I’m in Redmond (actually, Bellevue) WA this week presenting at an internal Microsoft event named Airlift. A few hundred Microsoft people from field offices all over the world have come together to get the inside scoop on what’s coming in Whidbey and other technology areas and to get the content and know-how they need to help their customers understand the technologies, too. I had the opportunity to present a compressed form of the course that I’ve been developing for the past few months–to try it out in front of some really smart people and get honest feedback.

Overall, things went exceedingly well. I’m happy with the ASP.NET 2.0 content we developed and think the attendees were, too. The course modules flow reasonably well and the storyline proved solid, too. I came away with some ideas I can implement to tweak the course and make it even better. But in general, I don’t think we’ll do much tweaking until beta 2 comes along.

I bumped into a lot of people that I knew here this week. Among them were (in no particular order) Thomas Lewis, Doug Turnure, Glen Gordon, Brian Goldfarb, Juval Lowy, Michelle Bustamante, Marcie Robillard (a/k/a DataGridGirl), Bill Evjen, Rocky Lhotka, Bob Beauchemin, Chuck Sterling, and Andrew Duthie. I’m sure I’ve left some out, but I was preoccupied most of the week preparing for my sessions. I also met (finally) Microsoft’s Stefan Schackow, who is part of the ASP.NET team and who went above and beyond the call of duty in providing feedback on the course as we developed it. In addition to being really smart, Stefan is one heck of a nice guy. I hear he’s an A+ presenter, too.

I’m staying in Redmond over the weekend since Devscovery Remond is next week. Tomorrow Richter and I plan to spend the day beginning to convert our Web site to ASP.NET 2.0. We’re both looking forward to it since we live 2,500 miles apart and rarely get the chance to sit in the same room and write code together. Given the choice of sitting at my desk and writing code or delivering a lecture to 500 people, I’ll take writing code any day. Even though I’ve worked hard over the years at being a decent presenter, I’ve never been entirely comfortable being on a stage in front of a lot of people and probably never will. And when you get right down to it, nothing beats writing code!