I was in the Seattle, WA area last month for the 2010 edition of the MVP Global Summit. This year the summit was held in Bellevue and Redmond. I received my first MVP award last April in the Solutions Architecture expertise. Since the content of the Summit sessions is under non-disclosure agreement (NDA), I will focus on the activities around the Summit.
Day 1 – February 15th
I arrived at the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue mid-afternoon on Monday. I met my roommate and fellow link maven Elijah Manor, author/Tweeter of Tech Tweets. There were no official Summit activities on Monday, so we had some time to settle in, get familiar with downtown Bellevue and rest up for the busy week ahead. That evening, I attended Jeffrey Palermo’s infamous Party with Palermo – Summit Edition. Jeff hosts these parties during some Microsoft conferences, most notably PDC, the Microsoft Professional Developer Conference, and the MVP Summit. It was my first chance to meet some familiar online faces in person for the first time. I can’t list everyone here, but I will list some of them in these three categories:
- David Starr – Elegant coder and all-around awesome guy. David is a speaker/instructor with Pluralsight and hosts their Pluralcast podcast.
- Justin Etheredge – Justin has one of the best technical .NET blogs out there. He is an alumnus of DZone’s MVB program as well.
- Shawn Wildermuth – Shawn is an expert on Silverlight… he blogs it, he teaches it, he lives and breathes it.
- MVP / DZone MVBs
- Simone Chiaretta – It was great to finally meet Simo in person. He is an ASP.NET MVP and co-author of DZone’s ASP.NET MVC Refcard.
- Ivan Porto Carrero – Ivan is an IronRuby expert, currently working on Manning’s IronRuby in Action.
- Keith Elder & Chris ‘Woody’ Woodruff – The Deep Fried Bytes podcast hosts are always the life of the party. This was my second time meeting them, the first time being at PDC08. Keith and Woody are all about community and technology.
- Scott Guthrie - “The Gu” was in the house. He arrived later in the evening and announced the winning ticket in the Lego Mindstorms raffle.
- Tobin Titus – I don’t think I went an hour without running into Mr. MSDN the entire time I was in Washington.
- Jon Galloway – Jon is part of the Herding Code podcast and one of the evangelists who works in Scott Hanselman’s group.
This was the opening day of the Summit. The day’s activities were hosted at the Hyatt. The welcome reception held that evening was another chance to mingle and network with other MVPs and Microsoft folks. Each MVP Lead was present to meet and greet their group of MVPs. The food provided throughout the week was amazing. Chatting with Nate Kohari, James Avery, Michael Eaton and Alan Stevens was very cool.
Later that evening, at the Infragistics-sponsored Insiders Party, attendees were treated to bowling, drinks and finger foods. I was thrilled to meet Bill Vaughn, Glenn ‘MEF’ Block, Adam Kinney and Tim Heuer, among a multitude of others.
The first day at Microsoft’s Redmond campus was kind of surreal for a first time attendee. In classic newbie fashion, I headed straight into the Microsoft Company Store to buy my share of MS-branded goods and software/hardware. The rest of the day on campus was spent in phenomenal sessions that I am unable to discuss (sorry). Before being bussed back to the Hyatt, I had some food/drink with Bill Wolff and Rob Keiser, fellow Philadelphia-area MVPs at the product team dinner in one of the cafes on campus.
Day two of the on-campus super-secret sessions did not disappoint either. My favorite Summit session of the week was the last session I attended on day two. It was entertaining and technically very exciting. Thursday night we were bussed into Seattle for the big attendee party at The Garage. We bowled, played billiards, ate, drank and talked about very nerdy things. In addition to some of the folks I had met earlier in the week, I had a chance to talk with Phil Japikse and DZone MVB Corey Miller.
I had an early flight and was unable to attend any of the closing sessions on Friday. If I am awarded again this spring, I hope to be able to spend more time at the next Summit. I snapped this picture of the snow-capped mountains on my way back to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.