Microsoft MVP Summit – 2010


Last week I had the privilege of attending Microsoft’s Global MVP Summit in Bellevue Washington. While I can’t talk about most of what was covered (NDA) I wanted to mention two projects that I learned about while there and mention some of my thoughts from the event.

First, check out these two Silverlight projects on Codeplex.

  • The Silverlight Hyper Video Player
    On Thursday, Jessie Liberty presented on this project that he’s been leading. I actually got to see a preview of this project last year with one of the developers, but they weren’t sure back then if they were going to be able to release this project as OSS or not. Glad to see that it was! Go check out the project, it’s a great Silverlight project demonstrating TDD in Silverlight as well as using the new features of MEF for composition that are built in Silverlight 4.

  • The Silverlight User Group Website Starter Kit
    A friend of mine, David Silverlight, brought this project to my attention. I love this idea! He and a talented group of developers and designers are working on this project to give user groups a great starting point and some excellent features to leverage. I’ve actually been added to the team and hope that I’ll be able to provide add to the final result!

imageFinal thoughts

There are multiple reasons that Microsoft organizes and hosts the MVP Summit. Part of it is developer satisfaction and to show appreciation for the work that MVP’s do around the world. MVP’s attend to gain insights in to Microsoft’s direction, network with product teams and gain a deeper understanding of the products that they work with day in and day out.

The last reason that I want to mention is to give the MVP’s a chance to provide input back in to the products that Microsoft is building, to be able to tell the product teams what they are doing right, what they are doing wrong, and help prioritize the features that the product teams should be working on.

This was my fourth Summit to attend, and the first time that I really saw this last point taken to heart across the board from multiple teams. I was really excited by the feedback that the product teams were actively soliciting from the MVP’s. I consistently saw and participated in agile techniques like dot voting and buy a feature around broad functionality, specific features and general direction for the product teams. It was very refreshing and opened up a ton of conversations that probably wouldn’t have happened otherwise. Thanks Microsoft!


Microsoft Campus Photo Credit: Denis Gobo

About Caleb Jenkins

Caleb Jenkins is an international speaker, author and 6 time Microsoft MVP award recipient, he currently works for Solera as a Director of Software Development. An entertaining and informative speaker who approaches software from a fresh perspective that spans UX, agile practices and technologies for enterprise customers from across the globe. Leading UX product design teams, coaching multi-team agile transformations and architecting and mentoring at some of the largest companies in the world, As a long time community leader and former Microsoft Developer Evangelist, Caleb is well known for his engaging speaking style, depth of knowledge and creative energy. Founder and Principal Mentor of Proaction Mentors, former UX Manager and Agile Coach, Senior Architect for Six Flags Corporation, Product Architect on a Cloud Marketing Platform, Caleb has made a career out of empowering others while building products and teams that delight customers and solve business needs. You can follow him on twitter (@calebjenkins) or his blog, and if you're still reading this, then you could also subscribe to his blog RSS feed or sign up to receive updates by email