For most of the month of February I will be participating in what promises to be a very interesting Microsoft employee training event.  The program is officially 3 weeks long and focuses getting folks in product teams to better understand our customers through direct experiences.  The intent is that if I know my customers in a deeper way I will make better design decisions, better triage decisions, etc. 

 

Here is how the trip is shaping up for me… of course I have already learned that it is necessary to be flexible, so they dates are open to change:

 

Feb 7- 11: Answer phones with primer support for .NET Framework\VS.  This will be in In Irving, TX.  My goal for this time is to make contacts with the folks that support the CLR and to get a first hand taste of the kinds of issues our customers are hitting.  So if you have a really hard problem, save it up for that week and call support! ;-)

 

Feb 14-15th: Customer engagement in the bay area.  I’ll be working with one of our key web ISVs in the bay area.  My goal there is to get a better understanding of how they are using the platform and give them some connections into the product team directly.  I also expect to get to write a little “demo” code showing off how to get a designer experience in VS.  Pepin, I may be calling you for help ;-)

 

Feb 16-18th: Customer engagement in the Houston, Texas area.  I’ll be working with the IT group of large MS customer.  They are building a framework for B2B eCommerce websites that their subs will use to build custom websites across the world.  Should be a good chance to talk about framework design and see how many of the concepts we use in designing the .NET Framework work in the IT space.

 

Feb 21-25th: I’ll be taking most of the time off to meet up with the family in North Carolina.

 

Feb 28th-March 4th: Customer engagement in RDU, NC.  I’ll be working with an important ISV that is doing a ton of work for their next windows client in managed code.  I’ll also get to spend time with their IT group internally I hope.  I am looking forward to seeing the specific problems managed code on the client is having. 

 

My overall goal for the time is to get to know our customers and the Microsoft field folks that work directly with them, so I am open to other opportunities as well.  I am mostly free in the evenings and am open to user group gigs or a blogger dinner or something.  Let me know if you are interested in helping me get connected in these areas.

 

Do other companies do training like this?  Anyone have tips for me as I go on this adventure?