A Day in the Life of MVPs at the Summit


Summary: Windows PowerShell MVPs, Sean Kearney, Steve Murawski, and Shane Hoey, talk more about the MVP Summit.

An update from Sean…

The last day of the MVP Summit is upon us.

Photo of Sean

Aside from of all of the NDA goodie events, many really cool things happen outside of the MVP Summit sessions. Evening events and exploring downtown Bellevue—sure, there’s fun there. But I truly look forward to this Summit every year. First I get to spend a whole week at Microsoft’s head office (which, if you’re a complete nerd like me, is way too cool—it is truly “Disneyland for Nerds”).

I noticed the campus a lot more as this time because I decided to walk everywhere. Sure, they have shuttles to get me anywhere on the campus, but my urge to take in things and get a little more exercise is too much to resist. This year is especially nice visually because all the trees are in the midst of shifting colors in their leaves. The entire campus is an amazingly beautiful, dynamic painting to behold.

In taking a walk from where the bus dropped us off, I ended up walking by that magical address: 1 Microsoft Way. It was actually funny because I had walked by it twice, but I never realized it until I went to find where it was physically located. Finding it on Bing and zooming in, I almost fell back. I was right across the road from it the entire time. Zooming in closer on the map, I had to smile. In the midst of the buildings at 1 Microsoft Way is a little lake called ”Lake Bill.” (I wonder whose idea that was.)

Photo collage

I love the opportunity to meet up with people from around the world who I’ve spoken to only online—not only Windows PowerShell MVPs, but also Microsoft staff and other MVPs. I even enjoy bumping into total strangers and striking up a conversation!

Photo collage

If I didn’t say it already, I find the MVP Summit a VERY inspiring place to be.

This year was especially nice for me. I’ve written a lot of posts for the Hey, Scripting Guys! Blog…and well…I’ve had quite a few that ended up on the editor’s desk the day before they were to go online. So as a way to say thank-you, I got special permission for Dia Reeves to join me for dinner with the rest of the Windows PowerShell MVPs. I finally had a way to see face-to-face the person who had been editing and correcting my horrendous spelling, grammar, coding, and everything-else-you-can-think-of mistakes. It was great to say, “Thanks for putting up with me!”

!! Interruption alert! Dia here with a surprise message for Sean…
(Dang it's great being an editor…I almost always get the last word!)
Thank you so much for the dinner invitation! It was so much fun to meet you in person—
not to mention Teresa (Scripting Wife), Richard Siddaway, Shane Hoey, Lee Holmes,
Steve Murawski and so many other contributors to the Hey, Scripting Guy! Blog. You all
made me feel very welcome and appreciated!
End of interruption…

Yesterday I also got to touch base with my long-time friend, Ragner Harper, who used to be a Windows PowerShell MVP and now works for Microsoft. Ragner and I first met online when his company, Crayon, took the lyrics for my parody tune, Highway to PowerShell, and put it to real music. We used it to rock out Norway at a major Microsoft launch called “Heroes Happen Here.”

Last night was especially neat because all of the MVPs who live in Canada got together for “The Sea of Red,” which is a mammoth picture of all the Canadian MVPs. We also got to see (*gasp! feint* klunk!) the current CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella!

I’ll be checking out more sessions today, of course. And there is a special event for me—I'll be dressing up in the Clippy costume from Microsoft Office!

Then there is the challenge for my boss…dragging me, kicking and screaming, back home. I love my job, but I REALLY love spending this time at the MVP Summit. What a place it is for inspiration!

Sean Kearney, Microsoft PowerShell MVP

An update from Steve…

Salutations from the MVP Summit. I'm back with another update (though I'm not sure I classify as awake quite yet). We MVPs soldiered on through another day of demos and discussions. Fortunately for me, when feedback is asked for, they expect honest feedback and not the support of a group of "yes men." You can read that to mean that I had some strong opinions on session topics.

After our sessions, we had a welcome reception. All the MVPs from all the product areas are dropped in a room with some food and beverages and allowed to socialize. I wasn't able to attend that function myself, so I'll leave the details to one of my fellow reporters (I had to respond to a work related issue, so no party for me).

That didn't end my day though. As I mentioned yesterday, we had a user group-ish meeting planned to discuss Pester and testing in Windows PowerShell. It was set later in the evening (10:00 P.M. until midnight). We had about twenty people show up, including some of the Windows PowerShell team and several community members (including Matt Wrock of Boxstarter fame and Rob Reynolds who invented Chocolatey).

You could tell that everyone was dead tired, but we forged on into the night. We discussed test setups, mocking commands, and test coverage. We dealt with module scope. Finally, we had a discussion about how to scale testing efforts.

When midnight rolled around, we pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps and stumbled out into the night—with plans of test harnesses dancing in our heads. Now, it's time for coffee and another day of sessions!

Steven Murawski, Microsoft PowerShell MVP

An update from Shane…

This year, my Summit experience started with a delayed flight, followed by a missed connection. In fact, from the time I left the house on Friday morning to the time I checked in on Friday afternoon, I'd spent almost 30 hours travelling to get here from Australia. Yes, time travel does exist—it is just really slow right now.

We all have our reasons for attending the MVP Summit. What makes it such a great event for me is the people I meet. There have already been so many highlights:

  • It was great catching up again with Scripting Wife, Sean Kearney, and the rest of the Windows PowerShell and Lync MVPs.
  • Here's a big shout out to my MVP lead, So Young Lee (and the other APAC MVP leads) for organizing a great dinner for all the APAC MVPs.
  • I won't be forgetting the excitement of Lync MVP, Greig Sheridan (@Greiginsydney). He was like a “kid in a candy shop” as he finally arrived on the Microsoft campus.

At the MVP Summit, we get to have so many great conversations with MVPs from all disciplines and MVPs from across the world. It does not matter where we are—on a bus, on a plane, or even in downtown Seattle—a great conversation and friendship can start any place, any time. And that's what makes the Summit so great.

Tonight I head back home, but this time I’ll arrive home on Saturday. In fact, a lot of MVPs spend more time traveling than we do at campus during the Summit , but we return every year because of the great friendships we make with fellow MVPs and Microsoft teams.

Shane Hoey, Microsoft Lync MVP

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