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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