Delta Force Rangers – Just like in combat, this is an elite group in the software industry when it comes to the Microsoft technology stack. It is the group of some of MSFT’s closest & best partner companies, believed to be the most influential in advising/delivering on MSFT technologies to our customers. Sogeti USA is a part of that elite group and we were invited to a Delta Force Rangers special event on Windows 8 @ the MSFT Redmond campus. And I was fortunate to be able to attend! Here’s the little story of four days of awesomeness ..
- Got no qualms in accepting that this was the first time I got invited to Seattle/MSFT campus purely for work. So, I was really looking forward to soaking it all up, and it turned out to be an enlightening experience. Best part was catching up with folks that I talk to often, but have not met in person. The Hyatt House, MSFT campus & specially the cafeterias did not disappoint. Hopefully, more folks from our Mobility practice get to attend these Ranger events in future.
- Day 1 & Day 2 were all sessions on Windows 8. It was great to hear from candid experts on a variety of development areas, hardware & what Windows 8 meant for enterprises/mobility. A lot of the sessions were under strict NDA for obvious reasons .. so my lips are sealed :). All I can say is you may want to really watch for news around Oct 26 – the Windows 8 GA date!
- An evening reception on second night may have seemed bland compared to the Seattle Mariner’s game on first night. But boy, we were in for a little surprise after dinner – yep, Samsung Series 7 slates for all !! Complete with dock & bluetooth keyboard/mouse.
- To sweeten the deal, our Global MSFT Business Development Lead, Darren Baker, personally dropped off a kickstand case for my slate .. how cool is that. Using the slate as a daily device now for Windows 8 development & showing the UX to clients.
- Now, surely there would something wanted in return, right? Yes, MSFT wanted us Rangers to code a little, all in the fun to gain some experience. So, we were paired up based on our skills – 10 teams of 4 members each. And one day to dream & code up a working Windows 8 application, complete with all sorts of OS integrations & leveraging Cloud services. Go!
- Guess I lucked out to be in an awesome team – Scott Newsome [Planet Tech], Hardeep Meen [CDW] & the awesome developer in Adam Grocholski [RBA]. We set our sights on a FDA product recall app, complete with Live Connect personalization, social integration & Azure services feeding Push Notifications. Between Thursday 8AM and the Friday 8AM deadline, our team slept for 1 hour only !! Hardcore effort to prove ourselves ..
- Now, in all fairness, there was a little incentive for us as well. So, Friday had all the teams show off their Windows 8 apps. And while others were impressive, our team won .. woot! What’s the prize – the MSFT Surface tablets gets shipped to all members of the winning team the day it is publicly available. Heck yeah! 🙂
- Oh, and not to be forgotten, we all got our customized traditional Delta Ranger Tilley hats – arguably the best hats in the world. And no Redmond trip is complete without a visit to the MSFT Company Store, where money simply knows to walk out of a geek’s wallet.
In all, a truly wonderful week of learning, networking & coding with peers. Windows 8 is going to big – the whole PC landscape is changing. Let’s gear up!
3 thoughts on “Sleepless in Seattle …”
That’s awesome Sam. Sounds like a tech fairy tale.
Congrats and well deserved. Way to represent for Sogeti and Columbus. I’ve always thought of you as my local MVP for Windows Phone. Sounds like Microsoft is seeing that too.
Wow what an experience!! Sounds like a techies fairy tale.
Congrats on winning the Surface. Way to represent for Sogeti and the Columbus Tech Community. I have always thought of you as my local Windows Phone MVP and it seems that Microsoft is starting to see that too.
Thank you for the kind words. Yes, it was a rather enlightening week! The Surface should be sweet .. will surely bring it out to our UG to have fun.
As for labels from MSFT, well it’s just a label. 🙂 What matters is how passionate we are in what we do & how much we love to share. I would argue you do lot more apps & more in tune with development than many big names I know. So, let’s be happy that we have a nice group where get to share our experiences and learn from each other!
Thanks again for the comments.