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Chris G. Williams Beware: I mix tech and personal interests here.

Rob's one of my community buddies that I run into at various conferences and online of course. In addition to being a VB MVP, he's been around the UG and Code Camp scene pretty much since there was one. He's one busy guy, so I appreciate him taking the time to answer these NINE Questions.

image 1. Where are you from?
I’m from Mississauga, Ontario. It’s a suburb just outside of Toronto, Ontario. I’ve lived there all my life.

2. What do you do? / Who do you work for? / What is your product?  Give me the 10 second pitch.
I work for ObjectSharp Consulting. We are a Microsoft Gold Partner that specializes in .NET related consulting and training. It’s a great company with exceptional people (including five MVPs and an RD).

3. How did you end up doing what you do now?
I went to York University to be a math teacher but ended up with a Computer Science degree. I hadn’t really used a computer before school but found that I really liked it and eventually switched my major.

4. Tell me a little about your local scene... Code Camps, Day of Foo, Code-this and Mash-that... Are we approaching a critical mass on these events? How much is too much?
I’m a big proponent of getting involved in community. I think it’s the best mechanism for professional development available. I’ve been part of the user group scene in Toronto since the early 90’s and have been running my own group (the Toronto Visual Basic User Group) since 2000. Just having the opportunity sit and talk with your peers and find out what they’ve been doing is hugely valuable. You’ll always find people who are doing things that you’ve never done or have found an interesting way of handling a problem that you’ve never considered. To me Code Camps or small community driven conferences are just an extension of what goes on at user groups.

The community in Toronto is great. We had three Code Camps last year and all were well attended. I think you’ll know if you’re doing too much in a city by the attendance. As long as people are willing to come out and participate I think it’s worthwhile holding an event.

5. I've seen you at the last couple big conferences I've been to. Will you be at PDC?  What's your take on the conference scene? Do you find more value in the sessions or the networking?
It’s been a busy conference year for me (MVP Summit, Mix (kind of – see my blog), DevTeach Toronto, TechEd Orlando) and I still have a couple coming up. Unfortunately, I looks like I’m going to miss PDC (you can’t attend everything (unless you’re Carl Franklin or Richard Campbell of course))

To me, big conferences are like community events played at 2x speed. You have so many options for stuff to do and see it seems that there’s never enough time to do any of them but no matter what you pick you end up with a great learning experience. The sessions are great but meeting people and having great conversations hold more value for me.

6. You're a VB MVP. What are some of your other areas of technical expertise?
Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time with SharePoint. It’s pretty amazing how extensive it is, I’m learning new things all the time. Next on the list to learn is Silverlight from an application architecture point of view. I want to really understand the options that open up when you have a runtime available in the browser.

7. How about some non-technical hobbies? Got time for any?
I’m not a Winter guy at all but in the Summer I like to get outdoors and play golf and baseball. I’m also pretty decent at anything that involves a deck of cards. 

8. What's something the world doesn't already know about Rob Windsor?
I wish I had a great answer for this – like I’m secretly a spy for the Underpants Gnomes or something. How about this, I put myself through university by doing stats for baseball pools. My best year I did 42 pools which meant I had to work from Monday afternoon straight through to Tuesday night each week.

9. Last of all, any interesting tattoos?
No. It’s not that I don’t like tattoos but I don’t think one would look right on me.

Posted on Monday, October 20, 2008 5:01 PM NINE Questions | Back to top


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