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Doug Butscher Nothin' but .NET!

This weekend, Jeff Julian and I have been given the privilege of recording podcasts at Microsoft's We Are Microsoft event, called the Charity Challenge Weekend. We are in Dallas, TX, the location of many wonderful things (light bulbs and elevators), most notably the extremely delicious Baja Burrito at Baja Fresh Mexican Cantina.

I have to admit that I was not too aware of what this event was all about, but after learning, I quickly jumped in with both feet. The Charity Challenge Weekend is all about pairing local Dallas charities with mostly local software developers with the purpose of building a quality software package, in 3 days.

18 charities have been selected for this event, and each charity has an average of 3 to 4 developers assigned to them. Each charity has its own individual set of requirements, from brand new web sites, to existing web site re-design, to custom Intranets, all the way to SQL upgrades. The implementation styles are as varied as the requirements, using technologies such as SubSonic, DotNetNuke, Grafitti CMS by Telligent, and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server.

We've had the opportunity to sit down and talk with, and record, about 8 or 9 of these charities today. We realize that these teams are extremely busy, and we appreciate the focus and dedication they are applying to this implementation.

One thing this event is really trying to stress, and that we are trying to capture in our podcasts is that in every community across the country (and beyond), there are developers who are looking to give back to their communities. Some of them have even mentioned helping out with local Habitat for Humanity projects, only to end up with bloody thumbs. On the opposite end of this spectrum are the charities, who work diligently to support their organization, and are having to cope with the frustration of an antiquated or under-developed record keeping, tracking and sharing system. This event is providing the opportunity for these charities to save their money, and for developers to save their thumbs, and apply their most valuable skills to a worthwhile cause. Sappy commentary insert here, but I really was filled with inspiration at many points during the day.

We've got gobs and gobs of photos of the event, with all of the developers hunkered down, churning out code (except us, for once! Although I did squeeze in a little XAMLicious WPF on the down-low), which will hopefully be posted soon. Jeff and I, when we reached critical tiredness, decided to take our roving camera out on the carpet for a tour of the facility, and the insanity that quickly began to unfold. We're still debating if this video is a suitable YouTube release candidate.

Jeff is posting all of the podcasts over on his blog, and you can find them here. For a list of all of the charities here this weekend, along with their mission statements and implementation requirements and proposals can be found here.

I hope to post a follow-up to this blog sometime tomorrow (after another delicious meeting between me and a Baja Burrito, of course).



Posted on Sunday, January 20, 2008 12:05 AM | Back to top

Comments on this post: We Are Microsoft | Charity Challenge Weekend

# re: We Are Microsoft | Charity Challenge Weekend
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It is nice to see that there are many developers that will donate their time to do home improvement projects for Habitat for Humanity.
Left by Sabine on Jul 20, 2011 11:03 PM

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