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Saturday, March 17, 2007
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Microsoft MVP Program I was invited to attend the Microsoft MVP Summit last week. If you want to know what the Summit is about or what a MS MVP is, Google is your friend.

This was my fifth(?) time at an MVP Summit and except for some specific exceptions I was under-whelmed by the majority of the "official" part of the summit this year. I do not know if it is because of the quality of the sessions, or because over the last number of years I am spending so much time in the wider technical community (Java, Open Source, Architecture, SOA) that I have a greater understanding and appreciation of what exists in the eco-system, which in turn allows me to be knowledgeable enough to ask the following questions:

  • Does this capability already exist in the wider community? If so, what is the rationale for the MS capability?
  • Is MS supporting the accepted and existing standards (official or un-official) or going their own way?
  • If MS is going their own way, do the benefits justify adopting this path of possible vendor lock-in?
  • Is this capability something innovative that MS is providing? If so, how can this capability benefit my community?

It is probably a bit of both.

Some of the items that I was exposed to really seemed to be taking the tack that even though a comparable capability exists in the community, they are planning on "taking the best of what is out there in the community" and doing a MS specific implementation. Not my thing, as re-inventing the wheel leaves me rather cold. I would rather they work to support existing community standards and shape the direction via participation in the standards process.

There were, in some cases, exceptions to this approach where they are addressing problems in unique and interesting ways, which left me asking if it would be possible to extend the approach to other platforms and technology stacks.

One thing that I want to call out is the time that I spent with folks from Microsoft's Application Consulting & Engineering (ACE) Team. Particularly the ACE folks who focus on Security. If I understand their role correctly, compared to product teams for Vista, Office, ASP.NET etc., ACE folks support Microsoft's internal Line of Business applications. Given their role, they have some unique insights to offer in the areas of threat modeling applications and providing value to the business. There are some really nice lessons to be learned from those folks in the areas of IT Governance, demonstrating how security adds business value and more. Wish they would publicize some of their best practices and lessons learned or provide them as service offerings, as it would be of immense benefit to a lot of organizations.

So much for the "official" part.

The un-official part of course is the community of folks that you come in contact with, the relationships you build, and the information and lessons learned that you exchange in such a setting. It is also something that lasts beyond the event.  That, as usual, was simply outstanding and is in a lot of ways the primary reason I attend this event. I'll pass on the name dropping, but since he blogged about it, I'll simply say that my mind-meld with JD (who IMHO is one of the most effective PMs at Microsoft) was as usual outstanding and worthwhile.

Tags:: Musings
3/17/2007 6:57 PM Eastern Standard Time  |  Comments [0]  |  Disclaimer  |  Permalink   
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