Professional Geek Goes Seattle, WA.

Seven days of internal meetings and thousands of like-minded geeks can turn physically pear shaped. The content, if you have spent the last few months with your brain purposely set on idle, is just what the doctor ordered. All the Microsoft people I have met have been friendly, helpful and way smarter than me. And there is a distinct, resonating tone of listening. I am here to listen, so Microsoft doesn’t go pear shaped.

In the spirit of listening; it applies to internal conversations too. This week, Seattle, Washington, could have easily been Seattle, Western Australia. Which brings me to the hero of the week: Michael Kleef. More guts than the rest of the room combined, he had the heart to ask the difficult question about Exchange and global timezones: and through it became the Meme of the Week.

The two highlights of the week have been seeing Sir Bill Gates (although I note my esteemed collegue from the UK, Paul Foster, did not correctly refer to the Chairmain in this manner). Excellent view of the state of the technology and biology world. The other highlight was seeing BMW’s Director of Design: Chris Bungle present on Design as a meta concept.

The Starbucks virus started replication in Seattle. If you want to see your Starbucks future, with a Starbucks on every corner and in every hotel and arcade: visit Seattle. As a bright spark from New Zealand noted, it will be good to get home to real coffee. Not Starbucks. In fact, the best coffee I’ve had all week has been a French Pastierrie near Pike’s Wharf.

After introducing Jesse to Canada’s last resident comedians, Trailer Park Boys, I think he’s given up on posting the pictures of our outing to the edge of Puget Sound. Believe me, some of us did get out of the Hotels/Meeting Rooms into the harsh morning sea air of Puget Sound.

So I love Dynamic Languages. It has been interesting to hear the internal conversations related to C# and dynamic languages like Javascript. In my deeper learning of Microsoft, I had watched some of the Channel 9 videos of the language guru Anders Hejlsberg. There are some more dynamic “things” inside C# 2.0 (and the forthcoming C# 3.0) that make it and the CLR more dynamic.

Perfect evidence of this is the IronPython project. I have yet to get some cycles to pump out a project like Jon Udell. Or maybe I’ll go down the Ruby route thanks to some smart guys in Queensland, Australia: Ruby.Net. After seeing the ASP.NET Ajax stuff: from a Javascript and PHP perspective, I am all inspired to do some cool stuff. And see if MVC relates to these environments.

Office 2007. Now even Mac users are saying the interface shows that Microsoft can do innovative user interfaces. Yeah. And there’s a lot more inside Office 2007 that I will get to show off. There’s cool stuff inside IE7 related to RSS that are excellent for making your site more approachable, too.

Nextly, on to the “onboarding” training. This will make me less organisationally pear-shaped. Or so the HR and management theory goes…

One thought on “Professional Geek Goes Seattle, WA.”

  1. Untrue! You’ll see photos of the shenanigans this coming week! Keep on your toes too, as I’ll need my proper Aussie hat this summer 😉

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