Inspirational session with Bill and community leaders

Earlier this week I was in Orlando, Florida for TechEd 2008. 


I was able to participate in a few events that were quite memorable for me.  The first was participating in the keynote with Bill Gates, the very first Microsoft employee and developer.


A few hours later, I hosted a group of influential community members to chat with Bill Gates over lunch.  This group was a set of MVP’s, Regional Directors, INETA leaders and other people who were all selected because of the great work they do in supporting others in the community.


To be honest, I wasn’t sure what the topic of conversation was going to be and what was top of mind for these folks with all the various challenges that they face with technology today.  At the end of it though, I thought it was a very fascinating conversation and a humbling experience for me.


I left feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the passion that people in the room had for a single topic that took up the majority of the conversation.  The conversation centered around how we can better marry IT skills and expertise to non-profit work in the areas of healthcare and education.  All of the conversations and comments focused on how each of the people in that room could step up and bring their expertise in technology and IT to help people that are less fortunate. 


Something that Bill said during this lunch really struck a chord for me “It is great how much people open their hearts, minds and wallets and dedicate their time when a tragedy strikes.  However, the work that has an even greater impact is the work that is done a year or two years before a crisis that puts a framework in place so a response can happen more quickly.  This isn’t something that we all think about in our daily lives until we are bombarded with news of a tragedy.


Kate Gregory, who was at this luncheon, mentioned an organization out of Canada that pairs IT professionals with not-for-profit organizations called MatchIT.  I learned that folks from Microsoft Canada already participate in this organization.  I really like the idea of this and hope that other similar organizations are available or start to sprout up in various communities.


Like I said, the passion and conviction around this topic was very moving to me.  I love the fact that the influentials that support our Microsoft Developer community are also passionate about supporting the needs of the less fortunate.



Comments (23)

  1. asad says:

    i am from pakistan , and you are from india so you are near to me that good

    i am computer expert, WGA and Microsoft technology of software development WGA technology software code and programming i have learnt

  2. Tahir says:

    I am in-between the two… 🙂

    I am from Kashmir…

    I am working on C# + ASP.NET at Kuala Lumpur….!

  3. S.Somasegar says:

    I was looking at the blog posts from some of the folks who attended this session and it was interesting to see that most everybody walked out of that session feeling inspired and wanting to do more here.


  4. S.Kaliyan says:


    once more interesting news that, recenly i been to Microsoft USA for User Group Leader summit 2008.

    Microsoft global Technical audience team working to network ww UG into single place.

    I have posted few details about this initiative on my blog.

  5. N.S.Ponraja says:

    Hi ,

    I am from TamilNadu (India).

    I am working as a .net developer for the past two years, and i would like to update myself in SOA architecture, can anyone help me.

  6. S.Somasegar says:

    Hi Ponraja,

    There is a lot of information on MSDN that you can access which will help you.  Here is a link that you can use to get started.


  7. surprised says:

    Came to this blog and the first thing I see is a large banner ad at the top for Sun Microsystems and Jave One!

    Major irony going on there…:)

  8. RadioListener says:

    Hi Somasgar,

    I’m from the US, and I’ll tell you, with whatever is happening with the weather, People in IT as well as other areas are going to need to help out.  The timing for this "Meeting of Champions", couldn’t have been better.  That all these great minds chose this altuistic topic to expand upon, warms my heart.

    "What you have done for the least of my brothers, you have done for me…"

    Thanks, it really was a moving entry to hear what’s on the mind of our "All Stars."


  9. Pankajkumar R Nikam says:

    Hello sir… All the best 🙂 and always keep smiling…

  10. Scott Lock says:


    Who were the MVP, RD and Ineta folks at the luncheon?  

    –  Scott

  11. Good to see this happening. Microsoft does a lot of good work and sometimes I feel goes unnoticed. Posts like this keeps people aware. Keep up the good Work!!

  12. [原文发表地址] : Inspirational session with Bill and community leaders [原文发表时间]:Friday, June 06, 2008 7:05

  13. R J says:

    Thank you for such a nice post.  It  is good to learn that besides  making thier own career how people at MS are working for  welfare of people. Keep  it up.


    R J

  14. S.Somasegar says:

    Hi Scott,

    Here is a full list of all the people that attended this session:

    Dave Sanders

    Charles Hughes

    Rob Zelt

    Daniel Egan

    Morgan Baker

    Matthew Roche

    Susan Ibach

    Chris Harrison

    Richard Campbell

    Stephen Forte

    John Holliday

    Andrew Burst

    Scott Golightly

    Kate Gregory

    Neil Roodyn


  15. Publicación del inglés original : Viernes, 06 de junio de 2008 7:05 pm por Somasegar Esta semana estuve

  16. Sundar says:

    Agriculture is one of the field which IT forget about it.

    Lots of help from IT is needed in the field of agriculture.Unfortunately, due to lack of profit in the field, Nobody is interested. It is the right time to start open source projects for the benefit of agriculture/Rural development. If you publish  any organization coordinating this,It would be helpfull.

  17. S.Somasegar says:

    Hi Sundar,

    Digital Green ( is an organization that comes to mind.  They use participatory video and mediated instruction to amplify efforts in agriculture extension, or dissemination of agricultural knowledge that can raise smallholder farmer incomes.  The system’s combined technology and social organization consists of locally produced videos of farmers taking up better agricultural practices, and mediated screening sessions in which farmers regularly gather to watch the videos in the presence of a local mediator who frequently pauses the video and provokes discussion.  


  18. Sundar says:

    Dear Somasegar

      I saw that link.That is really very good start. That needs to be reached the Small and marginal farmers.Thanks for the info.

     I am helping voluntarily for some of the NGO’s(National Agro Foundation which is started by Father of Indian Green Revolution Mr.C.Subramaniam and lead by Mr.Abdul Kalam).

    I am creating simple Soil Nutrient Supply Decision Support System which is used to analyse the soil fertility data and helps the Soil scientist to prepare location specific soil nutrient recommandation and to store long term field data for future analysis.

     I would like to know anybody from Microsoft or Open source developers are doing these kind of projects.So that I can get some more idea and feature list.



  19. S.Somasegar says:

    Hi Sundar,

    You may want to contact Rikin Gandhi ( who works in Microsoft Research as he is the one on our side who works closely wiht Digital Green and might be able to give you additional pointers.


  20. Sundar says:

    Dear Somasegar

     Thank you very much for the info.


  21. Syed Nisar says:

    Gr8 to see this happening. Microsoft does a lot of good work and sometimes I feel goes unnoticed.  Keep up the good Work.

    I m actually from kashmir.

    I m working in ThePerfectFuture(Microsoft Technology Partner Company).

    I m working on ASP.NET with c#,SQL server,Commercer server 2007,Biztalk Server.

  22. Tejkumar Garlapati says:

    Hi somasegar, I personally felt happy that you meet  these "BIG" persons..pillars of future.

        I am a student. Out of my interest towards C# , i happened to search MSDN and found this blog. Amazing to see this great community.

        I am really interested in this MS community.

        Good job Mr. Somasegar.

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