Sara Ford's Weblog

My adventures embracing open source on CodePlex and at Microsoft

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  • Blog Post: Just when I thought I was out…

    They pull me back in . But in all fairness, I was the one who asked to be pulled back in. My game plan for my post-Microsoft/Seattle life was to attend graduate school full-time for a Masters in Human Factors (User Experience) at San Jose State while I trained for my 3 rd degree black belt with my grand...
  • Blog Post: Training for my first Triathlon with Team in Training

    People at the various user groups I go to seem to enjoy my triathlon training stories. Since sports training is a hobby for me, I thought I’d share what it’s been like training for my first “tri”. I’m terrified of swimming, hence why i’ve never done one before. I’m with Team in Training , a non-profit...
  • Blog Post: 9 years at Microsoft

    Today marks my 9th year at Microsoft. Next year, I’ll collect my second Final Fantasy crystal. I thought it would be fun to share a few blogging statistics: This is my 980th post on blogs.msdn.com/saraford As of this writing, ya’ll have left 5504 comments on this blog I have been blogging as a Microsoft...
  • Blog Post: My first month with my Vibram Five Fingers (Barefoot running shoes)

    I got my vibrams about a month ago, and have slowly been trying to break my feet in. I can now drive in them and wear them almost 3/4 of a day. I haven’t tried running yet, although i did try a small baby hike (slight elevation, 1.5 miles roundtrip at most). Result wasn’t good. Really bad blister on...
  • Blog Post: My First Week as a Developer Evangelist

    I thought it would be fun to share what it was like my first week making the transition from Redmond to Silicon Valley in my new role. And more importantly, I thought it would be fun to explain publicly to my uncle back in Mississippi that my job isn’t to pray for the developers of the world. =D Last...
  • Blog Post: Happy Lombardi Gras!!

    “It’s like waiting 43 years for someone to tell you ‘I love you’ back.” – Superbowl Pregame Show. What a week. I flew down Saturday morning to join family in the French Quarter. A cousin booked a hotel room with a balcony on Bourbon Street for Superbowl weekend way back in October. What an incredible...
  • Blog Post: CodePlex banner does Who Dat Chant at Greater New Orleans .NET User Group

    On Wednesday night, I spoke at the Greater New Orleans .NET User Group http://www.gnonug.org/ . Thanks to George Mauer for organizing and to our sponsor Antares Technology Solutions for organizing dinner. I was very happy with the turnout, considering the construction, the Krewe of Thor parade, a fatality...
  • Blog Post: Who Dat Nation Invades Microsoft’s Channel 9

    I’m sitting here in the Memphis airport at the terminal gate for New Orleans. Having gone 17 weeks without seeing a single Saints fan, you’d think each person wearing a Fleur de Lis football jersey was a long lost family member of mine, as I run up to them hugging them screaming Who Dat as if it were...
  • Blog Post: Saying Farewell to CodePlex

    In January 2006, nearly 4 years ago to the day, I created my first account on CodePlex, when the site was still in internal-only alpha preview. A the time, I was the Program Manager for the Visual Studio Power Toys, where my team created the 5 th , 6 th , and 9 th projects on CodePlex before it went...
  • Blog Post: Coding is not Kata

    I promised on Twitter to write a blog post explaining why “kata” was the wrong word for the “coding kata” problems presented at CodeMash this past week in Ohio. First and foremost, I absolutely loved the idea of these coding problems. The problems were very similar to those found in computer science...
  • Blog Post: Looking for last-minute gift idea? Buy The Art of Community book by Jono Bacon

    I’m embarrassed to say just how long I’ve had Jono Bacon’s book sitting on my coffee table, as a constant reminder to myself that I haven’t written a blog entry yet on The Art of Community . In the spirit of agile, I’m going to sit here and write a review on the first chapter. Since the book starts off...
  • Blog Post: Recap from the Microsoft Women’s Conference 2009

    The bi-annual Microsoft Women’s Conference was held last week on the Microsoft Redmond Campus. I keep enjoying this conference more and more each year. In my humble opinion, the Executive Roundtable event was by leaps and bounds the most productive, most rewarding event I have ever seen offered to Women...
  • Blog Post: My CodePlex Jump from tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere – The Full Video

    Just like the kiwi bird down here in New Zealand, I proved that I too am flightless. The 7 minute video explains it all. You can find this full version at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcc4KRrZpI0 Or watch just the jump from the ground looking up at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKvQLb2UKXg Special...
  • Blog Post: It’s official: A koala is not a koala “bear”

    According to the incredibly awesome Catherine Eibner , I’m going to TechEd Australia!! And I found this out on the same day that I donated the last of my advance on my book royalties, bringing the Save Waveland Scholarship Fund to $29,008.34 cents. Thank you everyone for voting to get me down to...
  • Blog Post: OSCON 2009: One of the greatest weeks in my Microsoft Career

    Yep, it’s a bold statement to make, but I like to live life in capital letters. Last week at the O’Reilly Open Source Convention was truly epic. The Community Leadership Summit + OSCON 2009 epitomized everything I’ve ever wanted to do in community as a Microsoft employee. I didn’t realize how special...
  • Blog Post: Please sign the official “Bring Sara Ford to TechEd Australia” petition!

    Petition is here: http://twtpoll.com/iuz95p and closes Aug 5. When I was 3 years old, I invented the “Koala bear game.” You hide the Koala bear behind your back, then run up to the adults asking them “guess what i’ve got behind my back?” I played night after night after night, until I discovered this...
  • Blog Post: Open Source Bridge 2009 Trip Report

    Last week, I attended the Open Source Bridge conference in Portland. It’s a volunteer-run conference that came about because OSCON moved to San Jose this year. They had a great turnout and the organizers did an amazing job, especially for a first time, volunteer conference. I was most impressed with...
  • Blog Post: CodePlex - Free as in Beer

    Last week, I spoke at Microsoft DevDays 2009 in The Netherlands. After the conference, I was able to do a little sightseeing in Amsterdam on my own, which included buying a small souvenir from the Heineken Plant , a CodePlex labeled Heineken bottle. The conference was held at The Hague (which btw is...
  • Blog Post: Training for Nidan (2nd degree black belt)

    I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while. On Nov 6, I’ll test for my second-degree black belt in Shotokan Karate . Karate is a significant part of my life, so this belt exam means the world to me (especially after my leg injury 2 years ago). I’ve been doing Shotokan since I was 15, with the exception...
  • Blog Post: Dear Seattle, Please Support New Orleans by Eating at Marcela's Cookery

    As a New Orleans native, it is my god given birthright to expose any so-called “New Orleans” restaurant that exists outside the state of Louisiana to be a complete fraud. Today, for the first time ever, I am using my birthright to declare Marcela’s Creole Cookery worthy of calling itself home. For my...
  • Blog Post: How I Learned to Program Manage an Agile Team after 6 years of Waterfall

    Agile is the single greatest things a team could do to significantly improve the user experience and quality of their site. Now having said that… If I could go back in time… 3 things I would tell myself about Agile For a long time, I’ve said that my biggest job on the CodePlex team is to learn agile...
  • Blog Post: Photos from the “Day after Mardi Gras” Geek Dinner in Mississippi

    The day after Mardi Gras, I drove up to Hattiesburg, Mississippi for a Geek Dinner. We had a good turnout of 13 people, including several from out-of-state. 2 people drove several hours from Mobile, Alabama, and 1 guy even drove 6 hours from Tennessee!! I so get bragging rights for that. And since this...
  • Blog Post: Closure

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  • Blog Post: Finally had lunch with my book editors, who are blogging and tweeting now

    Last week, I finally got to meet my book editors. As I stated in the acknowledgements of my book, I never understood why book authors always profusely thank their editors. I used to think “aren’t they just doing their jobs?” until I had to go through the process. People often ask me why did I go two...
  • Blog Post: Geek Dinner w/ Me in Hattiesburg, Miss. on Feb 25, 2009

    I’m going to be in town after Mardi Gras, so I thought it would be fun to do geek dinner that Wednesday. Keith Elder, the Hub City .NET User Group leader, has the details : Who can attend : Anyone that wants to talk about open source software, codeplex, programming, etc Where : Crescent City Grill, Hattiesburg...
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