As I arrived yesterday for day 4 (the last day) of the SQL Server JumpIn! Camp, one participant said to me,“I’m starting to feel worn down.” I think that was the general sentiment of everyone that was there…and with good reason. During each day of the camp, PHP developers worked side-by-side with Microsoft developers to add SQL Server and SQL Azure support to their projects, but nearly everyone put in many extra hours late at night (and even early morning!) to add support for other Microsoft technologies (such as IIS, Web Platform Installer, and Windows Azure). The amount of work done by the participants was incredible. You can get a sense of just how much progress was made by this picture of our “progress” board taken on the last day of the camp:
I can’t say thanks enough to all the participants for being 100% invested in the camp and for going the extra mile to investigate how their projects might be able to integrate Microsoft technologies beyond SQL Server and SQL Azure. I know that the entire SQL Server team echoes my thanks.
And now, the hard work for Microsoft developers begins. A primary goal of the camp was for Microsoft developers to learn from PHP developers so that they can build Microsoft products that work better and better with PHP and PHP applications/frameworks. Throughout the camp, we tracked requests by asking participants to post their “wish list” items on a white board. This picture will give you a sense for some of the feedback we received, though we actually got much more feedback in one-on-one conversations:
So now it’s time to take this feedback, prioritize it, plan, and act on it. We did this after the last SQL Server JumpIn! Camp, and the progress we have made since then was well received at this camp. With more hard work, we will make similar progress by the next camp.
An observation: The camp wasn’t all about progress and feedback. Some of the best conversations centered on why something was the way it was. PHP developers learned why a Microsoft feature or API was designed the way it was, and Microsoft developers learned why those features/APIs might pose hurdles for PHP developers. In some cases, these conversations led to something actionable, but in other cases it just led to understanding. This, IMHO, was one of the most valuable aspects of the camp. That mutual understanding will eventually lead to better interoperability.
Finally, don’t get the impression that the camp was all work. It wasn’t. We had a BBQ competition, dinner at Seattle’s Space Needle, and wine tasting/dinner at the Columbia winery in Woodinville. In addition to all that, everyone found time (at the expense of enough sleep!) to catch up with old friends and make new ones. I, personally, had a great time getting to know new people or people I had only met briefly or know only through Twitter and/or blogs.
I think it’s safe to say that you will see more posts (but of a technical nature) that are the fruit of this camp (I learned a ton and want to share what I learned). In the mean time, another HUGE thanks to all the camp participants! I’m looking forward to the next camp.
Edit: If you are interested in more of the who, what, and why of the SQL Server JumpIn! Camp, read/listen to the blog posts/podcasts Cal Evans did during the camp...