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

I’ve known Shawn for a few years now, mostly through his work with the developer community and of course his affiliation with INETA. I figured it was time you got to know him as well. Here are NINE Questions with Shawn Weisfeld:

shawn 1. Where are you from? 
I was born in Brooklyn New York and moved to South Florida when I was still in grade school. After graduating from high school I moved to Orlando to go to college at the University of Central Florida. There I was introduced to my first User Group, the Orlando .NET User Group.

2. Who do you work for? Give me the 10 second pitch on them. Why would I want to buy their product? 
Well my day job is for a large defense contractor, and as you might think you would want to purchase stuff from them if you wanted the bad guys to go BOOM. All joking aside defense is allot more than bombs and airplanes now  a days, with IT playing a huge role in everything from logistics to cyber defense. In addition to my day job I also teach Information Systems online for the Florida Institute of Technology.

3. What brought you to your current employer? 
I started at my day job when I was still a student at the University of Central Florida as an intern. The great thing about working there is that it is a "career" company. Unlike most smaller companies where you have to leave that company get new challenges, the size of my company allows for employees to be exposed to a wide range of different challenges and positions in locations literally all over the world.

4. You're also the Director of Community Activities with INETA, which means what exactly? 
Since I have only been the Director of Community Activities with INETA for less than a month now I am still trying to wrap my arms around this a bit. However I do know I am responsible to help organize INETA's presence at conferences like TechEd and PDC. Additionally I am responsible to oversee the CHAMPS program. I am also responsible to oversee any contests that INETA runs within the community. I say oversee because it is the volunteers that I work with that actually make these programs happen.

5. What are some of the challenges / pet projects / etc you have in this role? 
One of my favorite programs that I am responsible for is the CHAMPS program. We started this program about one year ago as a way to recognize members of the community that have gone above and beyond to make Community better for all of us. The CHAMPS program has two awards, an annual award that is given out quarterly and an lifetime achievement award that is given out semi annually. To be eligible for the annual award you can either tell us what you are doing by going to the INETA website, or you can get nominated by a INETA Membership Mentor or Microsoft Developer Evangelist. On the other hand the only way to be eligible for the lifetime achievement award is to get nominated by your peers on our website.

6. Given your high level of involvement with community, do you think we're hitting any kind of critical mass with all the Conferences, Day of This, Codefoo, User Groups, Camps etc...? 
Well I think for the regular developer the more conferences, CodeCamps, User Group meetings, etc. we have the better. I feel this provides folks more options as to what fits into their schedules the best and what topics they are the most interested in. However from my perspective, where I try to attend as many as I can, it gets a little tiring adding sometime up to four user group meetings a week. That being said, would we do it if we didn't love it?

7. Ok, so INETA is just part of who you are & what you do. What are your technical specialties? 
First and foremost I am a developer, just like the rest of you. I write my fair share of web and windows applications, usually in C# but sometimes in VB. Since most of my applications deal with huge amounts of data I tend to also do allot of TSQL.

8. Any non-technical hobbies? What are they and why? 
I am a big fan of television and movies. Sitting down in front of the TV and letting my brain turn to mush is my favorite way to relax after a long day. However unlike most fans of TV and movies I have a hard time remember who what in what movie.

9. Last of all, any tattoos? 
No tattoos, but I am currently sporting a vicious sun burn after spending the afternoon at the Special Olympics. We were responsible to cheer and clap for all the athletes when they crossed the finish line. While it was a long afternoon and I have never done as much clapping in my life it was rewarding to see how much the athletes got out of the event.

Posted on Monday, April 27, 2009 4:16 PM NINE Questions | Back to top

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