April started with a BANG! Doug Tunure, our Microsoft Developer Liaison, recommended me for the MVP – Most Valuable Professional award in Visual Basic and I was accepted!!! Yes, I intended to post that immediately right here, but April was consumed with hardware issues and the Visual Studio 2005 Lab Fest.
Let me thank publicly all my friends and fellow Guild members for their warm congratulations. When folks who really know you concur with an award – well, it meant a lot to me. Thanks guys!
Lab Fest: My user group, the Enterprise Developers Guild, joined forces with Central Piedmont Community College, Microsoft and our Lab Fest sponsors to put on a “hands on” training event designed to provide a useful developer experience with new products and tools. Thanks to incredible support from CPCC, Microsoft, and our most able volunteer staff, we are able to provide a “priceless” world class training event for Guild members and the students and staff at CPCC. Please check out the Guild Lab Fest page and frequent our local sponsors.
By all measures, the Visual Studio 2005 Lab-Fest was a rousing success. We averaged well over 8 on a “Richter Scale” of 1 to 9 on our participant survey questions. Total attendance was 70 software developers in the following categories:
1 Lab-Fest Project Manager
4 Lab-Fest Instructors
One of our instructors, David Catherman, developed most of the code and training documents. The project manager was Brian Gough. He was also the spark plug that got the whole “hand on” training bit going. Our “closer”, the guy who pushed the event to completion, was Eric Notheisen. Eric took a couple of vacation days to pull all the materials together and work with CPCC to verify the machine images. David, Eric, Marty Elvidge and I performed instructor duties. Proctors included Brian Gough, Jonathan Jackson, Joe Walling (Greenville chapter), Larry Anderson and Ghayth Hilal. Sylvia Walker, Derrick Exum and Condy Giambertone provided the volunteer efforts all the events require to achieve success.
As you can see, the Enterprise Developers Guild is “covered up” with talented people willing to “turn to” to get things done. Initial planning is underway for a SQL 2005 Lab Fest in October or November. Go to the Guild site and register as a member to get on our mailing list so you can keep informed of our plans and progress.
Hardware: May was consumed with a hardware issue. I allowed my vendor to put “el cheapo” memory in my Acer Ferrari 64-bit laptop to take it from the standard two 512 mb chips configuration to the desired two 1 gig chips. Figuring out that is was a memory issue consumed weeks. If you get screen freezes or unexpected black screen crashes on a laptop, look to your memory. Don’t chase the overheating phantom like I did. Figuring out which chip took even more weeks. Understand, this was done on an after hours, weekend basis with insufficient local vendor support. Jerry P. (Chaos Manor column) has told us for years that we need to use Crucial memory to avoid issues. Wonder if I have finally learned?
Luckily, my primary development machine is a company supplied desktop. However, all of my Guild, MVP and personal emails were iffy for the entire months of April and May. There’s nothing quite like prepping for a major volunteer event when not sure if your email is going to work.
Did I mention I started a new gig in April? And then there was the beach trip in June. Ok, ok, so I’m whining. It’s a fine whine and it’s my blog.