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

I first met Rachel at TechEd 2008 and have been following her Twitter feed ever since. She's a newly awarded ASP.NET MVP, ASPInsider, Microsoft Certified Trainer and one seriously cool geeky chick. You can find her blog at Fortunately for you, dear reader, she was able to squeeze these NINE Questions into her busy schedule. Enjoy...

image1. Where are you from? 
I’m from Northeastern Pennsylvania. I was born, raised and remain here, only to escape during my frequent travels.

2. Who do you work for? Give me the 10 second pitch on them. Why would I want to work there, or why would I want to hire them?
I work for myself. I’ve been around the app development block a few times and by now I know how to get things done. I create software that the customer wants, and is useful to the customer wants, not some version of software that some developer thinks the customer wants. 

3. What brought you to independent consulting?
I worked for a small consulting company that went under, after working for a slightly larger company that went under and I was not about to test the “three times the charm” theory.  That was around 2004 and I’ve never looked back - now I am the company and I like it much better.

4. I know you're an ASP.NET MVP, but I'm curious what else you do. What other areas of technical expertise do you have? 
I started out on non Microsoft platforms (read: Borland C, Perl, COBOL) and I’ve coded everything from Win32 desktop apps to enterprise transaction processing systems so I have a well rounded knowledge of what’s out there.  I currently focus on pragmatic  software development using Microsoft technologies, particularly ASP.NET w/ C# or VB.NET, take your pick.  I’ve also done my fair share of SQL DBA work over the years as well.

5. You worked part of TechEd 2008 (Developers) this year. What area did you cover, and what did you think? Would you do it again?
I worked the ADO.NET product booth. It was a great experience being able to help customers solve their problems, especially those who had the problems or questions that are off the beaten path.  I learned a lot from the DP team and I’d definitely do it again.

6. It seems a lot of TechEd attendees see greater value in the networking, rather than the sessions. Mostly, I just go for the parties (ed: Just kidding boss.) What's your take on the whole Tech Ed experience?
Between working the booth and other activities, I was only able to get to one session, which was a BOF and I enjoyed participating. I really tried to get to some other sessions but kept getting caught up elsewhere.  I’d say the networking, interpersonal connections and technical discussions with people like yourself made it well worth the experience, despite my poor session attendance.  There’s definitely as great a value in networking as in the sessions.


On a side note, I do believe if you’re one of our twitter tribe, the rules state that conference party attendance is mandatory.

7. Speaking of Twitter, I rely pretty heavily on Twitter when traveling. What's your take on it and do you think it will survive its own success?
Aside from Twitter’s technical issues, I find the concept simple but useful, as I can keep in touch with many friends at once and see what’s going with them.  Friends don’t have to constantly ask where I’m at and what I’m doing anymore which is nice; it cuts down on the number of texts and emails I get.  There’s a hefty of noise to signal ratio with twitter, which will cause some issues with many users when they hit their saturation point.  I’m on twitter as @RachelAppel.

8. Any non-technical hobbies?
There is such a thing as non technical hobbies? Ok then, I golf.  I also used to garden but haven’t had time lately for much more than killing houseplants.

9. Last of all, any tattoos?
I never ink and tell.

Posted on Thursday, July 10, 2008 2:26 PM General Interest , NINE Questions | Back to top

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