Last week, I attended my third Microsoft Global MVP Summit. The Summit is a conference held in the Seattle area open to Microsoft MVPs.
I signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement that prevents me from talking about most of the conference content; but I can tell you about my experience and my impressions.
By far, the best part of the MVP Summit is the chance to meet so many smart people. Many of them I know by reputation before I meet them. Every year I joke that I plan to be the dumbest guy in every room at this conference. And every year, the joke is very close to reality. There are some amazing people here - those with deep knowledge of a technology; those who have built amazing products or open-source projects; those who have written books and blogs that I've read; those who produce podcasts that I listen to regularly; and those who have a story to tell about how they use technology to solve real problems. I love meeting and talking with all these people.
The sessions are good, but, other than REDACTEDREDACTEDREDACTED, I didn't hear about a whole lot of new stuff.
There are some regular events in the evening and I took advantage of those. A party at Ted Neward's house attracted a who's who of technologists and the annual Party With Palermo (hosted by Jeff Palermo of Austin, TX) always attracts a great crowd. I attended a reception for first-time MVPs, even those this was my third summit, because:
- It was hosted by INETA and I am on the Board of Directors
- It was organized by my friend Joe Guadagno, who did an amazing job
- INETA presented a Lifetime Achievement award to Russ Fustino at the event and I wanted to be present to congratulate Russ.
The day after the Global MVP Summit was the ASP.NET Insiders Summit organized by Scott Hanselman. I was excited to attend this conference because I was invited to join the Insiders only a few weeks ago. (I think I was the newest member at the time of the Summit). These sessions were really informative. We got a look at new and proposed language, framework, and IDE features. We also had a chance to provide feedback to the product team; and to see several open-source web frameworks. Another NDA prevents me from revealing too many details of what I saw there, but I really learned a lot from this extra day. I plan to attend the ASP.NET Summit again next year.
Two days before the MVP Summit, a group of attendees and a few other volunteers traveled to the Northwest Harvest Food Bank in Seattle to help pack fruit for needy families in the area. This was a great opportunity to meet people, have fun, and do some good.
The week was exhausting but well worth the trip. If Microsoft will have me, expect to see me at the 2014 Global MVP Summit. And I still expect to be the dumbest guy in each room.