In a previous blog entry, I wrote about selecting presenters for the upcoming SoCal .NET Technical Summit II conference and enumerated a representative sample of the kind of impeccable credentials that these premier speakers bring with them. This time around, I’d like to call out some of the sessions that you can look forward to and tell you something about the person presenting it and how the topic came about.


Let’s start with Rocky Lhotka’s sessions since it was his impressively long list of qualifications that we singled out previously. One of the omissions from the prior list is Rocky’s frequent participation at the Strategic Design Reviews of Microsoft’s Developer Division. If you haven’t heard of these previously, it is because they are strictly invitation-only, non-disclosure briefings exclusively for the absolute top tier development experts of the world.


With this highly privileged insight into Microsoft’s future directions, his own years of practical experience, and his current leadership position at the forefront of emerging technologies, Rocky’s knowledge and counsel are truly treasured commodities that are highly sought after by major corporations. I cannot reiterate how fortunate we are to have an opportunity to tap into Rocky’s observations for the mere $99 cost of admission to the conference!


So what is he going to be talking about? I’ve arranged with Rocky to put together two presentations exclusively for our conference. He’s going to kick off the architecture track with an appraisal of how far the technologies behind distributed computing have come to date and where they are heading tomorrow. Then, in the afternoon, as the keystone of the .NET 3.0 track, he’s going to provide his own personal assessment of the Windows Communication Foundation (WCF). With Rocky's reputation and renown and two topics like these, the sessions are sure to be packed - better reserve a seat now...


Let’s move onto Scott Stanfield’s session. I could quote to you a long list of credentials accumulated by Scott and Vertigo Software, the company that he co-founded. I could tell you that he is one of Microsoft’s Regional Directors in Northern California, that he is an ASP.NET MVP, he has spoken at TechEd, VBITS and other conferences, his company is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, and a whole lot more.


The most important information about Scott that you should know but doesn’t appear on his resume or string of accomplishments is that he and Vertigo are the people that Microsoft’s .NET teams call upon to build the showcases for their technologies. As such, Scott has been the key figure behind the .NET Pet Shop reference application, the ASP.NET Starter Kits, the TaskVision smart client application featured at DevDays 2003 events around the world and more.


Initially, when I first began discussions with Scott about possible topics for him to present, he was very focused upon presenting ASP.NET 2.0? I presumed that he wanted to leverage content that he already had “in the can” when Microsoft commissioned Vertigo to create the “How Do I?” series of videos for ASP.NET 2.0 that were recently published online. This was kind of timely but hey, anyone can just go ahead and download the videos now without waiting for (or even, gasp!, bothering to attend) the conference…


Since I had already lined up three interesting, in-depth ASP.NET 2.0 presentations, I countered with “Atlas”, a future ASP.NET technology. Well, it turns out that Microsoft already happens to have Vertigo putting together sample demonstrations for “Atlas”. Suddenly, the discussion that seemed at an impasse completely turns around to the serendipitous confluence where Microsoft’s premier new technology advocate will now debut a specially created session on his personal favorite selection of new ATLAS features, exclusively for your benefit. If only everything in life could turn out like this…


OK, last one for today and this blog entry. Let’s turn the spotlight on Russ Nemhauser now. Russ is an ASP.NET MVP and has worked on Web projects for major corporations including Microsoft. He has presented previously at conferences like VSLive! and Developer Connections and at user groups, locally in SoCal and out and about as a member of INETA’s speaker bureau. He is also one of the personalities behind the DotNetJunkies online community and has had articles published in several magazines.


Though Russ and I both live in Los Angeles, it seems we usually only communicate with each other via IM rather than picking up the telephone. Naturally, this was how we collaborated on the selection of his presentation topic and we settled quickly upon the ASP.NET 2.0 providers in general. Then we just tossed around some ideas to be covered tactically to flesh out the session topic some more and we were done.


As you can see, the sessions rarely ever come about the same way. Each has their own behind-the-scenes story and there is always more to the story than what you can read in the session descriptions and speaker biographies. I hope you’ve found this look behind-the-scenes of the conference interesting and perhaps will be motivated to come see the resulting sessions. I know I’m looking forward to them.



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