San Francisco workshop

We had an Open XML developer workshop in San Francisco this week, with a couple of new twists.

One new twist was that it was hosted by Mindjet, the developer/publisher of MindManager. They provided a great facility for us to use, and tolerated a lot of logistical complexity due to the other new twist for this workshop: it was filmed for re-delivery on MSDN, OpenXmlDeveloper, and other web sites later this summer.

I've never been involved in a video production like this before, and it was interesting. There was a control room in a conference room nearby, cables running everywhere, lights in the ceiling, multiple cameras, and all kinds of things going on. They even had to re-do my makeup every couple of hours to keep my head from glowing too much. Good fun. Brad Cochrane, a producer from MS Studios, ran the whole production with an eye for detail and a great sense of humor.

Chris Predeek was my co-presenter for this event. He's the author of many of the hands-on labs we use in these workshops, and it was great to work with him. I did most of the presentations, and Chris did code walkthroughs on the labs and also delivered presentations on XML programming in .NET, Open XML packages and APIs, and how to use XSLT to transform data in and out of the Open XML formats. I learned a lot about the labs by hearing his explanations of the specific thinking behind various design patterns used in them. Chris is one of those people who writes more code by 9:00AM than most people write all day, and it was cool to see his results-oriented approach in action.

And speaking of results-oriented developers, we also had a guest presentation by Michael Scherotter. Michael was the architect of Mindmanager's Open XML integration with Word 2007, and he's now a Microsoft evangelist in the Bay area. He came back to his old stomping grounds to demonstrate how Mindjet has used Open XML to give their users the ability to collaborate efficiently with Office 2007 users.

Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to put on this event: Erick Watson, Isaac Leonard, William Leong, Don Campbell, Anthony, Chris, Michael, Brad, Rick, and many others. I can't wait to send my Mom the link when the video comes out. :-)