A (fiscal) year in review

It's that time of the year again: the end of June marks the end of the fiscal year, and for us it's time to reflect on what we've done in the past 12 months. Vast majority of the things I've done are internal-only or with high profile customers that can't be mentioned publicly until their PR departments give the green light, hence I won't discuss those here; however I think it's interesting to share with you a summary of some of the things that I worked on, just to give you a measure of how .NET3.0 (especially CardSpace in my case) is relevant. It should give you an hint of how much impact you can have working in my group, so you'll be able to put announcements like this in the right perspective! I also hope that this will boost your confidence that the content of our upcoming book is based on very solid real world experience, earned by working daily with our key accounts in the identity space: the PG intent is tempered by immersing it in requirements from customer actually shipping solutions based on this thing that we call CardSpace. Which, by the way, is the reason for which I'm still at the computer at this time... big stuff is going on in cardspaceland!

Projects, Briefings, Deep Dives

This year I've worked with or briefed more than 45 enterprise companies on CardSpace/WCF/WF, good part of it at the very top of the fortune100 and global100 (ah, btw: just subscribed to Fortune. I was buying it all the times anyway). Sometimes it was just a 2 hours personalized QA, some other a 4 days spent locked in a room figuring out how to use the product in scenarios that has not been experimented before, some other it would be a year long project brought from the initial concept to production. While the latter category produced very public results (case studies: our well known Otto, Cigna, ST ElectronicsSafeco, Thompson to mention a few), the first 2 are more long term (helping a biiiiiig company to figure out how cardspace can open them new scenarios and solve historical problems takes time, but once it's done the effects are huge). I worked with at least 5 governments from countries around the world.

That's maybe the best part of my job. I just love to apply technology to enterprise problems: it makes it "real" and teaches you what works and what doesn't.  


 I didn't travel as much as the year before, however I had my share. I talked at the IDWorld in Milan, at the Gartner Healthcare Summit in S Diego, at a couple of internal conferences of major multinationals in US and in Germany (hint: finance and... everything), I did 2 MSDN connections and one enterprise event in Singapore, and an architect council in Japan. Apart from one MSDN connection, during which I had the pleasure of doing the first public demos of Silver and WCF web programming hours after Orcas March CTP came out, ALL those events were about CardSpace.


This year I finally had the time to produce some content. I've been interviewed by Charles on Channel9, and I keep receiving love for that video; I wrote an article for the Global IDentification Journal, and I've been interviewed by Today; I had some time to devote to blogging, that was really well received; and finally I wrote some examples that, I am told, were pretty helpful. The WPF, WCF & caching sample seems the all time favorite, since apparently before that it was sometimes challenging to give a seamless experience with rich clients; the card writer toy and the docs on the card generation sample are pretty popular, together with old glories like the managed card writer WF activity (on the wf.netfx.com website since august 2006, it's the most downloaded Misc activity); the new stuff (cardspace & silverlight, cardspace & sidebar gadgets, cardspace and workflow services, cardspace and WCF AJAX services) generated interest too, the gadget sample even elicited some new project; the Live Service Trace Viewer was also a great result, but for that the biggest part of merit goes to Craig. And let's not forget the book with Addison Wesley, which is almost text complete!


Here there's the part I can't describe in details. Let's say that I speak on internal conferences (last installment I had 6 sessions about cardspace; one afternoon I had 3 sessions in a row! the next edition I have 5, maybe 7 sessions); I brief on cardspace/wcf/wf other product groups; and I spend a lot of time trying to help our field with their projects (on the lists about cardspace alone, I've sent about a couple hundred mails).

Ah, and of course you get to hand around with the big guys and have heated discussions about scenarios, features, wild ideas... seeing good part of your blogroll hanging around the same coffee machine you're using still amazes me.


Again, I can't say much more: however I hope that it was enough to give you an idea of how much fun and impact you can have here. Next time you read something like this, do not hesitate a minute! 🙂

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