involved.  You can create your own heroes, add narrations and even add recordings and/or videos.   You can also send somebody an award officially acknowledging them as a "Hero".  I have already sent out awards to folks that I think fit the title of Mr. "AJAX should still be called XMLHTTP" guy and Mr. "That Feature has been in Java for Years" guy. 

    The site was launched at the recent MVP Summit and I kicked it off with a contest for the people to name the best two new heroes.  The heroes nominations were submitted and a team of judges decided which were the best and funniest.  The winning suggestions will have lyrics written for them and will be recorded next. 

    And the winners are....

    1st Prize: Miguel Antelo won for his submission of Mr. "Works on my Computer" guy.  Miguell submitted this hero that we all know and, like myself, we have all uttered these words at least once in our careers.  Miguel won a "USB Missile Launcher".

    2nd Prize: Caleb Jenkins won a flying alam clock for his submission of Mr. "Overly Complicated Applications" guy.   If you are not familiar with the flying alarm clock, it literally flies around the room and the only way to turn it off is to catch it and return it to its base.

    The Crack Team of Judges:

    Below is the team of judges that decided on the winners for the MVP Summit Contest.  I must say that these people are among the funniest people that I know and after the summit, I sent out all of the submissions to them and we all voted on the best submissions. 

    Joe Healy, Russ Fustino, Steven Smith, Jonathan D. Goodyear, Gregory Young, Andrew Connell, David McCarter, Wally McClure, Leigh Pointer, Carl Franklin, Brian Peek, Scott Fletcher, Billy Hollis

    Who takes credit for the site?

    As much as I would love to take full credit for the site, with everything good there is always a team of people behind it.  To give you the cliff notes version, the idea just came to me while I was working away at Starbucks.  I chatted a friend of mine, Wally McClure about it and he just rattled off a bunch of really funny ones.  The two recorded ones are actually his idea.  We were both just cracking up.  A little later, I was chatting with Steve Smith about it and he had some really great ideas for adding community features to it.  It was a little while until I built the actual site, but a big thumbs up to Matt James for helping with the design since I am quite graphically challenged, myself.  Last but not least, I recorded the first two and they did not sound all that good and could not find anybody that had the right voice.  It was the weekend before the MVP Summit and I did not have any recordings.  Scott recorded the first two and they came out better than I could have ever imagined. 

    Submit a Hero

    Each month, as new heroes are submitted, we will vote on the best ones of the month and at the end of the month, the best new ones will get a coffee mug and t-shirt with their hero on it.  The best submissions of the month will also be recorded. 


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  • - My Favorite New Geek Site

    As you can imagine, I go quite a bit of surfing around on "Geek Sites" and found one that I would like to share.  This site,, really nails it when it comes to style, content, geek culture and character. I originally stumbled upon it while surfing around for cool new prizes, but got sucked in quickly.  In fact, a few of the prizes in this month's competition were originally found there.  The site itself has a very appealing 2.0 look to it, just comes across as friendly and seems focused on appealing to Geekettes.  It has a number of features to it that let you tell a bit about yourself and, although I am really new to the site, will fill in shortly.  I have not had a chance to explore all of the features of the site yet, but it seems to have done a nice job of focusing on bringing the geek (and geekette) community together.  I will definitely be a regular there.  Once you start surfing around the site, you will see that it extends beyond just geek content and has a number of other sections (popsugar, buzzsugar, fitsugar and other "sugars").  I can't say that I have plans on taking a milkbath anytime soon, but I could not help just cracking up at this picture (below) from the fitsugar section:


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