This past week was the MVP Summit in Redmond. What a week! Some of it I'm still digesting, but here are my thoughts, highlights, and observations so far...
- First, I've never before seen Microsoft so open- asking and listening. From the SQL Server team, the summit was as much about future directions as about SQL Server 2008. I think that the direction and focus for the next couple versions of SQL Server is on target.
- I'm sorry to see Sean O'Driscoll move on. Thanks to Sean, I finally get what Web 2.0 means.
- My wife calls the MVP Summit, "GeekWeek" - it's the perfect geek mix of SQL Server, friends, and geek dinners and parties.
- As soon as I saw Hugo he said, "Hi, here's a tech-edited chapter on a USB drive!" Go Hugo! When this book is done, I owe Hugo a good steak.
- The apostle Paul went through a progression as he matured. He starts out boasting about being an apostle, then he writes that he's the least of the apostles, later he introduces himself as a bondservant, and in his last writings he calls himself the chief of all sinners. While I don't dare compare myself to the other Paul, the longer I'm an MVP, the more impressed I am by the other SQL MVPs and the luckier I feel to be among them.
- The Washington State Convention Center really can serve up some great salmon (you listening PASS?)
- SSMS and Data Compression are still my favorite new features in SQL Server 2008.
- I meet a group of MVPs from Russia and now I want to go back to Moscow!
- I saw my first 32Gb USB flash drive. Ooo. TechLust. I want one.
- I always take note of which notebook brands MVPs use - about half Dell and the rest a mix of Leveno/IBM and HP. The Dell Latitude 820 seemed to be the most popular model.
- The SQL Server User Education sessions had best snack food - mango and papaya!
- Last year I crashed one of the xBox MVP sessions just to see the eye candy of the new games. (I just watch xBox, I can't keep up with my son playing Halo. But I kick butt in WoW!) This year the Summit was so spread out across the campus, I couldn't do that. Besides, the SQL Server sessions were all so good I wouldn't have wanted to miss a minute.
- The trip to the Company Store to buy a new keyboard and some gadget is becoming a tradition. This year my new toy is a 2Gb MS Livecam for Camtasia.
- Buck Woody is a seriously funny guy.
- Steve Ballmer has a funny side too. His keynote was not the regular marketing pitch presentation. I got the feeling he was genuinely glad to see us and he was as open, friendly, and chatty as possible with 1700 people in the room.
- I still have no clue why Bill and Steve want to buy Yahoo's passé technology. Several MVPs were talking about the pending acquisition, and not a one of us could figure it out. Yahoo doesn't have any technology Microsoft doesn't already have. True, Yahoo has lots of email accounts, home page users, and advertising dollars, but little of that customer base is loyal. I host my website with Yahoo, but I plan on moving to GoDaddy as soon as I get the time to go through the hassle. Buying Yahoo only muddies the waters for Microsoft's efforts to improve MS Live Search. Besides, if they just wait a couple years, Yahoo will be out of business anyway. Bill and Steve what are you thinking? There are better ways to blow 30 billion dollars.
- I want some cool SQLwear sporting the new SQL Server logo.
- Social Media Networking is still in its infancy. Although I know a couple MVPs who Twitter and tweet, most of the MVPs I spoke with thought the whole idea was a waste of time.
- The Sci-Fi Museum is a way cool bittersweet walk down memory lane, and there are private jam booths at the Experience Music Project.
- Kalen and I met with MS Press. Every time I meet with Kalen I'm always impressed with her professionalism and grace.
- I don't think I've ever seen Chuck Boyce without a camera in his hand.
- Steve Jones has convinced me to try the Red Gates tools after this book is done. He used those magic words, "Ruth Chris."
- Peter DeBetta actually can sing, Louis Davidson is a gentleman, and Kalen can dance.
- I missed seeing Denis Gobo at the event. If anyone should be an MVP, it's Denis! Let's ALL nominate Denis!
- I'm now a week further behind on my book, but it was worth it.
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About Paul Nielsen
Paul Nielsen believes SQL is the romance language of data. As such he’s a hands-on database developer, Microsoft SQL Server MVP, trainer, and author of SQL Server Bible series (Wiley). As a data architect, he developed the concepts of Smart Database Design and Nordic – an open source O/R dbms for SQL Server. He lives in Colorado Springs.