CodeSlam Seattle’s [Superstar] Event Planner

Over the last few months, I’ve been planning the first of what I am certain will be many “gotdotnet CodeSlam” events (Raymond explains my choice of the name CodeSlam). Recently, those plans became a reality. CodeSlam0 was a small, invitation-only, “unconference” that we held in the Microsoft Visitor Center/Museum for a few of our favorite customers, software legends, internal stakeholders, and their friends: all Microsoft MVPs of the developer and IT pro persuasion. Over the next few days, I’ll be blogging about this killer event, which my boss Sandy Khaund and I dreamed up a few months ago as ‘a work-social event that we ourselves would be unable to resist were we to be invited’. I later refined that goal to be,

‘CodeSlam should be as hard to resist and as difficult to leave for a developer as for a casino is to a gambling addict.’

Although our dream event became a reality on September 27, its success was in no small part due to a very special woman, Maryam Ghaemmaghami. I don’t know if that’s the last name she goes by now, or not but I would prefer to allow her to shape her own identity as she pleases. Her other last name starts with an S, ends with an E and has OBL in the middle.

Attending to the Details of the First Ever CodeSlam
I grew up in the household of the most prolific and skilled social event planners that I know: my mother. I don’t say this lightly: Maryam is a star; a born hostess who was cut from the same cloth as my mother. I would love to see Maryam and my mother co-host event. Anyway, I contracted Maryam’s services as the CodeSlam event planner approximately three weeks before C-Day. She embraced the event philosophy with gusto, commended my invitations and list of invitees, and set out with confidence, resolve, and charm to handle every last planning detail, a task for which I literally had no time. On day one, I asked her to settle an online account bill for me. It was done within an hour. A day or two later, I called to see if she would be willing to scout out the event location with me. Maryam responded that she was already en route. I suggested a caterer and she said that she already had one in mind. I asked for a rental car and a cheap limo. Done. Done. I asked for beanbags. Maryam dragged her husband, Robert to Ikea and bought them. Maryam is amazing.

On September 30, a few days after CodeSlam, Maryam started her own blog. This picture of Maryam on Nancy White’s blog was taken at CodeSlam. You go, Maryam! Welcome to the blogosphere.