I had the pleasure to participate last week in the 2007 RAF for the Andean Region which covers Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. I was invited by Jose Mauricio Alvarez, the Architect Evangelist in the region, and one of the best hosts I've ever met. Nothing I could write here would be enough to describe the energy and passion he has for his customers and making a great and meaningful event for them. Jose Mauricio and Sandra Marin (the Developer Evangelist) really made me feel like at home.
The event took place in the very beautiful city of Cartagena de Indias, in north Colombia. A remarkably well preserved jewel in the Caribbean sea with a great architecture and spirit. Unfortunately, I couldn't stay long enough to visit it the way it deserves, but I did spend a couple of hours walking around in the "old city" with Mauricio, my colleague Moin, Andres Fontan (Medellin Regional Director) and Ricardo Marulanda (ex-MS Dev Evangelist and now very successful entrepreneur) before catching my plane(s) back home.
The weather fantastic. Here's a group of us in the beach (Can you tell who is from Redmond and who isn't? 🙂 )
I presented on 3 sessions:
- Software + Services keynote
- Software Factories
- Anatomy of a SaaS delivered application
(Links to the decks will follow as they are published by Microsoft Colombia)
I was very surprised with the level, skills and entrepreneurship of most of the attendees I talked to: great questions, lots of interactions and great projects happening in that region.
Besides the Q&A during my presentations, I had lots of excellent side meetings. Two I'd like to highlight:
- My conversation with the SENA folks (an educational organization in Colombia with an impressive record and goals)
- My discussions with the e-Gattaca tech lead Juan Carlos Pelaez Casallas.
Hopefully we will remain in contact!