So this blog post has been pending for over 4 months. I originally had the idea on June 1st, the day after I turned 40. It was to be titled 40 + 1. The intent is for me to summarize the first 40 years of my life and outline what I am thinking about for the next 10. Here I (we) go ...
Most of my life has been spent in New York in the New York City, aka "The City". I was born in Brooklyn, NY, raised in Queens, NY, moved to Long Island, NY when I was 22 then moved to Chandler, AZ when I was 35.
I attended a few different Elementary schools. One of which I qualified and participated for the City-wide spelling bee. I attended 1 Junior High School, where I was part of a program calls Stars, which was geared to "smarter" kids. This program allowed me to complete 3 school years in 2 (7th, 8th, and 9th grades). I then moved on to Richmond Hill High School where I was...
- on the student council
- in charge of the student store
- coached the Junior Varsity Girls Basketball Team. We finished in 2nd place.
- swan on the school's Varsity swim team.
- played on the Varsity Volleyball team. We made it to the City Championship but got elimated. I did set a record for the most consecutive aces, 30.
- was a student counsoler for troubled kids
- graduated with Cindy Lauper, out school gave her an honorary diploma since it was our 90th anniversary and she attended the school.
- graduated in the top ten of 400+.
I attended both City College of New York (CCNY) and Long Island University. I did not graduate from either of team.
My family life
In July of 1994, I met Deidre Faude, after 2 years of dating we tied the knot. Our wedding was happiest moment of my life... that was until I had my first child Joseph (JJ) and my second Emily. Having kids and watching them grow up and being active in their life and keeping Dee happy is what I live for. Which leads me to my first life motto... I work to live, I don't live to work.
For my kids, I am there when them need me, I have been a soccer coach for my son for 6 years and a baseball coach for 4. I have even coached his Chandler National All Star team last year. For my daugther, I have coached 4 of her softball teams, including her Chandler National All Star team.
In the last two years, both of my parents have died. Yes, I used the word died and not lost, I know exactly were they are :)
My career in technology
I attended college to become a High School Math teacher. Unfortunately, attending college and working full time both turned me off from the "education" system and turned me on to making money. My first job in technology was working as Sales Person in a local Radio Shack. I then moved on to a manager position in an inventory company named RGIS. My first exposure to a technology job was when I worked for a store called ComputerWorld, which was a store that sold computers and software. One day a customer walked in and asked if I knew anyone that could write them some software for their real estate company. I said, that I could even though I knew nothing about programming at the time. :)
At this time, I went to my girl friend's, at the time, college library and got a book on computer programming. It was small blue book about QuickBasic. I started with the samples in this book and ended up building a quite large application in QuickBASIC for DOS. For this application I had to write the user interface, the data base (each table was a file), the database indexes, rountines for rebuilding indexes, rountines for printing and networking. Anyway, I eventually moved on to work for a real IT shop and quite a few other IT shops.
I strongly believe in giving back to to the world (see my life motto #2 below). In high school, I was a student peer counselor. At one point in college I was actively participating on the MSN Board (yes MSN boards) where I got my first Microsoft MVP in Visual Basic (for DOS) back in 1996. It was not until I got married and had kids that I got back into community. As I mentioned above, I coached both of kids teams in a few different sports. I even coached a soccer team when I first moved to Arizona for a friends of mines kid's team. When I started working for my current company I wanted to give back even more. At this point I joined the Big Brother Big Sister program where I was a big, both in age and weigth :) for three different kids. It is definately something I recommend everone do at least once.
I got into the technology community back in 2008 when I started the Southeast Valley .NET User Group. I presented a times, helped out with other events which lead me to my second Microsoft MVP award. However, that apparently was not enough and I joined the INETA, International .NET Association Board of Directors where I became the Director of Marketing. After almost a year of service to INETA I became the President for North America. Geez that was alot.
The next 10 years...
In the next 10 years, both of my kids should attend and graduate college. I will hopefully make INETA relavent again. I will make it to my 20 year wedding anniversary, if Dee can continue to put up with me :).
No matter what, I will continue to live by my 2 mottos
- I work to life, I don't live to work
- Leave this life better than it was when you entered it.
Where should go next? What should I do?
Back in May at TechEd North America Developer Express interviewed me about INETA, Community and Desert Code Camp. Check out the video.
Thanks Developer Express for your on going support of community.
Since being elected the President of INETA North America in April, I have heard some good and bad things about INETA from several people. I want to make INETA better and more relevant for people and user groups. That being said, I will be at Microsoft Tech·Ed in Atlanta next week along with the rest of the INETA board and would like to chat with people about the good, bad and ugly of INETA. I will be
- At the INETA Community Leadership Summit on Sunday
- The INETA Booth in the Connect Zone on the Expo floor at 12:30pm daily for the INETA raffle.
- Community Night on Tuesday
- Walking through out the convention center.
If you have some compliments, complains, suggestions or just want to chat, here’s how you can get a hold of me:
BTW, INETA is doing a lot this year at Microsoft Tech·Ed, check out the full list here.
I look forward to chatting with you.
I wanted to let you know about an upcoming event called Startup Weekend Chandler. Startup Weekend is a non-profit, community-building event that brings together entrepreneurs of all backgrounds including software developers, marketers, designers, and other enthusiasts to start companies in just 54 hours. The participants that attend have 60 seconds to make a pitch (optional), the pitches are whittled down to the top ideas, and then teams form around the ideas to come out with several developed companies or projects. Finally, the weekend culminates with demonstrations in front of an audience of judges and potential investors.
This is Chandler’s first Startup Weekend, but the event occurs all over the world throughout the year and they have been very successful. The event will be held the weekend of June 24th and more info is at http://chandler.startupweekend.org
At the beginning of 2011, I set a goal for myself to speak at least twice at a community event that was outside of my area, the Phoenix metro area. There are three reasons for this.
- People here are probably sick of me talking :)
- I wanted to reach out to other audiences and get feedback on my presenting and talks
- The final, was / is a selfish one, to get my name out there
I have spoken at SoCalCodeCamp 5 times in the last two years and decided that does not count. So I went and submitted talks at CodeStock in Nashville, TN. About a week of so ago, I had to do something that as an event organizer I do not like, I had to cancel my talk at CodeStock. It has nothing to do with the event, just the cost of me speaking there. This lead me to create a poll that I sent out via Twitter and Facebook.
The poll asked a simple question, “What is the most money you will spend out of pocket to speak at a community event? IE: Code Camp, User Groups, etc.”
. Although only 22 people responded, the result we pretty much spread evenly across the choices:
- $100: 23%
- $200: 27%
- $300: 5%
- $500: 23%
- $1000: 18%
Looking at the results of this scientific poll :), I could not determine anything that I could really use to set the bar for myself. However, some of the comments I received painted a totally different picture.
A friend of mine, Paul writes:
My take on this is that I am affected by my relationship to those who run the event as well (of course) to the proximity of the event. If the person(s) running the event are friends, I am more likely to attend at out-of-pocket cost. If I have no connection, then I am much less likely.
This made me think a bit. I have spent probably $700 or so speaking at SoCalCodeCamp each time. So I asked myself why? The answer is simple, Community. I love helping out and educating people, but one thing I really love is the social aspect of it. As a result of speaking at SoCalCodeCamp, I have made some good friends in the Southern California area; Woody, Denny, Steve, Daniel, David and more. Now, every time Woody announces the next Code Camp I eagerly submit sessions and look forward to going to speak and hang out with my SoCal friends.
So to summarize, yes there is a cost to speaking outside your area, but there is the potential for making some good friends and expanding your reach and name. So go and look for Code Camps, Days of .NET, or other community events to speak at and sign up. Also, register yourself for the INETA Speakers Bureau to help expand your reach.