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Chris G. Williams Beware: I mix tech and personal interests here.
Since Rocky and I happen to both be at the Magenic Technology Summit in Chicago this week, I managed to find some time to corner him and ask him NINE Questions.

This means you, dear reader, get a bonus interview this week. This is my gift to you.

image1. Where are you from?
Aitkin, Minnesota. A small town with one stoplight and surrounded by a lot of great fishing lakes.

2. Who do you work for? Give me the 10 second pitch on them. Why would I want to buy their product?
Magenic, probably the largest Microsoft-only software development consulting company in the US. I work with Magenic because of the high caliber and professionalism of their consultants, and that’s exactly why you’d want to hire Magenic for your .NET project.

3. What brought you to your current employer?
I have a great deal of respect for Magenic’s owners on a personal and professional level. That respect has led to good personal relationships, and from there to a business relationship that is mutually beneficial to both me and Magenic.

4. I've known you from your blog for years, but that's just one side of you. What's something the world doesn't know about you?
It is hard to say. I’m just a woodsman-turned-technologist, and I suppose someday I might return to the deep forests of northern Minnesota to enjoy a retirement of fishing, hunting and generally loving the outdoors. That’ll be after I write the science fiction novel Carl Franklin is always asking me to create :)

5. You went to TechEd2008 (Developers) this year. What did you think? Worth going back again?
I really liked that Tech Ed was focused purely on developers, with IT Pros having their own conference. This allowed Microsoft and the speakers to focus on the target audience and provide an overall better experience. Tech Ed is always a spectacle, in that it is so big and so over the top in many ways – you’ve got to go for the experience, as well as the education. Yes, I’ll be there again.

6. Lots of folks find equal or greater value in the networking, rather than the sessions. Would you agree?  Did you have a favorite session or event?
For me it is mostly about the networking, but during the sessions the rooms tend to be full and the hallways empty, so I think you can’t discount the value of the sessions to most attendees. My favorite “event” was the Simpsons ride at Universal – how cool was that!?

7. I followed a lot of folks on Twitter during TechEd, and it seems like the way to go when out of town. What's your take on Twitter?
Twitter puzzles me, even though I use it. Over 200 people listen to me tweet about the weather, my airport frustrations, what games I’m playing and various other random things from my life. It seems very voyeuristic, and I can’t imagine it is that interesting. I only subscribe to pure-content feeds that are entirely non-personal, and to feeds from friends/colleagues where I do care what they are doing and thinking.

In that regard twitter is useful, because my friends are so geographically dispersed it is otherwise difficult to stay in close touch. Over the years I’ve developed close friendships with people around the globe, friendships that are as tight as those I have with people who live in my same geographic area. For people who travel a lot, the reality of friendships changes.

So while twitter is helpful, it is also very weird, because it allows friends to stay in touch, while allowing the rest of the world to randomly eavesdrop. I expect that something will ultimately replace twitter – meeting my need to stay in touch, without having the strange distortion effect where hundreds of other people are also listening.

8. Any non-technical hobbies? What are they and why?
Many. I have wildly diverse interests ranging from music to politics to the outdoors to science fiction to the creation of role playing game systems and worlds to science to history. It is true that the summation of human knowledge has expanded far beyond the capability of any one person to absorb even a fraction of the collective knowledge. At the same time, I think it is important to know and experience as many diverse things as possible. Otherwise I’ll never figure out what I want to be when I grow up   :)

9. Last of all, any tattoos?
Nope, that’s one diverse experience I have yet to pursue.
Posted on Friday, June 20, 2008 1:03 PM General Interest , NINE Questions | Back to top

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