Southwest Fox 2009 Keynote Announcement

We have some exciting news about the Southwest Fox 2009 Keynote Session.

For the past several years, the Southwest Fox Thursday night Keynote Session provided everyone with some reminders and last minutes details about the conference. It also included some of our speakers who were eager to share new technology they’d recently been involved with. In past years, we’ve had a keynote on Visual FoxPro code development moving past the standard VFP approaches via Guineu, eTecnologia.NET, and VFP Studio. Last year we showcased some of the new components and tools available on the open source project called VFPX.

As you may know, the organizers of Southwest Fox have always been keen on borrowing “best in class” ideas from other conferences. During one of the Essential Fox conferences, someone from outside the FoxPro Community was brought in as a keynote speaker and it was a huge success. Since taking over Southwest Fox in 2007, we’ve always wanted to do this with our keynote. Unfortunately, either budget constraints or timing constraints have always been a roadblock for fulfilling this goal. This year we started early and back in March, we secured a commitment for our keynote speaker!

We are very excited to announce that Sara Ford from Microsoft is coming to Southwest Fox 2009. Here are the details:

Towards a Stronger Open Source Ecosystem
on CodePlex.com

For those who do not know who Sara is, she is the Program Manager for CodePlex, Microsoft’s open source project hosting site (and home to VFPX). Prior to CodePlex, she worked on the Visual Studio team for six years and ran the popular Visual Studio Tip of the Day series. In 2008, she authored her first book, Microsoft Visual Studio Tips by Microsoft Press and donated all her royalties to start a scholarship fund for Hurricane Katrina survivors of her hometown. Her life-long dream is to become a 97-year-old weightlifter, so she can be featured on the local news.

Sara is an energetic speaker and will probably show you her rebellious side. How many Microsoft people do you know who are willing to walk around the Redmond campus wearing a FireFox t-shirt? After the keynote, you will know at least one.

We need to thank some very important contributors who helped make this happen. The Southwest Fox registrations are down this year because of the economic situation. The conference budget is already stretched to keep the Southwest Fox experience a quality experience. So the organizers got creative and tapped some friends in the FoxPro Community to sponsor the Keynote Session. We want to thank F1 Technologies and White Light Computing for sharing the costs to bring Sara to Mesa for the night. Without their generosity, we could not have pulled this off. We also want to thank Sara’s boss for letting her travel to our conference and sharing her vision on how CodePlex is going to evolve to support open source initiatives like VFPX.

We really hope you will join us in Mesa, but if you cannot, you might be able to catch it on SWFox TV because we are going to attempt to stream the keynote on the Internet like we did last year. More details on the broadcast will be posted closer to the conference.

Only 41 days until Sara talks about CodePlex in Mesa! We hope to see you there.

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