The month of September 2005 began with the Professional Developer Conference (PDC) in Los Angeles, California. Based on a kind gesture from Microsoft, a large number of Core Team members were provided with free registration for the event in exchange for analysis of key ASP.NET 2.0 features that could be used in the DotNetNuke framework. Scott Willhite, Dan Caron, Nik Kalyani, Jon Henning, John Mitchell, Charles Nurse, and I were all able to attend the event, bringing together in one place the largest group of Core Team members ever. It was an excellent opportunity to get to know one another and we spent a lot of time hanging out together, exploring the exhibitor area, hosting a Birds of Feather session, visiting Universal Studios, and attending a variety of conference sessions.
The DotNetNuke Board, with the recent inclusion of Nik Kalyani, also took the opportunity to have some serious meetings regarding the progress of the revenue opportunities discussed at Tech Ed. The summer had not been productive in getting any programs launched other than Advertising and Sponsorship, and Nik took a lead role in attempting to clarify both our marketing and financial initiatives for the next 12 months. Specific board members were assigned to each major opportunity, and projections were presented and discussed in terms of assumptions, benefits, and execution tasks. We had a lot of work ahead of us, including a major platform transition, now firmly scheduled for November 7, 2005.
Later in September, Microsoft hosted a three-day summit for its Most Valuable Professional (MVP) community members. Based on public achievements, a number of DotNetNuke Core Team members earned this award of distinction in 2005. Bruce Hopkins (Georgia, USA), Phil Beadle (Australia), Cathal Connelly (Ireland), Jim Duffy (USA), and I (Canada) were all able to attend the private summit in Redmond, Washington. The summit provided the opportunity to get to know these Core Team members on a more personal level, including their appetite for social festivities. I was also able to spend some time with a number of prominent ASP.NET personalities and DotNetNuke evangelists whom I greatly respected in terms of their contributions to the community. In addition, there was also a large representation of Microsoft employees at the MVP summit that resulted in some excellent networking opportunities and offline discussions. Steve Balmer's keynote address provided some valuable insight into the roadmap for Microsoft's products and revealed areas where DotNetNuke could focus its efforts to strengthen its market position in the coming year.
Directly following the MVP summit, I had the privilege of attending my first ASPInsiders summit as well. The ASPInsiders represent a group of well-respected industry leaders in the Microsoft ASP.NET community. I had recently been inducted as an official member and appreciated the opportunity to be included in such an elite group of professionals. Perhaps the most important benefit of being an ASPInsider was that it provided representation for the DotNetNuke development community and validation of our extensive contributions to the industry. Due to its small focused membership, the ASPInsiders summit had a personal and direct interaction with Microsoft employees, allowing its members to provide feedback on a number of exciting new technologies. The networking opportunity was incredible, and the intricate dynamics of the various personalities and companies represented was especially interesting.