Leaping from one new Microsoft technology to the next - hoping that the next LINQ will be the LINQ home

MSBlast and Microsoft Support

clock August 28, 2003 17:11 by author Michael

While I have been helping a number of customers, a number of Microsoft employees volunteered to help Microsoft PSS support customers who had the MSBlast virus.  I would like to thank Robert Scoble, Steven Makofsky, Chris Anderson and the other Microsoft employees who took the time to help.  From their posts, it definitely was not in their job requirements to do this type of work.  I know that they learned a lot.  I know that they will take the lessons that they learned to heart and apply it to their current work assignments.  I subscribe to a lot of RSS feeds of many Microsoft employees.  The interesting thing I noted is that I did not see any entries about helping out in PSS from program managers, product managers, or marketing.  These are the people that I wanted helping out.  Why?  Because they are ultimately responsible for determining which features get into the product, which bugs get fixed, which get delayed to the next version, etc.  These are the type of people who need to walk in their customer's shoes.  Robert has talked about how Microsoft executives are compensated based on many satisfied customers there are.  I am just one developer, and in next year's performance review I will be judged on how I quickly I supported customers and my company's Tech Support, as well as how quickly I developed fixes or workarounds for those problems.  Robert and the others at Microsoft had an eye-opening experience directly supporting end-users.  For me, that is part of my everyday job.  I hope that Microsoft makes it a part of everyone's everyday job.


Original comments for this post can be found here



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Tech Support and the Blackout of 2003

clock August 28, 2003 16:41 by author Michael

One of the reasons that I have not been posting was that I was tied up doing a lot of customer support for several electric utilities.  These support cases started well before the blackout.  I do know that out Tech Support was called to help a number of power plants dump their respective data and logs as part of the investigation.  My test system in the office can log nearly 2 million events and 10 million sensors readings per day.  It will take some time to syncrhonize all the data from 100 power plants and determine the sequence of events that led to the blackout.  It is interesting to live in Twinsburg, just a few miles from where several of the failed power lines are located.  I also work a couple of miles from First Energy's Eastlake plant.  Every day the local news and TV stations present some new piece of information or new video footage.  Today, they had amateur footage from just before the blackout which showed a power line arcing to a tree.


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Reviews of the latest developer events

clock August 12, 2003 17:49 by author Michael

It was a busy day today.  This morning, I attended the Technet Briefing put on by Marc Malotke from Microsoft.  Marc always puts on a great session.  The first half covered Debugging Active Directory and the second half covered Group Policy Management.  It was tough for all of us to get going, since the briefing started at 8:00 AM, but Marc made the presentations fun, by demonstrating Group Policy management with sample users Good User, and Evil User.  As a developer, I feel that it is important for developers to hear about the MIS side of things.  Sometimes developers forget that our users are not just end-users, but the people that support the end-users.  The afternoon Technical Sales Seminar (TS2) was put on by Sjonia Harper from Microsoft.  Sjonia, like Marc, put on a great presentation about a number of tools and programs available to people who sell and service Microsoft software.  It is interesting to listen to the questions from resellers and solution providers.  Their questions usually deal with issues like licensing, Small Business Server, and how to present things to the client.   This gets back to what John Porcaro was talking about needing to see things in your client’s shoes.  I try to attend all the local seminars put on by Microsoft.  I always learn a lot about the software business, beyond the typical developer arena.

The evening wrapped up with Cleveland’s .NET SIG meeting.  Cleveland’s .NET SIG is sponsored by Microsoft, and Bennett Adelson Consulting.  Today’s meeting was a blast.  We played .NET Jeopardy.  The attendees were divided into two teams, and we answered questions on a variety of .NET related subjects.  The B team ended up winning.  We wrapped up the meeting with pizza and pop and some networking.  Monthly meetings typically have an hour and half presentation with demos and coding on a .NET subject.  They are held the second Tuesday evening of each month, and start at 5:45 PM.  Sign up at the Bennett Adelson Consulting website.

I know that a lot of people are complaining about the cost of the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference.  The important thing is that there are a lot of resources that Microsoft provides to developers that are free.  Besides the MSDN website and web casts, there are a lot of local resources and seminars that are available in your own city.  If you live in the US, I recommend checking the Microsoft Across America website to look for events and groups in your area.  When you attend a seminar, besides learning something new, you might just meet your next customer or employer.

[Now listening to The Search by Pat Metheny Group from American Garage (04:55)]

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