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I'm a propeller head - or at least, I used to be one until I traded in my cap for a marketeer's (sic) fez. My techie colleagues have been mostly forgiving of my decision to "sell out" on my former role as a technical support engineer. They have mercifully opted to forgo making references to cliches such as, "I'm not in marketing, I work for a living!" when I ask them how their jobs are going. Still, I know that with my new title, I am less likely to be engaged in the kind of cool water-cooler-type conversations that take place when smart people are taking a break. This unintended consequence of my professional transition from technical geek to technically meek is the reason why I think my presence generates a Seinfeldian "Hello Frosty" reaction whenever I insert myself unceremoniously into such a conversation. I understand where you're coming from: "It's not personal, it's just technical stuff." Just like teens who want nothing to do with their parents, techies want to talk tech with other techies - not with marketing techie wannabes. Inside, however, my inner geek is crying out for respect: "Wait, I was just about to crack a joke that involves a C-shell command on AIX..."
This segueway brings me (somewhat awkwardly, I'll admit) to my role as Shameless Promoter Of Things That Benefit My Employer (a role that comes with the fez rental). Microsoft is allowing people to vote on the topics that will be used for several BoFs (Birds-of-a-Feather sessions, if you're still working on that propeller hat) that will be held at the Microsoft TechEd North America 2008 Developers conference and frankly, we'd like for you to vote for ours.
To vote, go to https://www.msteched.com/dev/voting.aspx. Be sure to scroll about halfway down the list until you will see our entry, Making Sense of All: Heterogeneous Data Access on the .NET Framework 3.5 with an appropriate checkbox, which we'd like for you to check before you submit your selections (I can't assume everyone knows how to vote since the Florida Election Debacle of 2000). More information on the topic, if you're really not going to click above and vote:
In this BoF, we’ll peel back the layers on data access from the .NET platform. We’ll look at the common problems facing today’s applications with a particular emphasis on applications in a multi-faceted, heterogeneous application environment. With all the options now available, including the Data Access Application Blocks, LINQ, Entity Framework and vanilla ADO.NET which is the one for you? Come armed with your questions, ideas and burning issues and we can promise a lively discussion!
If our topic is among the most popular topics voted on, then my esteemed, suitably credentialed, and technically astute colleague Jonathan Bruce will be there to run the show and keep things technically interesting for the smart folks. And if that isn't incentive enough to vote for this and attend, then consider that I might even make it which means that should you show up, you will have a chance to crack an inside joke that relies on geek humor and watch me struggle to get it and try to fit in.
I can guarantee that feeling smug about your tech cred will never feel so good. :)
ADO.NET Jonathan+Bruce Microsofte shameless+plug TechEd
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