Microsoft Belgium At The Speed of Light, Traffic At A Glacial Pace, AD FS 2.0 , Vittorio Bertocci & a Large Chocolate Bunny

Wednesday April 27th 10:45

We’re helping out on the infrastructure side of a claims based authentication project with my team and I had some questions on AD FS 2.0. The two lead developers (U2U Consult’s Kris Vandermotten & Stefan Gevaert ) also had some outstanding questions or rather they needed a echo chamber to discus some design choices.  Now imagine you have TechDays 2011 going on in your country and Vitoria Bertocci (, @vibronet ) is over there to present a decent amount of sessions and is available to the attendees for questions.  OK I have two people of my ICT team running around to broaden there horizons but I’m at the office holding the fort. Kris says he saw Vittorio the day before but missed an opportunity to talk to him on Tuesday.  I’m thinking & saying , yeah I should mail him. I really should. Why haven’t I yet?

Wednesday April 27th 14:20

Kris & Stefan suggest to go to Antwerp and meet up with Vittorio. I’m thinking like, good plan but how do we get this set up so fast? Mail? Nah, what if he isn’t able to read it.  We need an other approach. I decide to use two channels. Twitter and telephony. One tweet (with a very fast response from Vittorio) and some phone calls to Microsoft employees I know might be at TechDays 2011. The first two are not there that day but Arlindo Alves (@aralves) is. I get him on the phone very quickly (note that he is extremely busy during an event like TechDays) and ask him if we can set up a meeting with Vittorio. He says he’ll ask and will get back to me. Well it’s 15:00 hours and we have a meeting set up for 10:00 hrs Thursday morning. Wow Smile Now I’m impressed with how fast this went from “let’s try” to reality.

Thursday April 28th 08:00 hours

We’re leaving in Gent to go to TechDays at Metropolis in Antwerp.

Thursday April 28th 10:05 hours

We arrive at Metropolis. Wow again but not in a positive way. I’m not impressed at all at the “speed” we got to Antwerp. I’m not even sure if you can call what I witnessed driving anymore. But hey, there is a reason I love telecommuting, riding my bicycle to work and using the train to commute.

Thursday April 28th 10:10 hours

We start a very interesting and fruitful talk with Vittorio about our project. He’s extremely knowledgeable on the subject, passionate about the technology and he loves to help people understand and use it better. We’re happy with what we learned and the talk ends with us keeping our promise to Arlindo & Vittorio. We brought Belgian chocolates. Now, we didn’t exactly manage to get “pralines”, it was a bit larger ( For some reason we think he’ll remember us when we send him a follow up mail.

Lessons learned. If you need to talk to some one at Microsoft don’t be afraid to ask. Also be willing to act fast and to grab an opportunity because people like Arlindo Alves from Microsoft Belgium are very good at making them happen!

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