Hi, I'm Matt Harrington, a Developer Evangelist for Microsoft in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Before I joined Microsoft in 2011, I was active in the local open source community. I discovered functional programming through Scala, which I enjoyed very much. At a Silicon Valley Code Camp in 2008, I had a break in my schedule and decided to attend a talk on F# by Tim Ng of Microsoft. At that time, I didn't even own a Windows computer and had only heard faint whispers about F#. By the end of Tim's talk, I was sold. F# really clicked with me. I stopped what I was doing, switched my home machine from Solaris to Windows, and dove into F# and .NET. I soon learned that to really become an expert in .NET, you have to know C#, which I then picked up and enjoyed just as much. I tossed VB.NET in for good measure, which I found to be just as powerful as C# but with a more readable syntax. After joining Microsoft, I expanded on the C++ skills I used in my interest in scientific computing.
I host a lot of events in the area, which you can find listed here:
The best way to get started is to sign up for App Builder. Over 30 days, this program guides you through the process of developing a Windows 8 app, from planning to coding to getting your app into the Windows Store. You also get free consultations with Microsoft designers and architects. It's completely free, and you're passing up an excellent opportunity if you don't sign up.
I blog here on MSDN: http://blogs.msdn.com/matt-harrington.
Feel free to keep in touch. Here's how you can reach me: