Tuesday, April 22, 2008

MVP Summit Wrap Up

Like Nino, this was my first summit even though I've been an MVP for three years.  I spent most of my time in SharePoint sessions; however, I sat through part of the C# Language Future discussion (my head still hurts) and a wicked cool glimpse into Rosario (VNext of TFS).

I hooked up with a lot of old friends and made a lot of new ones while I was there -- and spent a LOT of time talking with Jef about a lot of important things for building a great development team such as culture, doing agile right, etc., etc., etc.  Seeing Keith Elder get on stage and sing karaoke (and break the process) nearly paid the price of admission for me.  I also got to meet Roy Osherove and Oren Eini (Ayende) which was great because both them helped me out with the book.

I also had a couple nice chats with Ben Curry who I met at SharePoint Connections in Las Vegas last November.  He's a wicked smart SharePoint MVP with a lot of experience in huge-scale SharePoint jobs.  I can't wait for his book on SharePoint Best Practices to come out.  Additionally, I met Eric Shupps who is one of several folks I'm working with on a cool SharePoint project -- more on that when things gel.

Perhaps the funniest thing about the Summit was sitting in a session on Excel Services while I was IMing back and forth with Phil about a problem we were overcoming.  I'm heads down with Phil confirming our approach, then look up and see a demo using Excel Services -- and see a solution to the exact problem we're working on.  The ES team dev who built the demo was in the back of the room, so I grabbed him after the session and got some validation that we'd identified all the issues and were solving it in the right way.  That was worth the entire trip out to Redmond!

One thing that struck me about Microsoft's attitude in nearly every session: they are actively seeking feedback from the community on current features, planned features, and general pain points I mean "opportunities."  I will (and do) bust Microsoft's chops on any number of issues, but the effort they're putting in to changing their culture is amazing.  I was part of some tremendously productive conversations with the Visual Studio team, and listened in as the Really Smart SharePoint folks conversed with any number of different MOSS team folks.

Overall it was a great trip and I'm looking forward to the next summit!

(Oh, and my Tweets went from four to 70 in one week...)

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