TechEd 2008, 2008 MVP, Hyper-V RTM, Sharepoint-Vista!, Sitecore 6, INETA Community Awards and NEW INETA NORAM Speakers!

Okay. I know. I know. I need to break these up and do blog more often. Being the VP of the INETA NORAM Speakers Bureau, running 4 user groups, planning 2 conferences per year, working a full time job, 4 kids and speaking at various conventions, you get the idea. So, I catch up when I can.

After prepping and then speaking at Microsoft’s Developer TechEd 2008, I had a lot to catch up on at work. It having been my first time at TechEd it was definitely amazing. If you’re a developer and have never been to one, you are definitely missing out. I would compare it to the World Series for Baseball Fans or the Superbowl for (American football) fans. You have must attend. It is so huge. I’m talking massive numbers of computers around for attendees to hop on and use, learning labs, Microsoft Certification Exam Center on site, Vendors and so many awesome speakers and presentations. They even bought out part of Universal Studios for an Attendees only party! Definitely don’t miss it! It was wonderful hearing from so many folks afterwards that my presentation really helped them a lot and how they loved hearing from an industry expert in the field, instead of just Microsoft folks. My presentation "How to use Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 as an Application Development Architecture" focused on two parts: the number of servers and type of architecture required for a high availability SharePoint deployment and how to do things the wrong way and the right with SharePoint development – main walk away point – focus on building powerful and reusable webparts and use as much from the provide application architecture as possible. Don’t always go the cowboy way and use the tools that are provided instead of just code slinging. You can find out more about my presentation on my Microsoft MVP profile.

I just read an awesome article today in CodeMagazine from SharePoint MVP and INETA Speaker Sahil Malik – it’s a must read – 10 Things You Wish they Told You – Part 1!

I just received the email today, that I have received the 2008 Microsoft MVP – Visual Developer ASP/ASP.NET award. All I can say, besides thank you, is I am just SO glad my date doesn’t fall on April 1st (Fool’s Day)! That would just drive me crazy. The most frequent comment that I’ve heard so far, "I figured you would have moved to the SharePoint group this time around". Well, for one, I am not one to "look a gift horse in the mouth". Not to mention, I haven’t personally investigated what it takes to make such a move. I did however prove at the 2008 MVP Summit that I can stowaway in the SharePoint sessions.

I will say this. In just T-minus 8 days, I will be contributing even more to the SharePoint community by way of a pretty rocking project on CodePlex that I’m wrapping up with the help of SharePoint MVP Stacy Draper and Rob Foster. So stay tuned! We have several more planned as well.

I just saw that Hyper-V RTM’d! So, I’m going to give it a whirl. When I tested a few months ago, it obviously performed better, but I was so used to Virtual Server 2005 that I chose to wait for it to RTM to try it again. I have already formatted my notebook and am running Windows Server 2008. No more playing around with VPC’s for SharePoint development for me. It’s given me a huge performance gain!

Also, on my desktop, which is running Vista 64 bit, I followed the step by step guide from Bamboo Solutions Jonas Nilsson, (who presented at my first conference ever – TulsaTechFest 2006!), provided to the community and with just a few minor security tweaks now have WSS running on my Vista Desktop.

Sitecore CMS 6, code named Crestone, was released yesterday (July 1st). I installed it last night and am impressed so far. Performance has been improved and integrated search, cleaner inline and end user publishing and a whole lot more – more details here. I’ll be covering more of my thoughts as I get to use it more.

If you don’t get the INETA NORAM Newsletter, here’s some of the key announcements: Time is running out for you to get your community contributions entered for dates July 1st, 2007 to June 30th 2008 – the deadline is July 14th, 2008. Shortly thereafter, INETA will be recognizing folks with the INETA Community Champion and the INETA Community Excellence Awards! Show us what you got now!

As the VP of the INETA NORAM Speakers Bureau, I included some updates regarding the NORAM Speakers Bureau! First, once Carl Franklin returns from his Speaker Idol world tour he will become active as an INETA Speaker again! And, help me welcome the NEW INETA Speakers: Richard Campbell, and DotNetNuke (DNN) Experts: Joe Brinkman and Chris Hammond, and SharePoint Experts: Andrew Connell and Daniel Larsen!

For speakers only, (at this time), I have created a LinkedIn Group and a Facebook Group to provide better communication and interaction between INETA Speakers worldwide.

I also created a Twitter account: @INETASpeakers, so it’s even easier for everyone to see which INETA Speakers are using Twitter and keep up with them and their activities a whole lot easier! You can get also become a Fan of the INETA Speakers Bureau and follow their Twitter activity from the Facebook page I set up here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/INETA-Speakers-Bureau/48220250083. I am making efforts to improve on the communication internally and between the Speakers and the community.

In closing, as I was typing this up, it’s now time to wish my wife Happy 14th Anniversary! It was July 2nd, 1994 that she made me the luckiest man alive and after 14 years and 4 kids, it’s awesome that we both still feel the same way towards each other, as we did, when we met in High School Driver’s Education class. (Now everyone knows why I failed my first driving test.) 🙂

Plus, I received an email confirming the details that I’ll be speaking at the newly formed Bartlesville .NET Users Group on August 8th, 2008 with my presentation titled "How to Build Powerful Webparts for SharePoint 2007".

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