We Are Microsoft  2nd Annual

INETA October Newsletter

Posted by Toi B Wright at 10/09/2008 5:44 PM

This is an article from the INETA October Newsletter, www.ineta.org.

Have you ever wanted to get recognized by your peers for building a really cool application? How about if you could help someone in need at the same time? That is the mission of the "We Are Microsoft Charity Challenge Weekend". On January 16-18, 2009 an enthusiastic group of volunteer developers from the south central part of the US will descend on BravoTECH (http://www.bravotech.com) in Dallas, Texas. At the end of this 72 hour coding marathon, 20 charities will have new ASP.NET applications. Toi Wright (http://www.onestopdesigns.com), the organizer of this event, president and founder of the local ASP.NET UG (http://www.dallasasp.net) and a Microsoft MVP award recipient, said that this was our chance to "donate our time and talents for the benefit of the community". She went on to explain that this is the second time that they are having this event. Chris Koenig (http://blogs.msdn.com/chkoenig), the Microsoft Developer Evangelist for the region, told me that he came up with the idea, talked about it with Toi and she picked up the ball and ran with it. Toi said "as the mother of a child with special needs I know how difficult it is for these charities to get funding, and nothing gets budgeted for IT spending, let alone IT development. With this project, we have the ability to use our specialized skills to help them solve their business problems."

They have a great group of volunteer business analysts, developers, designers, DBA's and event staff that will be helping out before, during and after the event to ensure that the charities get great applications. Before the event the business analysts will meet with each of the charities to dig into the business problem that the charity needs the software to solve. From that point the analyst will prepare requirements that will be loaded into Team Foundation Server (donated by Notion Solutions, http://www.notionsolutions.com). Over the weekend of the event the developers, designers and DBA's will build the applications utilizing client tools donated to the charities by Microsoft, controls donated by Telerik, Infragistics, ComponentArt and others. If the charity needs hosting, Verio (http://www.verio.com) will be on hand with donated hosting accounts and tech support. Finally voting will take place to determine which team built the best application.

Since this was such a great success last year, two other groups have already run their own events, the Ann Arbor Give Camp (http://www.annarborgivecamp.org) and Coders for Charities(http://coders4charities.org). In addition to the event in Dallas, there are two other events currently scheduled: Twin Cities Give Camp (http://twincitiesgivecamp.org) and Indy Give Camp (http://indygivecamp.org). So, if you are in the Dallas area and want to help, go to the website (http://wearemicrosoft.com) and toss your name into the hat. If you want to run a Give Camp in your area, go to http://givecamp.org or contact Chris Koenig(Chris.Koenig@microsoft.com). President Bush in a recent talk about volunteer service said "You know, there's an old adage that says, you can bring hope to the lives of others, but the life you enrich the most will probably be your own."
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