I’ve been renewed

Last week I spent at work sitting in my parents’ house just out of Dunsborough, approx 3 hours South of Perth.  Despite not having an Internet connection I had one of the most productive weeks in a while.  This was probably the result of a number of contributing factors, but I think mainly the good food and wine (of which I’m sure we ate and drank too much).  The downside of working offline for a week is that I now have to go through the rather painful process of merging changes back into our source repository.  Most of this went smoothly but there have been a few hiccups where VS has decided certain files have been checked in, when in actual fact they haven’t.

The other thing I now have to do is to sift through a backlog of emails.  Luckily our email server went offline on Sunday so try as I might I can’t do this until I go and pick it up, reconnect it and turn it back on (which might if I’m luck happen tomorrow).  On Sunday I did manage to do a quick scan through my email and I noticed a couple of rather important onces.  The first being that I have been reawarded/renewed (whatever term you like to use) as a Microsoft MVP for another year.

In the past my community efforts have focused primarily around running the Perth .NET Community of Practice (www.perthdotnet.org); however, in my absence Alastair and Mitch have been doing a great job and I’m reluctant to jump back into doing that.  Plus with my ongoing commitment to The Microsoft Developer Show I suspect that I won’t have too much time to spare.  That said, there are some things that I am going to be taking an active interest in over the next 6-12 months.

  • Imagine Cup 2007 – As you may be aware I helped judge the Worldwide finals in 2004 (Brazil) and 2005 (Japan).  Due credit to the Australian competitors who took part in this event but I was disappointed at the general level of participation in this compeition from universities, and their students.  You would have thought a trip to the Worldwide finals (this year in Seoul) and a cash prize would be enough to get any beer drinking yob (aka regular uni student) to compete (agreed not quite the type of student being targetted but you get the picture), but no, it seems that universities are either too disorganised or decide that because it is Microsoft run it must be a bad thing.  I would like to work with the local universities (UWA, Murdoch, ECU, Curtin…) to get as many students to enter and put together an entry for the finals as possible.
  • Camp Vista – That’s right, we are in the process of organising a full day event dedicated to all the goodness that Microsoft released last year.  Whilst a large proportion of this will be around .NET FX v3 there are some specifics to SQL Server, Office, Vista, SQL Server CE and a host of other products that we want to cover.  Hold onto your hats this day is going to be good. More details on this as they become available but expect the date to be sometime in the 3rd week of February.
  • Orcas – Last year I got all amped up about Linq only to loose interest due to the timetable (ie 18-24 months away).  This year as more CTPs are being dropped (still waiting for the Dec Jan CTP) I will start to blog about the new features particularly in the .NET CF 3.5.  With Linq and related technologies we are finally starting to see real converges across the data divide.
  • Microsoft Sync Services – On The Microsoft Developer Show last year I interviewed Steve Lasker who had recently been doing a number of sessions around the proposed Microsoft Sync Services (MSS).  Anyone building Occasionally Connected applications will understand the pain associated with syncing data.  MSS should dramatically simplify this process so I’m going to be following this one closely.
  • Conferences – As per the last couple of years the big events around Australia (for me at any rate) are going to be Code Camp 07, MEDC (assuming this happens in Oz) and TechEd.

…. I’m sure other things will of course take my interest but they are just escaping my mind for the moment

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