Last week I was wrapping up some personal time off and then lead into a team meeting in San Diego. This was a gathering of the west coast region Developer and Platform Evangelism (DPE) team. It was the first time since my former team integrated with DPE back in February that we have all been together at one place. It was great to see my IT Evangelist peers, Chris Henley and Harold Wong as well as meet many of the people in the organization that I have only been able to email with up till now.
Normally I look forward to these types of meetings mostly as a networking and peer information sharing opportunity. There was no shortage of that for this meeting. But we also had one of the most fun team building events ever in all the years I have been with the company. I have been to plenty of meetings like this and you can usually hear the groans when “team building” events get announced. I have to admit that I wasn’t particularly looking forward to it either. Especially when I saw that 4 hours of the day were carved out for it. But I was pleasantly surprised.
If you have ever watched the TV show “The Amazing Race”, our team building was patterned after that. In fact we were wearing vests that said “Amazing Race” on them which had many people looking at us and even asking us if we were a part of the TV show race. There were a half dozen or so legs to the race where we had to complete a task or figure out a quiz to be able to accept the clue for the next leg. Some of the more memorable legs were – having to eat a small quantity of dried sardines, drawing a piece of art at a museum, exchanging a small keychain for something of greater value with someone on the street, and my all time favorite, trying to determine the brand of beer in three separate glasses. I really wish I could have spent more time on that leg!
When the race fist started I realized quickly just how badly I need to exercise. Jogging to the first check point had my legs hurting. I seriously thought that I was not going to be able to make the entire race, but I had some great teammates that offered some words of encouragement and slowed down to my pace. I believe our team finished 5th place of 8 or so teams so I was pleased with the effort. All in all a great team meeting and great team event!
This week I started off with final preparation for an event I delivered today in Portland. It was the first delivering of the new Technet Presents content we are delivering on the west coast. I am repeating the sessions in Albuquerque next week. Yesterday I made the 3.5 Hour drive to Portland and then stayed up late tweaking my sessions. We had great attendance at the Portland Microsoft sales office and I saw a couple of familiar faces there. I felt a tad bit rusty having not delivered a “long” presentation in quite some time. It was also the first time to deliver some of the content in a live format where questions change the pace so I ended up a little bit behind. (Speaking of questions, I will get answers to the ones Icould not answer during the session and get them posted here as soon as I have them.) I wanted to spend more time showing the Network Access Protection components than I did so I will record a screencast which I will post here when complete. I also wish I could have stayed longer to speak with everyone after the event but I had to make a quick turn around to drive back to Bellevue, WA for a UG meeting this evening.
So…..tonight I have the WNUG user group meeting where Joe Davies will be presenting on “Understanding IPv6 Transition Technologies. Joe writes the "Cable Guy” articles on the web and for Technet Magazine. I also tapped Joe to deliver the DirectAccess and networking session at the upcoming Windows Firestarter Event on Sept 18th at the Microsoft Campus in Redmond. There is still some room to attend the live event so click the previous link to get signed up if you are interested.