Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Bill Gates at the MVP Summit 2007

The morning started with a speech by the Chairman of Microsoft.

He spoke in length about the "Digital Age" and the opportunities it provides - often delving into topics such as developments in multi-core processing, and the evolution of technology that has made online video et al possible.

Bill Gates captured in an animated moment

What impresses me most about Bill Gates is his modest demeanor and the comfort with which he addresses an audience comprising of people from every walk of life.

It was my privilege indeed to see the most successful software architect in person!

Sleepless in Seattle...

It would not be fair to blame the jet lag for any amount of sleeplessness that I experience out here. The excitement and thrill in being part of such a wonderful international event is more likely to be at blame!

Yesterday, eight of us MVPs who come from different parts of the world and knew about each other online - via Codeguru finally met in person. This is a wonderful feeling and always makes me feel thankful for the opportunities the digital world provides!

In the evening, we took a walk to the Pike Market and as we sat down at a public square overlooking the bay, I decide to pen my greetings down on postcards to be sent to friends and loved ones the world over...

My late-evening plans included a party for delegates from the EMEA in the Grand Ball Room at the Sheraton. I was not only impressed by the quality wine and vegetarian food (something that impresses me only once in a blue moon when visiting the US) but also by the thoughtful organization that had installed Billiard Boards and Table Soccer games for the attendants to enjoy!

I must be some sort of a Table Soccer exponent out here for I ended my day with about 20 straight wins. A Table-Soccer MVP at last - ha!

The day had been eventful and enriching to say the least - what with all the interesting people I met and the experiences. This much excitement can naturally not be put to sleep at the turn of a knob. We were the last people to leave the ballroom (believe me - more than half the tables had been turned upside down when we left) and I reached my room-with-a-spectacular-view at midnight...

View from my desk as I compose this post

I make a meek attempt at sleeping while bracing myself for what will inevitably be another enriching day - one that starts with a speech from the Chairman of Microsoft - Bill Gates.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Seattle... First impressions...

Rainy and Overcast - first things that came to my mind as I land in Seattle, Washington.

The flight to Seattle was particularly weird. My American Airlines aircraft was at times withering like a leaf in a storm and at moments seem to be surfing (imaginary) waves with the skills of an experienced surf-boarder. As AA served neither breakfast nor snacks (those could be purchased if they hadn't been oversold) and offered the passengers something to drink - but only once, the flight in a S80 (no, it is not a Volvo) was a real queasy experience.

However, every dark cloud has a silver lining (or so I believe) and the S80 gave me some splendid views of Canada...

View of Canada from my window seat

As I had nobody sitting next to me to talk to, I spent my time reading "The Deadline" - a book that gives a very good insight into Management Principles from a funnily cynical perspective.

Microsoft has arranged for excellent accommodations in this truly world class hotel - I have no regrets in choosing The Westin in downtown Seattle. Lunch is an Italian Risotto at a neigbouring restaurant with a couple of Excel MVPs (the waitress surprised us by asking where we are put up - a surprise that got later explained when she offered Bruchettos - allegedly sponsored by The Westin - who's complaining?)

In a few moments (hopefully) Guido will be ready for a power-walk in downtown Seattle, followed by a power-dinner. Marius and Brad cannot be traced, and other MVPs from Codeguru are scattered all over town.

The view from my desk as I compose this post is excellent... The Space Needle is right in front of me, and the bay is to the left...

Daytime view of the Space Needle from my room

This is the room with a view!