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

As the Grand Poobah of Visual Basic at Microsoft, Paul is one of the busiest guys I know. Fortunately for us, he managed to find the time to answer these NINE Questions.

image1. So, inquiring minds want to know, where are you from?
Originally, Durham, NC. But I’ve been in Seattle almost as long as I was in Durham so…

2. Who do you work for? Give me the 10 second pitch on them. Why would I want to buy their product?
A small technology company in Redmond, WA. You probably haven’t heard of them or used their products…

3. What brought you to your current employer?
They offered me a job, which was more than a lot of my fellow graduates were getting at the time (it was a recession). Even better, they offered me a job after my internship was over, so my senior year was very relaxed on that front…

4. I know you mostly from your blog (, but that's just one side of you. What's something the world doesn't know about you?
Well, being really into Dr. Who as a kid doesn’t really get me any geek points in this crowd, so how about: I sang in Gilbert and Sullivan operettas as a teenager. I’d do it as an adult if I had the time (and a better voice).

5. You presented some pretty cool forward looking stuff at the MVP Summit this year. How do you feel about the reactions you got?
It’s always gratifying to get positive feedback for work that we’re doing. I’m looking forward to being able to show it off in public at some point!

6. Regarding the MVP Summit, lots of folks find value in different areas. Some prefer the presentations while others go for the networking opportunities. Is there a part of the MVP Summit that stands out as your favorite, from a Microsoft perspective?
The down side of having the MVP Summit at Microsoft is that it’s very difficult to get away from my regular work duties and spend as much time as I’d like to with the MVPs! That’s really what I get the most out of—getting a chance to talk and interact with people who use our products very deeply and who are very passionate about them. I’m looking forward to the PDC this year since it’ll mean that I’ll be out of the office and can spend a lot of quality time to whoever makes it to LA!

7. I followed a lot of folks on Twitter during TechEd, and it seems like the way to go when out of town. I know you've been using it lately, so what's your take on Twitter?
I like it because I can say things without having to wrap a whole blog entry around it. Plus I like the immediacy and ability to get direct replies. (My twitter account is

8. Any non-technical hobbies? What are they and why?
Raising twin boys. With two 2-year-olds running around, there really isn’t much time for anything else.

9. Last of all, any tattoos?
No way! I just think it’s very unlikely that I’ll be happy thirty years from now with whatever I might think is a cool tattoo today. I admire other peoples’ optimism. :)

Posted on Friday, July 4, 2008 10:13 PM General Interest , NINE Questions | Back to top

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