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rather than provide my view or a ms-slanted view of the event, here it from an attendee himself -- a Java enthusiast and founder of Javalobby.org, Rick Ross:

http://www.javalobby.org/eps/summit/ (about 20 minute narrated presentation)

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so spending the last week in redmond gave me a lot of insight.  i was able to do a few key things that were important to me in the first few weeks of working with ms.

it must be fun to work at ms campus
one walk around some of the buildings and you can see it must be fun for most to work there.  relaxed, yet professional and focuses environment.  everyone is able to establish their own identity of their office -- one woman had a tiki bar as her desk, which i thought was cool.  there is significant dining experiences (for those who care) that encourage a lot of interaction for the campus community -- and i was surprised to see how much of that occurred.

you must be smart to work as a dev
these guys are smart.  super smart.  extra super smart.  and diverse.  our crowd was throwing out tool/language names i've never heard of.  part of that is my ignorance and a result of me being exclusively in a ms-world for so long.  but it was interesting to note that the people who are devs on our teams have a strong background in all technologies -- and stay on the forefront of understanding all technologies.

i don't think i'm smart enough to be a dev :-)
i've often wondered why ms requires a strong c++ background on all their dev positions...my friends have also talked about this.  after all, look at some of the key people there -- they have business degree backgrounds and are self-taught themselves.  i now know that this is a true requirement and stems from a lot of fundamentals.  we as app devs often think in a business solving role.  these guys are software devs and have to *also* think of system solving problems (memory management, exceptional security, etc.).  a lot of these key skills stem from strong computer science fundamental education.  i hope some day to get there -- guess i better get studying ;-)  i didn't post about my interview too much -- it was different than most as it isn't a full dev role but rather focuses on devs in the community.  however i did talk quite a lot with one of my colleagues about some interview processes -- and the whiteboard questions he got that week were amazing...and over my head a bit in some areas -- i need to educate myself better.  it makes sense now to me why the interview process is so long.

ms is a big company -- duh
obvious i know...but seriously...you have no idea.  not just in terms of size, but listening to the execs and key people in the product lifecylce management, you get an appreciation of how big the company is by their processes, etc.

i've got a lot to learn
with any trip i realize this.  this one just helped me realize how much.  i look forward to working with the java/linux/etc. communities to get a better understanding as well as help them really understand the efforts ms is making and the gains ms is making in software development frameworks.

more to come...

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so today wrapped up our technology summit where we invited key people in the competitive industry to come and have some time for an open discussion with a lot of key people...here are some of those key people to name a few

  • don box
  • anders hejlsberg
  • martin taylor
  • eric rudder
  • chris anderson
  • scott guthrie
  • rick rashid
  • clr team

there were more, but as you could imagine, these are some big names at ms -- people who have influential capability.  this was a great event in my opinion, allowing me to better understand the competitive landscape as well as get a feel for some of ms' position on the matter.  i see good things coming out of the feedback of the group.  i share the group's sentiments about whether their input to the ms teams will be heard and better understood (read: take some of the ideas/concerns into consideration during planning phases).  i think it will.  chris anderson showed a great demo at the end of avalon (which you can get the ctp bits now by the way) thar really wowed some of the crowd, especially the flash guys in the room -- the adaptive ui is cool.  chris was kind enough to join our evening event as well and talk more with the guys who came (despite his wife's attempts to pull him away ;-)).

we had some key people from the competitive landscape join us.  out of respect for their privacy, i won't list who they were, but some were very public so i'll list their blogs:

it was a great event, i got to meet my extended team and they are a bunch of great guys.  i look forward to more of these collaborative efforts!

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this week i'm in redmond all week with what we call “competitive influencers.” -- that's right, i'm sitting in a room of about 35 guys who are the most talented, articulate, and intelligent guys in the community...and they represent java, linux, mac, macromedia, etc.

ms is engaging in more dialogs with individuals in competing technologies...not to convert, but to understand and education -- from both sides of the fence.

this is hopefully going to be a great event...some really good key speakers are lined up: michael howard, don box, eric rudder, etc. -- key people within ms.

if you want to learn more from a participant perspective, check out matt raible's blog: http://raibledesigns.com/page/rd as he's here and is already writing about it.

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well, it's been a busy week (last week).  i started at microsoft in my new role.  i can say that i honestly underestimated the flood of resources and information that i would need (and want) to absorb.  this had an impact on finishing up the stuff i needed to finish in other aspects of my life.

as with any job, the first week is somewhat of logistics and hr “stuff” -- the cool thing about ms is that a lot of it is automated and online.  very little need to sign/fax/print, etc. -- the resources available at the company are amazing...truly amazing.

i met a lot of people and learned some quick things/issues/etc.  i'm looking forward to the challenges and successes.

i can say that i was surprised at how much information is available to everyone within the company...that is great -- the company is opening it's kimono (within reason) to all employees.

keep looking for more details as i progress