Why I Love My Job (and wouldn’t want to do anything else)

In this industry, we have a lot of acronyms. But I’d like to introduce one more, borrowing from some local folks: TBDCOTP. It stands for The Best Damn Community On The Planet. That’s who I work with, here in Mid-Atlantic, and it’s why I love my job.

Taking nothing away from other communities in the U.S. and around the globe, I am constantly humbled by the great work done by the folks here in Mid-Atlantic, as well as their thoughtfulness.

A case in point…this past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the Roanoke Code Camp (photos here and here). I’ve been to Roanoke on many occasions, and always enjoy presenting there, but this was the first opportunity I’d had to make it down for a Code Camp. The event was, as I’ve come to expect from the folks in Roanoke, well-organized and fun.

In the closing session, I got to relive my moment in the spotlight from last week’s MVP Summit, where I performed a Rockaroke (Karaoke with a live band) rendition of Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell,” with a video courtesy of Kevin Hazzard, who had kindly supplied his recording of the event (yes, I have a copy, and yes, I’ll eventually get around to putting it up somewhere for the curious).

Robin Edwards, who is the president of the Roanoke Valley .NET User Group, as well as leading the code camp organizers, had warned me that she was going to play the video, and I was tempted to duck out before the ritual humiliation could begin.

I’m very glad I didn’t. Because during that closing session, Robin called me down to the stage and gave me one of the most awesomely thoughtful gifts I’ve ever received.

ChucksX3_smA little backstory…earlier this year, I presented a session at the Washington, DC area MSDN Developer Conference on building your first Azure service. During the session, I noted that the one thing I was missing from the session was a pair of red shoes, but that I’d worn my black Chuck Taylor All-Stars in hopes of being at least somewhat cool. I included a picture in my slide deck of myself and my two sons (5 and 2) all wearing our matching black chucks, which were a Christmas gift from my sister.Photo Credit: W. Kevin Hazzard

Well, I guess that made an impression on Robin and some of the other folks from the ‘noke who attended the MDC, because during that closing session, Robin presented me with a pair of Converse All-Stars in bright red, to help me maintain parity of coolness with the Azure pros in Redmond. They managed to get my shoe size by having a co-worker ask me, weeks ago, and I’d completely forgotten until reminded of that.

I will be proudly wearing my red shoes when I next present on Azure at CMAP on April 1st (and no, that’s no April Fool’s joke).

The great folks in Roanoke are just one example of the day-in, day-out hard work I see going on in the community here in Mid-Atlantic, and I am both blessed and delighted to be a part of it.