The Saturday night before TechEd I noticed a gathering online - the "Party with Palermo" - organized by C# MVP Jeffrey Palermo. This was courtesy of Google so I didn't have a personal connection with any of the players there other than knowing they were some of the higher profile attendees.
The first person I got to meet was Sahil Malik; I have his ADO.NET 2.0 book from Apress but didn't make the connection at the time. I wish I had although it's probably a good thing since I'd have pestered him with more than a few questions. But Sahil did the courtesy of talking to me a little bit about Concurrency - expanding the notion in my mind from just database locking mechanisms and settings to the statefulness of objects and their interaction in the .NET Framework. Sahil was very courteous.
After Sahil excused himself I noticed a guy wearing an Infragistics shirt and, completely forgetting myself, pounced upon my opportunity to dialogue with a representative of a company I've blessed and cursed in the same breath.
Ambrose played it well, allowing me to get my frustrations off my chest asking questions like "what do you think we can do better?", and then pausing for my excited bursts of opinion. My excited babble only continued when I discovered he was presenting on the Microsoft Enterprise Library. I asked him what he thought of it, really, as a very large layer of abstraction of other libraries (which themselves are layers of abstraction), and he gave a neutral response along the lines of it depending on the developer and their approach. I've met many people and I've got to think hard of a person who was able to deftly answer questions while choosing not to really commit a strong opinion, as well as steer an encounter like ours into therapeutic venting rather than debate or contention. I didn't go to his session about the the Enterprise Library but I'm really looking forward to the TechEd DVD when I can get a real sense of his thoughts and what he presented upon.
During my excited conversation I noticed a picture taker and now these moments are recorded for posterity on an offshoot of the Atlanta .NET Regular Guys website. They were taken by Heidi Schwartz whose husband Brendon is a developer actively involved in the INETA organization.
Sahil's blog is here, Ambrose writes a blog here, and Brendon contributes to a blog here.