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Chris G. Williams Beware: I mix tech and personal interests here.

We're shaking things up a bit over here at NINEQuestions.net. My 32nd cousin (she was born a Williams) and temporary co-host Rachel Appel is turning things around and asking me the questions this time. I'll let her take it from here.

When I saw Chris doing the 9 Questions series on his blog, I wondered why everyone else got a little shot at web celeb and not the man himself.  So I hopped on IM and said “Hey Chris, you’re interviewing everybody, but where’s your questions and answers? You have to dogfood your own blog posts, you know!”. So Chris agreed that yes, he should answer his own questions. Well, it took a little “convincing” - he agreed after I kicked him around a bit; (but don’t worry he likes it).  So with that I present to you, dear readers of Chris’s blog, and my own (Hi mom!), 9 Questions with Chris G Williams…

iowacodecamp 1. Let's start off with an easy one... where are you from?
I grew up just outside of a small (< 1800 people) town that almost none of you have ever heard of, called Buchanan, VA. It was about a half hour away from Roanoke, VA which a few more folks have heard of. I lived in that area until I was 20 and joined the Navy. I did 6 years in, and bounced around the South for almost 12 years after getting out and for the last year I've called Minneapolis home.

2. What do you do? Where do you work? Give me the 10 second pitch.
I'm a Senior Consultant / Technology Evangelist at Magenic. We are a Microsoft Gold Partner, and we focus exclusively on using Microsoft technologies in our solutions. My job is a combination of dev and design, with some marketing and recruiting thrown in for good measure.

3. How do you like working for a well known company like Magenic?
HA! This is the easiest question you've asked yet. I love working for Magenic. I'm surrounded by incredibly bright, motivated and helpful people on a daily basis. As a bonus, I can also walk into nearly any tech conference wearing a Magenic shirt and people will start up conversations.

4. How did you end up where you are now?
I firmly believe that everything in life, every choice we make, leads us to where we are at this moment. I did consulting for years when I got out of the Navy and after the industry tanked (post 9/11 dot-com-bomb) I decided it would be safe to work as an in-house employee somewhere for a while until things stabilized.

I did that for a few years, and while I mostly enjoyed it, I found myself rusting a bit. So I decided to get back into consulting. I initially went to a small shop in South Carolina that wasn't really a good fit with who I am, so a buddy of mine from Microsoft (and former Magenic guy) made a phone call and lined up an interview.

I spent a little over a year working with the Atlanta office and traveling extensively. When the opportunity arose to relocate to the home office (in Minnesota) and do less travel and more community events, well... I jumped on it. It was the right decision at the right time, even though it meant leaving behind some really good friends and family in the south.

5. You're pretty big into XNA, I always see you doing XNA talks, but what else are you into? What does your daily job entail?
My daily job is about designing and developing whatever the client needs. It varies from customizing automated build scripts for ClickOnce deployment in TFS, to developing a utility to keep disparate database schemas in sync across multiple platforms. It's always a challenge.

As for what else I'm into... I've been playing with ClickOnce and PowerShell lately. It's much sexier than most people realize. I'm also bouncing some ideas around some custom LINQ stuff and I'm itching to write a Twitter client, just because it seems like a fun thing to do.

6. What's your favorite technology or tool to work with?
VB.NET all the way. I'm a VB MVP and proud of it.

7. You're on my twitter friends/followers list, so what do you think of twitter, and social networking in general? What's your primary use of twitter?
I love Twitter. It's the bright shiny object my ADD can't stop staring at. It's at my desk, on my phone, in my car, at dinner, breakfast & lunch. I check it before I go to bed, and when I get up. If I wake up in the middle of the night, sometimes I check it then too.

I think Social Networking is the killer app of the internet. We're rapidly approaching all the stuff I used to laugh at (and secretly dream of) in the comics and sci-fi novels I read as a kid. I can't wait. It's even cooler that it's happening now and I can watch it evolve through my lifetime. Tomorrows kids will have no appreciation for it.

My latest Social Networking toy is TripIt, which Rod Paddock clued me in on. It's really cool, especially if you travel a lot, and you have friends/colleagues who go the same place as you, from different starting points... hence the Social aspect.

8. Do you have any non technical hobbies/activities?
I'm a pretty dedicated gamer. At last count I had 9 bookcases full of RPGs and other games, about 7000 painted miniatures and a collection of vintage arcade machines. I also recently started taking guitar lessons, and I really enjoy it although curiously I don't have much time for practicing.

9. We all *know* you have tattoos, but which one is your favorite and what's going to be your next one?
I'm not sure I have a favorite. I love them all equally (ok, not entirely true... I have one or two I might not be crazy about) and they each have a memory connected to them of where I was living or what I was doing when I got them.

I have planned out my next one though... I have a meeting tonight to start work on a full back piece. It's going to be huge, take about 35 hours and parts of it will hurt like hell. On a positive note... those two tattoos I'm not so crazy about won't be an issue when I'm done.

Posted on Friday, August 15, 2008 10:29 AM General Interest , NINE Questions | Back to top


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