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BizTalk 2006 First Look Clinic : Great Time!

We just finished our clinics in this area. We did one in Columbus on the 7th, and one in Detroit on the 8th. A friend and colleague was going to conduct the Detroit clinic, but he was held over in India, so I got to do it. I had a great time.

The clinics were well attended, and I could tell that most people were into them. If you would like the 'books' that were handed out, please let me know. I can send you the PDFs.

Half way through the morning in Columbus, I spilled some orange juice on my laptop's keyboard. It stopped working (go figure!), and I became trapped in a Virtual PC, so I couldn't jump out and move on with the slide deck. I had to do some fancy dance moves while someone went out back to rummage up a USB keyboard. That fixed the problem. The keyboard has since been replaced. I will NEVER EVER again mock a fellow speaker when their demos go awry! Drew, I have learned my lesson. Of course the mocking was always in good humor.

I have also just helped a client deploy BTS2004 into their production environment. They have a new application they are deploying for the first time. I think it is great that they are using BTS, but unfortunately, they won't go to BTS06 until their release after BTS06 has been RTM'd. That should take another month or two until we can get them upgraded.

Deploying BTS04 has reminded me about all the pains and problems BTS04 had. Setting it up, configuring it, and deploying applications. It borders on black magic. BTS06 fixes so many of these issues. I kept having to dig into old memories to remember how to do things the BTS04 way. Things are so much better in BTS06. Over and over, I would say, "Well, in 06, this would be easier."


Start-up vs Corporate

Response to Dave's thoughts on the Creating Passionate User's blog entry.....

One of you must be a zealot. :)

I have been reading that blog for a bit now.

Boy oh boy. Where do I start? First, obviously these are extremes of the continuum. I have worked for tiny startups, and I have worked for medium sized corp companies. I have always wanted to stay away from major corps, mostly because I felt like I would not be in direct contact with the customer, or that I would be such a small part of the company that I wouldn't be able to impact how it is run, and what it does. That is an ego thing, but thats what makes me happy, so there. I used the same strategy to pick which college I went to, and that worked out just fine.

I think some of these line items are ridiculous. I know alot of startups today are using OSS stuff to get off the ground. I don't think that is becuase it is better, I think it is mostly due to the backlash against VC companies. With OSS they can get farther with their angel investment by leveraging the effort of others. I doubt that the use of Macs or Tablets are a defining characteristic of startups.

The goal of each type of organization is completely different. One is in a growth mode (sometimes something new), the other is for stability and dependibility. I don't care how you want your company to be, once you get past 30-40 people you can't help but stop being so much of a start up. Now there are exceptions. Although there are signs of Google losing it's luster, it has managed to keep the startup mindset longer than most because of the field of Camelot surrounding them.

I think it is mostly a maturity model of the organization. I don't think either is worse than the other. I think, as an employee, it's a personal preference. I know that it will be years before I can do a startup again. It takes A LOT of emotional investment (not including money).

The only true defining factor between the two is where the money comes from. Startups receive their money form investors in exchange for a piece of the future of the company. Corps receive their money from paying customers. Therein lies the reason for the maturation of the organization. The trick is knowing when to stop. Some companies can grow, and do only because they can. Sometimes there is wisdom in choosing not to grow. I have done that with my shop that past two quarters. I would rather strengthen and solidify what I have than expand it and water down the culture and quality of our ass kicking. When I feel it is solid, we will add more people.


4 things meme

Dave Donaldson tagged me.

Four Jobs I've Had:
1. Dishwasher
2. CTO for a .com
3. Developer
4. Prep Cook

Four Movies I Can Watch Over and Over:
1. The Day the Earth Stood Still
2. Stargate
3. Office Space
4. 12 Monkeys

Four TV Shows I Love to Watch:
1. Stargate SG1
2. Starget Atlantis
3. Battle Star Galactica
4. Apprentice

Four Places I've Been on Vacation:
1. Berlin, Germany
2. Italy
3. Sanibel Island, FL
4. Santa's Village, NH (in August!)

Four Favorite Dishes:
1. Chicken Fingers
2. Jaeger Schnitzel
3. Chicken Parm
4. Rib Eye Steak

Four Web Sites I Visit Daily:
1. Google
3. Blogger
4. Netflix

Four Places I'd Rather Be:
1. Barnes & Noble
2. In front of an xbox 360
3. PDC
4. The Rhein