MVP Insider – Q & A with Laurent Duveau


Laurent Duveau is a Senior .NET Trainer/Developer and the founding partner of RunAtServer Consulting. He specializes in web development with ASP.NET, AJAX, Silverlight, Windows Live and Expression softwares. He also teaches .NET courses as a Microsoft Certified Trainer, and was a speaker at great events like DevDays in France and Code Camps in Montreal.

He is part of the Montreal Visual Studio User Group team and really enjoys the Montreal .NET community. He also writes technical articles for and and is a top contributor in the and forums.

1. What does being an MVP mean to you?

MVP means a strong community effort. I am very proud to be recognized by this program again and I feel lucky for that. Last year was awesome, I had the opportunity to attend great events like the MVP Summit in Redmond, DevTeach Montreal, EnergizeIT in Toronto and several MSDN Canada tours. Also having lots of interactions with the local .NET community through the GUVSM and CodeCamp was a lot of fun and I love that!  2008 promises to be as much exciting with MIX08 in Las Vegas and the PDC!

2. If you could ask Steve Ballmer one question about Microsoft, what would it be?

I would love to hear more about the strategy behind Windows Live. Will Microsoft keep pushing things forward for Live services? And more important how will they make people know about these services? Will they be integrated in Windows one day? On Vista, Windows Calendar, Windows Mail and Windows Contacts are just non-sense, they should be replaced by Windows Live Calendar, Windows Live Mail and Windows Live Contacts. I think this is due to bad timing. In the same idea I would love to get my Live Favorites integrated in IE and backup my data on Live Skydrive right from Vista!

3. What do you think the best software ever written was?

It is a game! Civilization by a real genius: Sid Meier. I spent 50% of my life as a kid on this game.

4. If you were the manager of Visual Studio, what would you change?

This tool is already awesome and simplify every part of developments, but I would try to make it more performing and faster on "regular" computers.

5. What are the best features/improvements of Visual Studio?

For me the best improvement to Visual Studio is Multi-targeting. As a consultant I often work at different place, so being able to use Visual Studio 2008 on the same projects as teams that still use VS2005 is great. I can enjoy the new features of VS2008 (JavaScript IntelliSense, JavaScript debugging, split view, nested master page, improved web designer and css management) without worrying if the current projects are 2005 or 2008.

6. What was the last book you read?

I never read technical books, for that I go to blogs, technical articles, podcasts, webcasts and online tutorials. Books are too static, when I need something I go online, and I go crazy if I don't find what I am looking for in less than 20 sec... Google made me so impatient!

7. What music CD do you recommend?

I definitely love Radiohead and especially their latest album "In Rainbow", for the music and the way they distribute it (without a major).

8. What makes you a great MVP?

Passion! I now have more than 60 feeds in my RSS reader, and I am sure most MVPs too. I think you should add this question to this series! "How many feeds are there in your RSS reader ?. I am passionate about these technologies, I love to learn from others, and I love to share it. Luckily Microsoft keeps providing new technologies all the time!

9. What's in your computer bag?

My laptop, my Zune, and an external hard drive full of VPCs, business cards... My music library is pretty huge and fits in a 200 GB drive, but my 30GB Zune can play music for days. I go to work by subway so I enjoy it to watch ASP.NET webcasts and listen to podcasts like VisualStudioTalkShow.

10. What is the best thing that has happened since you have become an MVP?

Attending technical sessions by Scott Guthrie, Bertrand Le Roy and Anders Hejlsberg at the MVP Summit 2007, that was impressive!

11. What is your motto?

I never stop learning like a sponge, I feel like bob the sponge!

12. Who is your hero?

I do not have a hero. For now I do not let people have influence on me other than myself. Regarding heroes, did you know that Superman in real life is not Clark Kent but Scott Guthrie ?? Each of his blog post is a gem! Someone could write a book only based on his blog! Look at his first post on ASP.NET MVC: a 32 pages tutorial!!!!! Nobody can beat that!

13. What does success mean to you?

Being able to keep working with technologies that I love and maintaining a certain degree of expertise thanks to brilliant people. Note to MVPs: download my MVP Global Summit Countdown Gadget for Vista!

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