Last Thursday, August 23 2007, I had the pleasure to get paid time off from my employer to attend a local Orlando MSDN Developer Evangelist event hosted by Russ Fustino, our Florida MS Developer Evangelist, in Orlando. I was both pleased and excited to see a real turnout of new faces I've never seen before, as well as good friends and several other MVPs who made the trip, either as attendees or presenters.
Russ Fustino surprised me. Although Russ and his MS cohort Joe Healy and I have become friends because of our almost constant interaction at various developer events (Code Camps, MVP Summits, PDCs, Tech-Eds and even local developer user groups like our OneTug Orlando .NET User Group) I had never seen Russ do a full presentation. Bottom line, Russ is an expert presenter. This guy did four hours of "stuff" -- all by himself -- and I gave him an 8 out of 10.
I've done some presentations at public user group meetings, and I intend to do more in the coming months. I can tell you that it is not easy. There is a lot of stuff that has to come together, not just technology (laptops, VPC images, presentation screens and "the unknown") - but you also have to be flexible enough to adjust to real - time developer questions and other kinds of "Curveballs". Russ did an excellent job, and he communicated some excellent basic concepts about LINQ, WCF, and SliverLight - all in one powerhouse presentation. My only regret is that I had to jump out back to the Bromberg Ranch right after the close and was unable to attend the Pub Club afterward.
So this is an endorsement of the entire Microsoft Developer Evangelist cadre and effort - Microsoft brings out an amazing array of new products and technologies -- and they truly understand that they need to bring this home to us, the local level developer community, with these MSDN and related events. If you are a developer, whether new or experienced, you can make an investment in yourself by getting involved in your local .NET Developer Group, attending or presenting at local Code Camps, and developing relationships with your local Microsoft Developer Evangelist.
They gave us some nice presents -- one of the most valuable of which was a DVD with all kinds of very current content related to the presentation. NIce!