Thursday, August 05, 2004

TechEd Aus Dinner with Eric Rudder

Last night was the MVP and other "influentials" dinner with Eric Rudder, Microsoft's Senior Vice President of Servers and Tools. As servers and tools is where I spend most of my professional life (although the OS needs an honorable mention), meeting Eric was a fantastic opportunity - thanks Frank and team for orgnising the event. Eric gave an opening address before the meal - here he is addresses the hushed masses before the pizza and pasta arrived.

After everyone had eaten, the Illustrious Leader and I came over to his table and chatted with him for about an hour. Eric was extremely friendly and gracious with his time - our conversation ranged from:

  • C++ - see my next post for more on this.
  • VSTS - serious lobbying to move unit testing into the Pro box, and expressions of disappointment that it doesn't look like there will be a single MSDN subscription package that will have the full VSTS suite.
  • How he spends his time and how he manages his email. Eric said he managed his email himself, and spends a fair bit of time talking to customers via email. I have an idle curiosity how this big execs spend their day - what do you do with your day when you are so high up in an orgnisation that you have the ability to delegate everything? Eric said he works "lots" of hours a week, and does a fair bit of email communication both at work and at home.
  • Baseball - Eric is a Mets fan, and I'm a Dodgers fan, so we both have a mutual hatred for the cross-town (or in the Dodger's case, former cross-town) Yankees. I think Eric said his Dad was a Brooklyn fan. We agreed to disagree on the merits of Piazza as a player and a person.
  • The difficulty is controlling kids access to violent video games and other undersirable material accessible via PCs.
  • His impending relocation to Paris.
  • His tour of Australia's Parliament house, and upcoming Harbour Bridge walk.
  • The joy in co-ordinating huge software releases.

    At the end, I got the obligatory photo with him.

    After that, it was across to the TechEd party. A junior staff member left a stage door open, and I saw what I believed to be the new simplified VB6->VB.NET migration path that Eric is rumored to be announcing in his closing keynote.


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