Thoughts on the 2011 Microsoft MVP Summit…

This year, I had the privilege of attending the 2011 Microsoft MVP Summit.  This was my second summit as a Microsoft MVP, and once again, I learned quite a bit.

I really enjoy being a part of the Microsoft MVP program.  Yes, there are product teams out there who listen to their MVPs and make changes based on the feedback we give them.  So even if you aren’t an MVP, if you have feedback on a product, know that it could help to reach out to your local MVPs to help get your feedback to the teams.  Microsoft’s product groups have developers just like us on them – they appreciate the constructive feedback on how to make their programs better.  (I have yet to meet a great programmer who doesn’t like constructive feedback on how to improve their apps.  I don’t think great programmers like putting out crappy apps.)

My favorite session was a session not covered by a Non-Disclosure Agreement, so I’m happy that I can talk about it.  I got to see Mark Russinovich, the guy behind Sysinternals, talk about malware and tracking down using tools such as Process Monitor, Process Explorer, and Autoruns.  My inner IT geek had been counting down the days to the summit to see this talk, and it didn’t let me down at all.  The session went over much longer than was scheduled, and we had a mostly full room for the whole time.  Mark is amazing at what he does, and he’s also great at captivating the audience.  I’m glad they opened this session to many expertises, as this developer has even more respect for those like Mark who are trying to combat the malware writers.  I also am looking forward to his novel, Zero Day, that comes out on March 15th.

As for the rest of what I saw, there’s an NDA that prevents me from talking about it.  Only time will tell and we’ll see of the awesomeness that lies ahead.

I did learn quite a bit though while there – about my fellow MVPs, my friends, and myself.  On my flights home, I did a lot of thinking about the year ahead.  I thought about the talks that I’m hoping to give, the opportunities that I want to seek out or even create.  I’ve been inspired to create a few events and programs, which may take a couple years to flesh out.  I’ve got some lofty goals that I really want to achieve, so I need to find the right mentors to reach those goals.  I’m ready to get even further away from my introverted shell and to reach for the sky.

Thanks to all of the organizers who put on the 2011 Microsoft MVP Summit.  From the content to the in-person networking to the hotels to {insert all the other details that it takes to put this thing together}, there was a lot to do, but it seemed to go very well!  Thank you!

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