The following is a guest post written by MVP Lead Abhishek Kant
Q: What do you get when 60 techies talk tech 24x7 for 4
A: An Open Day. Did we say 24x7 talk? What
else would it be for the Graveyard Shifts that started at 11pm and went on for
about four hours?
The recently concluded MVP Open Day in India scored big on
the technical and the fun quotient in equal measures. Attended by MVPs from
India, Australia and Sri Lanka, the objectives of the event included networking
amongst MVPs and Microsoft and sharing the latest technical developments. Hosted
by the Microsoft India Development Center (MSIDC), Hyderabad, India, the MVP
Open day was an event eagerly awaited by the MVPs in the APGC region for the
whole year. The event held from May 19 – 23, 2011, brought together all divisions
of Microsoft India under one roof – Sales
and Marketing Group, India
Development Center, Microsoft
Technical Support Center and
MTC— sharing knowledge and experiences with the MVPs. MVP Open Day featured a
roster of keynote addresses and deep-dive technical sessions delivered by Microsoft.
The speaker lineup included more than 20 speakers from MSIDC, five from MTC and
five from DPE. While over 40 sessions were delivered during the MVP Open Day, the
most talked about topics included Microsoft Cloud Offerings and Windows Phone.
The Open Day sessions were divided into 3 tracks: Developer, IT Pro and
Consumer with sessions in each track targeted towards audiences in these
The Open Day started a week earlier to the
physical event with the MVPs engaging in online games that promoted networking
amongst them and gave them opportunities to showcase their community work.
The event kicked off with MVPs sharing their
feedback and suggestions with the evangelism team on
presenting feedback to Microsoft
various aspects of
the community. The first keynote was made by Amit Chatterjee, general manager
of Microsoft IDC, who talked about development excellence and how Microsoft
development teams are evolving including deep focus on user experience. He highlighted
the important contributions that MSIDC is making towards the Microsoft product
lines. The day followed with deep technical sessions with the product teams.
These high level technical sessions included future roadmaps of products and Concept
Value Tests with a focus on getting feedback from MVPs on each one of them.
Keynote by Amit Chatterjee, GM, MSIDC
Dr. A. Kumaran, MSR
On Day Three, Dr. A. Kumaran presented the keynote on Microsoft
Research philosophy and the various projects in the works that are going to
lead to development of technology in these areas. The last day of the event was
reserved to explore industry solutions around Virtualisation and Cloud
Ample networking opportunities for MVPs were weaved
right through the event. The identification badges for the event carried MS
Tags for sharing contact information. Product team members were able to network
with MVPs over a relaxed dinner on the first evening. The paintball tournament
between MVPs on the second evening enabled them to experience team work. The
final evening went full throttle on fun with a theme party complete with dance
performances and a dance floor that thumped with MVPs dancing to the party
music late into the night.
MVPs engaged in the PaintBall
Dance performance at
The really special sessions during the Open Days are the
Graveyard Shifts that started at 11:00 PM. These are unstructured open
discussions where MVPs discuss about myriad technology topics.
Graveyard Shift in
Some attendee accounts of the MVP Open Day 2011:
While on one hand, the event provided an
opportunity for the MVPs to network and socialize with their community peers
and share “real world” feedback with the product groups; on the other, it set
the tone for the year ahead for the Microsoft communities and forged friendships
that will last a lifetime.