Last weekend (January 15-17) found me at the third annual GiveCamp Dallas event, known locally as We Are Microsoft. This event pairs developers and other technical professionals with charities who are long on need but short on funds for technology. Most if not all of the projects are web-based, and represented a wide variety of organizations and needs.
This is my third year to have participated, but my first where I wasn’t part of a single team – I had a schedule conflict that originally kept me from registering, but after my schedule was cleared for the weekend, registration was already closed. Since I got in so late, I was assigned to the “Flying Committee”, a small group who went from group to group to help fill in the gaps. The past two years was a good opportunity to get to know some new people very well, since you end up spending 40+ hours working shoulder-to-shoulder with a small group; this time I met a lot of people, but didn’t really get that foxhole experience of years past. Still, it was good to help out where I could, and I got to catch up with a few people I worked with last year, including Jay Smith, Todd Stone, and others. I was also happy to see fellow NTSSUG member Trevor Barkhouse there, since the last 2 years found us short of database people.
If you’ve never done a GiveCamp, I encourage you to check out an event in your area, or organize your own. It’s a good experience, and more importantly, a great cause.