Rocky Mountain Tech Trifecta v2 big success

The Rocky Mountain Tech Trifecta v2 was the epitome of community and teamwork. Last year’s event started as your basic Code Camp that then grew by SQL and Windows tracks. Rocky Mountain Tech Trifecta v2 was a day full of .NET sessions, SQL sessions, Windows session, SharePoint sessions with a side of pizza.


We started at 7:30 am with (early) Birds of a Feather sessions while we set up breakfast and registration. At 8am our hearing impaired attendees started to arrive and since our interpreters had cancelled last minute they just started their own sessions; then Joe Wilson did an impromptu MVC session for them and Drew DeVault interpreted. By 9am we had checked in and directed over 400 attendees to the four different keynotes.

We had invited Scott Guthrie (aka “The Gu”) and he had to turn us down. But he was a great sport and let us video some fun footage for our .NET keynote. We “kidnapped” and “interrogated” him for details about Visual Studio 2010 and the keynote focused on new technologies that helped to locate and save The Gu. We had Steve Lange organize the team with TFS, Scott Golightly put the site in Azure, Beth Massi managed the double agents via a SharePoint site, Keith Brown covered security and David Yack used Silverlight in a Bing Maps application to locate The Gu at the interrogation site. We even had an impersonator in a red polo.

When his projector failed, presenter James Johnson didn’t let that stop him.  He flattened out his laptop and used a document camera to display his screen and presentation for his group.


The event hosts, Metro State College of Denver, requested a beginner track, level 100 learning. Kathleen Dollard, Jeff Certain, Ben Hoelting and Drew DeVault organized a full day of beginner sessions and their room was full all day. Our beginners were all given DreamSpark subscriptions. We had attendees in the sessions that were of all ages and a presenter that is 16 years old (the 16 yr old presenter was my son :) ).

Our presenters came from all over the country and we had attendees from coast to coast. There were evaluations that said sessions were too long and some said too short. Some said show more code, some said show less. The great thing about our day was the cross-technology sessions. A DBA probably wouldn’t attend a Code Camp; a developer would avoid a SQL PASS camp. But if all the sessions were in the same place on the same day, they would likely attend sessions from other technologies beside their chose field and gain a greater awareness of the other dependent technologies that need to work together.

Best quote from an eval…. “This event was as a good as some I’ve paid hundreds of dollars to attend.”

To the guy that left in a huff because it was a waste of time, I’m sorry the event wasn’t what you were expecting, would you like a refund?

Some numbers for you…

  • 105 pizzas
  • 6 deaf/hearing impaired attendees
  • 1 speaker stranded in the snow in NYC
  • 500 cookies
  • 400 muffins
  • 14 states that attendees came from
  • 23 Dave’s in attendance
  • 3784 oz of coffee consumed
  • 55 sessions
  • 1 kidnapping :)

Professional Community Resources- find ‘em here

It took me a long time to realize how much I love learning and love helping others learn as well. I’ve brought that to work with me, hosting events, user groups, etc. I love being the person that helps you with that one introduction you’ve been dying to get. It feels great to help people develop a better professional self. However, it doesn’t matter how many links you see, how many people give you advice, YOU HAVE TO TAKE A STEP and own your own professional self. With that in mind here’s a list, surely incomplete, of some of my go to resources.

(if you do contact any of these resources realize that most are volunteers with regular day jobs and while they are happy and eager to help, it might take a couple of days for a response)

INETA, the global group that helps with .NET Developer focused user groups. All the groups there are not hard-core .NET, but all have a .NET component to them. There’s xRM/CRM groups, XNA groups. Loads of them. Find a group near you, or a virtual group that suits your need.

PASS, the Professional Association for SQL Server. These folks do for DBAs what INETA does for developers.

GITCA, the Global IT Community Association. They do for IT Pros what the others do for their target as well.

Community Megaphone, a great holding place for professional technology events. Here you’ll find user group meetings, code camps, special events, etc. You can visit the page, get their RSS, and submit your own event.

Microsoft DPE (Developer Platform Evangelist) - a resource within Microsoft proper whose directive is to spread the word and connect YOU to learning opportunities. (this link is for US DPE search, to find yours outside of the US, search at Microsoft for your country DPE)

DreamSpark- A program that offers developer tools for students for free (yes, free, sure there are requirements, but worth looking into)

BizSpark- similar to DreamSpark, but for businesses. These tools have an expiration date, but also come with a mentor from an established firm.

DigiGirlz- a traveling event/afternoon aimed at young women as a way to encourage them to give technology careers a try. It’s full of interactive activities and I have heard nothing but awesome things about the events.

WomenBuild- you get to play with Lego’s here! Seriously, this is not a tech only event, but a great hands’ on group that uses creativity to bring out some differences we face as well as walk thru problem-solving.

Microsoft MVPs have earned their awards based not only on an expertise of a certain technology, but based on their efforts in their professional community. Find one near you, not so near you, ask for help. It’s what we do.

MSDN Forums- pretty much any category you could imagine, find it here. These are monitored and answered by the gurus themselves, it’s almost like free product support.

Microsoft Regional Directors are a highly underutilized and under recognized resource. These are really the best of the best. Smart, helpful, these really are the expert to the experts. Don’t let the name fool you, they are not Microsoft employees, just people really good at what they do and people that enjoy spreading the word.

MVP Global Summit day 1 for a newbie

Today was the first official day of the annual MVP Global Summit, a coming together of professionals from loads of disciplines, from nearly 100 countries in a week-ish of events.  Everything from the typical cheerleading sessions to deep dives with product teams to good ole networking with like-minded people.  As a fairly new MVP I have heard of this event from my friends and always wanted to go, but had not been invited until this year.  A very exciting week for me.

My “designation” is Dynamics CRM, a rather intimate group, less than 50 of us.  However, I’ve worked with INETA for years and spend loads of time in the developer community as well as the CRM community, so I know loads of people here.  Feels really nice seeing all these people I respect in this type of environment, as an equal to so many really smart people.  Surreal actually.

I will come clean with two things that have not pleased me so far.  For all the past summits that I have heard about, Steve Ballmer has been here to address the group, and he is not here this week.  He’s a pretty dynamic and inspiring guy and honestly should be here.  Second, I know I should be honored (and I am) that one of my accomplishments was featured on a  slide at today’s keynote (my work with the xRMVirtual user group) but it would have been so much better had they spelled my name correctly.  My name is not that tough and did you have to spell it “July”?  Now I am just waiting for the Miss July jokes.  I am a good sport, so go ahead.  Just make sure there’s a sash and tiara too.

We are all sworn to secrecy for the exact event contents and reminded often of that commitment and I won’t be spilling any details about any secret sauce.  But we are encouraged to speak about the “experience” we are having.  Key resources from within Microsoft are here seeking honest feedback from the folks out in the field doing the work, like us.  The week promises to be full of more of that.

I am having lots of conversations about the power of xRM and that it really is here to stay and a viable option as a solution for so many software needs.  It seems everyone has heard of it, but so few know much but are eager to learn more.



Dynamics CRM MVPs (and one in training) at the Welcome Reception.



Having fun with my friend Beth Massi (Senior Program Manager on the Visual Studio Community Team) as we do our best Charles’ Angels pose.


Dynamics CRM MVPs Shan McArthur and Darren Liu at the opening keynote.

10 ways to convince your boss to give you a comp day to attend the Trifecta

Not every boss can be as accommodating as I am, so I made a list of ideas that you can use to convince your boss that you deserve paid time to attend our little event.  Use them however you wish, tweak them to better apply to your job, and let me know which ones worked!


  1. It’s training from industry experts and rock stars that would normally cost thousands of dollars and it’s FREE.
  2. I can come back to work and share what I’ve learned with the team.
  3. The networking time with like-minded professionals will be invaluable.
  4. Free food.
  5. I won’t ask again until Trifecta v3 in 2011.
  6. Maybe I can present next year?
  7. I’ll wash your dog.
  8. I just really want to go and will pout and mope around the office if you say no.
  9. I can mingle with inspiring industry rock stars, my idols!
  10. Did you see last year’s DBA vs Developer Showdown???

Rocky Mountain Tech Tri-Fecta / FrontPage

11 year old charged as adult? Crazy

This is insane.  Any one that has spent anytime with kids knows how crazy this is.  There is no doubt this kid knows right from wrong, heck a 5 year old knows right from wrong.  That still doesn’t mean a child understands the consequences of their actions. 

Kids are not equipped to deal with life on their own, that’s why we are responsible for them until they are adults. 

Does this kid need help?  Yup.  Does he need consequences?  Of course.  Should he at 11 years old spend the rest of his life in an adult prison.  No way.

Boy, 12, faces grown up murder charges -

Rocky Mountain Tech Trifecta v2 schedule posted

The schedule is posted!

The schedule is posted! Have a look at the great day we’ve got planned. Tell your co-workers.
We have added a SharePoint track. We have many local speakers, many speakers from afar. All ready to take part in another great day full of (FREE!!!!!) professional training.

Schedule here

Our Sponsors are great!

Our sponsors have jumped at the chance to participate as well; they have donated close to 6-figures to help keep our day free to attend. Please visit our sponsor page and click thru to their links, these companies happily support our professional community.

Sponsor Page

ASL Available at EVERY session

All of our sessions will have available ASL interpreters for anyone that needs it. Please visit this survey link to let us know what sessions you will be attending that need the interpreter. Again, this survey is ONLY for those needing the ASL interpreters. It is out of respect for the time of the interpreters that we ask for this in advance.
(if you don't know what ASL is, this probably doesn't apply to you. It's American Sign Language)

ASL Survey here

Ok, so now what?

What’s left? Register! Forward this email to others. Blog about the event. You know the drill, we are a professional community that likes to share the knowledge and raise the bar for all of us to grow our skills.


MBA day last

Wow, time sure flies.  Tonight is my last class for my MBA and while I won’t have the whole cap and gown shebang until June, I will officially graduate after this class tonight.  I will have some free time now.  Well, probably not, what does one do with free time anyway?

Why did I get my MBA?  I have a great job that I love.  I did it for me.  I wanted some validation for what I already do and know and also wanted to round out my business skills.  To those toxic people that called me stupid or laughed at my ambitions I say “How do you like me now?”  It feels great proving you wrong.

Tonight we’ll celebrate.  There will be a big party for the graduation and my big 40th coming up later this year.  I’m excited about the cap and gown shindig, I’m speaking there.  What an exciting opportunity!

The next graduation is my Drew, Pine Creek High School class of 2011.

Now back to work to pay off the student loans!