As noted before I was NOT renewed as an MVP this year, so I was surprised to get a letter today that said the following:
Which topic would you like to see me present at the Atlanta Cutting Edge .NET User Group (formerly the C# User Group)? I've given a presentation on Custom Providers in ASP.NET at Code Camp that some have asked me to do again, but it would be a repeat, or I can dig into a little known but powerful specific provider and do a presentation on Logging and Diagnositics in ASP.NET. Those are probably the only two options for now, so please give me your preference on these two, but feel free to suggest other topics if you have a good idea and I'll consider it in the future, although probably not right now.
I am excited to announce that I will be joining Mimsware on October 26th. Mimsware is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner in the Atlanta area offering services spanning software development, network infrastructure, and products to corporate, government and small- or medium-sized businesses. While my focus will of course be working on real applications for Mimsware, I will hopefully also finally find a little free time for other activities. So if you're in the Atlanta area and looking for a great team of consultants to help you design and implement a software solution using Microsoft stuff, then don't hesitate contacting Mimsware to get proven experience.
Don't ever book your Delta flights directly through Delta! My story has a good ending luckily, but no thanks to Delta. This started when I booked some flights for my family's vacation over 2 months ago. This is for a vacation still over 4 months from now, but I wanted to reserve our spots. I hated doing it at that time since gas was so high, but the accommodations had to be reserved. So today I look at my itinerary, not really for any reason other than I wanted to. And there I found that one leg no longer said confirmed, instead it said contact Delta. So I called Delta and they said they did not go to my destination anymore. I asked why they hadn't bothered to notify me, since I've specified I do want notified of any updates. Their answer was that there is no reason to notify me this far in advance. Hmmm, I purchased my tickets this far in advance because I want to be sure. And now there's one less carrier going there so I'm sure its only going to be harder to get there. But Delta has decided for me that its too far out to matter, even though I've requested notifications.
So next I asked what my options were, alternative carriers or refunds. Well it turns out they really want to find an alternative for me. But after checking, since they don't go there now, their idea of an alternative is to go somewhere else. I told them it was easy to find alternatives with other carriers if they were willing. But apparently an alternative carrier is not a viable alternative for them, even though they no longer go where they sold me a ticket too. So that only leaves a refund as an option, which they were happy to do. And that then allows me to go book my own alternative, averting a potential disaster. The funny thing is that most of my itinerary is still Delta, and some of it are the exact same flights. But since gas has gone down I'm actually paying less than I was earlier, and Delta is getting less. By the way, should an alternative not been easy to find, or not cheaper, it turns out travel insurance would not have covered this. They'll cover if the carrier goes bankrupt or has a strike, or changes our itinerary during our trip, but apparently is totally acceptable if they just stop going to the location they sold you a ticket to.
The Atlanta Cutting Edge .NET User Group is meeting tonight, October 2nd, at 6pm at the Microsoft offices in Alpharetta.
Its October 1st, which is the annual date that the majority of MVPs are announced, so I'll take this opportunity to announce that I am officially no longer an MVP. That's right, I was not renewed as an MVP -- and I think MS made the right decision.
I was first made an MVP in October 2002, which made me one of the first .NET MVPs. At the time I was the top poster in the ASP.NET Forums, active in newsgroups, and I was also evangelizing various base page template methods to use with ASP.NET. Why was I active in these venues? Quite simply, I had the time, and I enjoyed it. I was not seeking any recognition, but all the sudden I found that I was noticed -- I was even invited to the first private alpha of ASP.NET v2.0 with some big names.
My time got a little tighter over the following years, but I was still involved, so I was renewed in 2003 and 2004 since its a lot easier to get renewed than noticed. Then I got even busier with both my job and my wife's health taking lots of time, and yet I was renewed again even in 2005 -- and I probably shouldn't have been. But since then I've only gotten busier with my job, and I hardly ever post anymore, so it really came as no surprise when I was told that I was not to be renewed as an MVP.
And I think this is the correct decision by MS -- MVP renewal should not automatic. Some people are still renewed based on their names mostly, but maybe that's ending. Instead, its nice to see new people recognized for their community contributions.
Speaking of community, its also been very cool to see how Atlanta's has grown up. I remember going to a few user groups back years ago and wondering why I bothered. But now there is a very active group of people involved in the Atlanta community. I remember being the very first developer-oriented MVP awarded in the Atlanta area -- and now look at the very impressive group of developer MVPs that Atlanta can boast. So now when I do have the time, I choose to be more involved in our user groups.
So while I'm very proud of the fact that I have been an MVP, for four years even, I'm also very glad to be a part of the local Atlanta community, and to know so many. Hopefully I'll have more time soon to be even more involved -- so watch for more news. :)