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Chris G. Williams Beware: I mix tech and personal interests here.

Mark and have been friends for a few years. He (and his company, Dunn Training) is an active supporter of community events, a good guy and a true Southerner. Mark gets around a lot and I'm constantly running into him at conferences and code camps. He was kind enough to stop for a moment, catch a breath and answer these NINE Questions:

image 1. Where are you from?
I'm originally from a very small town north of Birmingham, Alabama called Blountsville.  It's about halfway between Birmingham and Huntsville.  I grew up on a farm doing farm like things..taking care of cows and hauling hay in every year.

2. What do you do? Give me the 10 second pitch.
I own a training and consulting business based in Atlanta, GA.  We do work all over the US and now in Canada and Europe around anything developer related for .NET, SQL Server, BizTalk and SharePoint.

3. How did you end up doing what you do now?
Long story here but, in short, I decided it was best to run my own business rather than be tied to a company.  Looking back, that was a good decision.

4. What kinds of training do you do?
We do anything related to developers.  We have advanced classes in the subject arena of CSLA, WCF, WPF, WF, SQL Server, Ajax, Agile, SharePoint, BizTalk, you name it.  We aim to please the developer crowd.  We hope to offer Community Server training in the near future.

5. With all the new technologies coming out, how do you keep up?
Well, good question.  The simple answer is we all forego sleep to keep up.  It's like drinking from a fire hydrant lately.  Too much good stuff and so little time to play.  If I had a hobby, it would be trying to keep up with new technology.

6. You hit the big shows like Tech Ed and also the code camp scene. Where do you see the greater value?
I think both have great value actually.  Tech Ed's are more formalized and predictable.  They are also huge fun.  Just ask the Twitter Tribe.  I also love Code Camps and support as many as I can both thru talks and funds for things like lunch.  The difference I see is you never really know what to expect from a Code Camp until you are there and attend the sessions.  Events like Tech Ed are a bit more predictable.

7. I've seen you on twitter lately, what's your take on the whole social networking scene?
I love social networking and see a great value for me personally at events.  I can instantly know where friends are spending their time and adjust my schedule.  I'm a huge fan of Twitter although I only do updates frequently when I'm at an event.

8. You're an RD. What's that all about?
The RD program is great.  Regional Directors represent a small group of individuals worldwide that work closely with the Microsoft Developer Evangelism team in their geographic areas.  I work a lot with Doug Turnure and Glen Gordon in the Southeast and basically support their efforts any time I can.  This entails meeting with customers and delivering community talks.  RD's are not compensated by Microsoft for the role but act as an independent voice regarding technology.  I'm very pro Microsoft but tell the bald truth when talking with customers.  That's the main thing that lends credibility to the program.  I really applaud Microsoft for funding a program like this.  I feel free to talk about the good and not so good sides of new technology.

9. Last of all, any tattoos?
Suffice to say that you have inspired me.  If I get a tattoo in the future, I'm going to put the blame square on Chris Williams.  Maybe a bit to Woodford Reservere :)

Posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2008 2:46 PM NINE Questions | Back to top

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