Will asked in my comments if I would “at least tell us which breakdowns you went to, and what MS developers you got to hang out with.”
So as an answer to his request, let me give a full summary of the week. First of all, it was an absolute blast. I met a ton of people in person who I had otherwise only known virtually.
Day 0 - Sunday
I’ve already blogged about the flight in and ride to the hotel. After that post, I headed over to the convention center to check in and have a beer with my MVP Lead. I met a bunch of people there wandering around.
I was very fortunate to have been invited to attend a meeting with some of the WinTechOffTopic people at Buca di Beppo. We had a pretty good turnout of people from the list as well as a few others who’s names I didn’t recognize but I was glad to meet.
After that most of us headed over to the bar at the W downtown for a few more drinks. Needless to say, I drank too much. I think I got home to the hotel at around 2am, but honestly I don’t remember.
Day 1 - Monday
The Day 1 material was essentially review for me (which is good because I was had a ballpeen hammer hangover all day). As a PDC attendee, there wasn’t really a whole lot of new stuff. Sure there were some Whidbey (now known as VS.NET 2005) features demoed that I hadn’t found yet in my explorations, but in general it was pretty much a PDC rehash.
The closing session for us developers was “The Chris and Don Show”. Chris Anderson and Don Box essentially did improvisational comedy and demos for an hour and a half. We did see some neat new Longhorn things, but honestly with that release being more than 2 years out, I have a hard time getting excited. The funniest part was when Rory yelled something about penis to Don and Chris.
Unfortunately, the XML and Web Services product teams hadn’t planned a dinner with their MVPs. But luckily former MVP and new MS Developer Evangelist Kirk Evans remedied that problem by getting Don’s team and Dare’s team to buy a sushi for a dozen or so MVPs. We went to Rikki Rikki in Kirkland and had a killer time. Ate some great food and hung out with some great people. And finally, after a few pieces of sushi and a Kirin Ichiban, my hangover went away.
Day 2 - Tuesday
Day 2 was the “leave your laptops and cameras at home” day where all of MVPs got together for “executive day” with Lori Moore, Eric Rudder, Jim Allchin, Steve Ballmer and Rich Kaplan (in that order). Given the fun I had the two nights before, I decided to sleep in and walk over whenever I got up. I arrived just as Allchin was hitting the stage. I stayed through Ballmer and then went back to the hotel. They showed some very cool stuff that we will all be enjoying in the next year or so. Trust me, there is some very cool innovation going on in Redmond, but we were specifically asked not to blog about it, so I’ll just leave it at that.
After Ballmer’s presentation, which was a lot of fun (again Rory was the highlight), I went back to the hotel to take a nap and work on my dasBlog to .TEXT converter. Got comments working (mostly) and then had to head back to campus for the MVP Summit party.
There are just too many funny moments for me to list them all, but here are a few:
- Rory waiting an hour to sing “I Want Your Sex” on karaoke and then leaving to go downtown as soon as he was finished
- Seeing Sam Gentile get all fired up when a certain unnamed MVP didn’t give him the respect he deserves
- Stealing the “Ask the Experts” signs with Christoph Schittko
- Ambrose has a picture gallery of (mostly) party pics from the summit
And as I already discussed, when I got back to the hotel, there was a party in the penthouse of the Westin that went until almost 3am.
Day 3 - Wednesday
I did the XML Web Services track, which means I spent Wednesday in a small conference room with about 20 other MVPs learning about Web Services in Whidbey, WSE 2.0, Indigo, etc. Much fun and I learned a lot.
I dropped Jim Newkirk an email the night before to see if he was available for a get together while I was on campus. He was gracious enough to invite me to lunch with some of his team. I had a great time hanging out with the PAG group. They are some very smart cookies.
Unfortunately, a few days before the event my employer asked me to change my return flight so I could be home to start a client project. So I had to leave shortly after lunch and didn’t get to spend as much time with the Indigo people as I would have liked. Too bad.
And as requested, here are some of the people I spent time with. They aren’t all MS devs, but I may as well list all of the cool people I got to drink beer, eat, and generally hang out with over the four day event. (This list is in no particular order.)
- Jim Newkirk
- Drew Marsh
- Ted Neward
- Julia Lerman
- Don Demcsak
- Scott Densmore
- Shawn A Van Ness
- Richard Hale Shaw
- Don Box
- Scott Watermasysk
- Sam Gentile
- Paul Wilson
- Kirk Evans
- Mark Dunn
- Rory Blythe
- Joe Fawcette
- James Avery
- Christophe Schittko
- Andy Smith
- Dare Obasanjo
- Scott Hanselman
- Robert McLaws
- J. Ambrose Little
- Jonathan Goodyear
- Robert Scoble
- Steve Smith
- Kathleen Dollard
- And way too many more to remember…