# Monday, 12 June 2017
# Wednesday, 07 June 2017

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This was my fourth year in a row attending IT Camp in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Cluj is a technology hub in the heart of Transylvania. Now in its 7th year, IT Camp attracted over 500 attendees from the region.

Speakers traveled from around the world for this conference. I counted speakers from the US, the UK, Germany, Italy, France, Hungary, Poland, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Norway, and (of course) Romania.

Over 500 people attended the event – most from Romania.

The conference was primarily focused on Microsoft technologies, but not exclusively so. The conference began with a speech by Emil Boc, the Mayor of Cluj-Napoca. This was the only talk delivered in Romanian, so I was not able to follow; but it was well received.

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The mayor was followed by 4 keynotes:

  • Mihail Rottenberg contrasted his experience starting 2 businesses - BreezeCom, a pioneering wi-fi company in the 1990s; and a winery he recently began.
  • Ben Armstrong described how Microsoft's advances in virtualization are influencing their cloud strategy.
  • Peter Leeson discussed how companies can measure quality
  • Jayson Street related stories of security breaches around the world.

I delivered 2 presentations: Big Data Solutions in Azure; and Building Powerful Applications with Angular and TypeScript. Over 150 people crowded into my room for the  Angular presentation.

The day before IT Camp, I spoke at a local consulting company – Yonder – about how to “Own Your Own Career”.

As always, the day after IT Camp featured a cultural experience to which all the speakers and volunteers were invited. This year, we toured the salt mines in Turda, Romania.

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IT Camp was a great chance to connect with a number of influencers from around the world and return to Romania, where I have many fond memories.

Wednesday, 07 June 2017 15:08:03 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Tuesday, 06 June 2017

Agolo is using Machine Learning to match employers with the right candidates for their open jobs. I spoke with CEO Sage Wohns when I was in New York City last week.

The interview is available on DevRadio at https://channel9.msdn.com/Blogs/DevRadio/DR1730.

Tuesday, 06 June 2017 22:11:19 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Sunday, 04 June 2017

6/4
Today I am grateful for a visit to Nashville and my first time speaking at the Music City Code conference.

6/2
Today I am grateful to experience the hot chicken at Hattie B's in Nashville yesterday.

6/1
Today I am grateful for my first visit to the American Museum of Natural History.

5/31
Today I am grateful for:
-a chance to be a part of #AngularNYC's 5-year celebration
-Preston's help in debugging my demo last night.

5/30
Today I am grateful for dinner at an outdoor café in Oak Park yesterday.

5/29
Today I am grateful for an amazing week in Transylvania.

5/27
Today I am grateful for a tour of the Salina Turda salt mines in Romania yesterday.

5/26
Today I am grateful to the organizers and volunteers who invite me to Romania and #ITCamp every year.

5/25
Today I am grateful that literally everyone here speaks English.

5/24
Today I am grateful for a chance to speak at a local company in Cluj-Napoca yesterday - my first private international presentation.

5/23
Today I am grateful for: -Breakfast yesterday with Peter, Mihai, Diana, Tudor, and Noemi; -A walk around downtown Cluj, exploring historical sites; -Dinner last night with Raffaele, Andrea, and Radu

5/22
Today I am grateful for dinner last night with Radu

5/22
Today I am grateful to arrive safely in Romania.

5/21
Today I am grateful for a chance to drive my new car around town yesterday.

5/20
Today I am grateful for -a week in Seattle -sleeping in my own bed after 2 weeks on the road

5/19
Today I am grateful for a tour of the Seattle Underground yesterday.

5/18
Today, I am grateful to spend an evening in Capitol Hill with Jason, Becky, and a bunch of Canadians.

5/17
Today I am grateful to watch a Mariners game from a suite at Safeco field last night.

5/16
Today I am grateful for -Tacos and drinks in downtown Seattle with Evangelists from around the world. -The Russian evangelists who gave me a ride to my hotel last night

5/15
Today I am grateful for lunch with Jeff yesterday in downtown Seattle.

5/14
Today I am grateful for: -a visit with my mother yesterday -dinner last night with my brother and his family to celebrate his son's birthday.

5/13
Today I am grateful for: -The opportunity to deliver a keynote at the Convergence conference in Detroit yesterday -Coffee with Richard yesterday morning -Dinner at Texas de Brazil last night

5/12
Today I am grateful for drinks and dinner in downtown Detroit last night with Michael, Aydin, Paul, and others.

5/11
Today I am grateful to complete a user group tour of 4 Iowa cities in 3 days.

5/10
Today I am grateful for a visit to the Field of Dreams movie site in Dyersville yesterday.

5/9
Today I am grateful for my first visit to Iowa.

5/8
Monday, May 8, 2017 at 7:27am CDT
Today I am grateful for a chance to finally edit the photos I've taken the past couple months.

Sunday, 04 June 2017 13:29:48 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Monday, 29 May 2017
Monday, 29 May 2017 12:26:00 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Tuesday, 23 May 2017

By now, you have probably seen the 1987 movie based on this book (If not, stop reading and go watch it now. You're welcome). The plot of the movie follows closely the book on which it was based. This is not surprising; William Goldman wrote both the novel and the screenplay. But the backstory of Goldman's life and reactions is much richer in the written version.

The Princess Bride by William Goldman is a story within a story.

In "The Princess Bride", William Goldman invents a fictitious novel by a fictitious author (S. Morgenstern) about a fictitious "historic" event in a fictitious country centuries ago. He then invents the story of how his father would read this book to him when he was a boy. When fictional Goldman buys the same book for his fictional son, he discovers that his father had been skipping all the boring parts, which are considerable. This, Goldman claims, was his motivation for creating an abridged and annotated version of Morgenstern's work. The result is a story within a story - a fairy tale wrapped by a family story.

In the fairy tale, young farmhand Westley falls in love with the beautiful Buttercup. He leaves Buttercup's family farm to seek his fortune. When news reaches Buttercup that Westley has been killed by the Dread Pirate Roberts, she agrees to marry the wicked Prince Humperdinck.

Along the way, Goldman introduces a menagerie of memorable characters - most notably Fezik, the Giant, who loves to make rhymes; and Inigo the Spaniard, who is obsessed with finding and killing the 6-fingered man who killed his father.

It's a fairy tale; it's an adventure story; it's a tale of political intrigue; but, most of all, it's a love story between a farmer's daughter turned princess and a farm boy turned pirate turned rescuer.

It's silly and it's fun and (spoiler alert) it has a happy ending.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017 10:30:00 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Monday, 22 May 2017
# Monday, 15 May 2017
Monday, 15 May 2017 13:49:00 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Sunday, 14 May 2017

I was told there would be corn. I did not see one ear of corn.

Last week, I made my first visit ever to Iowa. In 3 days, I drove over 500 miles from Chicago to Dubuque to Cedar Falls to Cedar Rapids to Iowa City to Des Moines.  Between 6PM Monday and 8PM Wednesday (just 50 hours), I spoke at 4 user groups ion 4 different cities

This trip came about as my friend Javier and I were chatting online recently about upcoming speaking opportunities. He invited me to speak at his user group in Des Moines and I asked if he could connect me with other groups in Iowa.

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I entered Iowa by crossing the Mississippi from Illinois at Dubuque and I was surprised by the landscape. Cliffs rose along the river and and rolling hills marked the landscape for miles on either side. This contradicted my mental image of Iowa as hundreds of miles of flat prairie and farmland.

The Dubuque group was small but engaged. I talked about Cognitive Services, which is an exciting technology and fun to talk about. The only issue I had was the at Microsoft changed the Cognitive Services web site the day before m presentation and I found it difficult to find some of the features I wanted to show off.

Tuesday morning, I drove to Dyersville, IA to see the site where the 1989 film Field of Dreams was filmed. The Lansing family still owns the farm and continues to maintain the iconic baseball field carved out of the corn field by Kevin Costner. They built it; I came.

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I continued for a lunchtime presentation on Angular and TypeScript at the Cedar Valley .NET User Group in Cedar Falls. This was another small group, but I enjoyed it - in part because it was held in the back room of a restaurant that served excellent pizza.

Tuesday evening found me in Cedar Rapids for the CRINETA group, where I give another presentation on Cognitive Services. The room was full as the organizers cross-promoted with the local SQL PASS user group.

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Wednesday morning, I stopped in Iowa City for lunch near the University of Iowa before heading west toward Des Moines. This was the most stressful part of the trip as I drove through a driving rainstorm surrounded by semi trucks.

But I arrived in Des Moines for the Iowa .NET User Group and spoke to a packed room on Angular and TypeScript.

I delivered the following presentations at the following user groups in the following cities:

Date User Group City
Mon May 8 Dubuque .NET Software Development User Group Dubuque
Tue May 9 (noon) Cedar Valley .NET User Group Cedar Falls
Tue May 9 (evening) CRINETA Cedar Rapids
Wed May 9 Iowa .NET User Group Des Moines

It was a great experience and I enjoyed meeting people and engaging local developer communities and seeing the sites and driving across the prairie.

Now, I have to return when the corn is in season.

Sunday, 14 May 2017 13:54:00 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)