Archive for the ‘Community’ Category


I have numerous examples for my Southwest Fox session “Inspiring Everyday Practical IntelliSense”, but they are mostly the ones created from my own needs and a few I have borrowed from other developers over the years. But I want to present the “best of” from our Fox Community to show off the power of Intellisense and most likely increase my own productivity. If you are willing to share, email me rick AT rickschummer DOTCOM. I’ll give full credit during session when I give it. Many thanks in advance.


Please go listen to the recent “FoxShow #77: Southwest Fox 2013″ produced by Andrew MacNeill for some important news concerning Southwest Fox 2013.

I’ll wait here while you listen….Done?

OK, now go read the official written word from the organizers on the same subject on Doug Hennig’s blog post “You can save Southwest Fox.”

I’ll wait here while you read….Done?

Great, thanks for taking the time to listen and read. The Fox Communitgy has done a terrific job supporting this conference for the last nine years. We really want to do it for a tenth.

We want you to hear our voices so it was loud and clear, and not misinterpreted. The conference needs your support. If you plan to come to the conference, please, please get registered. It has never been more important!

Geek Gatherings Registration Page

Only 122 days until we (hopefully) gather in Gilbert.


The Ceil Silver Ambassador Fund raises money from the VFP community to bring a developer to the Southwest Fox conference as an ambassador for the developers in his or her country. This gives the recipient the opportunity to meet and share experiences with developers attending Southwest Fox and gives other attendees the opportunity to learn about VFP development in the recipient’s country.

We are looking for nominations from the VFP community for the 2013 recipient. To nominate someone you think deserves to be selected, please email their name and a brief list of their contributions to the VFP community to Names must be submitted no later than May 31, 2013.

In addition, we are looking for donations to allow us to pay for the travel costs for the ambassador. We urge you to consider donating any amount you see fit, small or large, to this fund. See for details. 100% of donated money goes to the travel costs for the ambassador. Not a single penny is used to cover administrative costs. All time managing the fund and working through the selection process is donated. No one is paid for their time.


The Ceil Silver Ambassador Fund brings a developer to the Southwest Fox conference in the United States as an ambassador for the developers in his or her country. This gives the recipient the opportunity to meet and share experiences with developers attending Southwest Fox and gives other attendees the opportunity to learn about VFP development in the recipient’s country. For more information on the Ambassador Fund or to learn how to contribute to it, please see

The Ambassador selection committee consists of Southwest Fox organizers Rick Schummer, Tamar Granor, and Doug Hennig, former Ambassadors Emerson Santon Reed, Cesar Chalom, Bernard Bout, and Borislav Borissov, and VFP community members Christof Wollenhaupt and Rick Bean.

We are looking for nominations from the VFP community for the 2012 recipient. To nominate someone you think is deserving to be selected, please email their name and a brief list of their contributions to the VFP community to Names must be submitted no later than April 30, 2012.


The FoxPro Lifetime Achievement Award honors those individuals who have contributed a great deal to the FoxPro community over the years. See the Visual FoxPro Wiki topic for previous award recipients. These recipients wish to continue the award and have created a committee to select a recipient for 2012. The committee consists of all 11 living previous recipients, Alan Griver (yag) of EC:Wise (formerly of Microsoft), and one person from the FoxPro community.

If you wish to be considered for inclusion on the committee, please email Doug Hennig ( by April 30, 2012. The existing committee will select the community member and announce their selection in early May. The committee will then issue a call for nominations for the 2012 recipient and will make their selection from the nominees.


One of the things I did at the Microsoft MVP Summit earlier in March was take part in an discussion about the FoxPro Community along with Alan Griver, Tamar Granor, Doug Hennig, and the co-hosts of the Community Megaphone podcast Andrew Duthie and Dane Morgridge.

This discussion boiled out of several discussions where Andrew and Dane kept running into former FoxPro people in the .NET community. They wanted to hear more about Fox Community and later found out that the root of the Microsoft MVP program was founded in the Fox Community as well. Our discussion covers a number of topics about developer communities and is what we find common and unique among them, as well as characteristics you find in people who are actively participating in a developer community. It was a fun hour.

The interview/discussion was recorded in the Microsoft Commons in a cafeteria. In the background was lots of MVPs eating and socializing so I am really impressed with the quality of the audio. I enjoyed participating. The only wish I have is that some of the other former Fox MVPs who have turned to the “dark-side” (Rod Paddock, Rick Strahl, Jim Duffy, Julie Lerman, Kevin McNeish, Markus Egger, Cathi Gero, and Craig Berntson to name a few) and other Fox people who are now .NET MVPs (Alan Stevens, Bonnie Berent, and David Giard) were not there. Although with that many people it would have been out-of-control. The list of people here is only part of the crowd though that have helped the .NET Community actually become more of community in the sense the Fox Community has known for more than two decades.

You can listen to the podcast here:

Thanks to Dane and Andrew for taking the time to talk with us.


Speechless is not a term often associated with me, but during the closing session at Southwest Fox 2010 I found the state unbreakable when Doug announced me as the seventh recipient of the FoxPro Lifetime Achievement Award.

Even as I sit down to write this blog entry I find myself a bit shocked at how the closing session revealed the award. Doug let me know before the conference that Lisa Slater Nicholls was being awarded, only because he knew I would figure it out when I saw Lisa and Colin roaming the grounds at the Legado and Elegante.

So let’s first start with Lisa. Lisa is very deserving and I am happy she got the award this year. As several others have said, it was long overdue. Listening to Doug’s introduction was chilling to me especially when he talked about the moment in time when Lisa stepped up to take the position of FoxTalk Editor when Glenn Hart passed away. Doug pointed out how that one moment in time impacted so many people in our community. If Lisa had not stepped up there might not be a FoxTalk, and that means a lot of writers might not have had the chance to write about FoxPro. I was one of the people who got my start writing in FoxTalk, which lead to conference speaking, book writing, and other contributions I have made to the community. If you want to read Lisa’s first editorial in FoxTalk head here.

I really enjoyed Lisa’s short video too. Well done. You can read Lisa’s reaction on her blog here: “Legacy” is a good thing

2010 FoxPro Lifetime Achievement Award

Then I see Doug change to the “But wait…. there is more” slide. If you know me you know I like to be prepared and this slide was not covered during the “rehearsal.” You may have noticed I am a bit confused at this point. In the next few seconds I was running through the list of people I thought might be announced and wondering if they were in the room. I am barely listening to Doug as he introduces the second recipient of the afternoon. Me. Me?!?

The moment I heard my name announced the space time continuum skipped a beat. I literally had no words in my head (all the voices stopped {g}). I completely “spaced” out. And yes, it was an emotional moment. It was a good thing I did not make eye contact with Therese and I did not see my parents in the front row. I heard later that my mom was crying and that probably would have thrown me over the edge. I was, and to this day, stunned. I am also honored, and extremely grateful for the recognition.

Tamar was kind enough to point out to me that the next slide was mine and I had to pull myself together to announce that we are already planning Southwest Fox 2011. Unfortunately we do not have the dates or location to announce at this point. I had a reasonable plan of what I wanted to say, but I lost those words as well. We will have more to come in the next month on Southwest Fox 2011.

After the closing session I realized I thanked no one. You know, the academy, all the people who helped me so I could help others, etc. No music to cut me off and tell me to get off the stage. No Kayne West to jump up on stage to explain how Rick Strahl is the best Lifetime Achievement Award winner named Rick. So here it is… Thanks!

First of all there is Therese. She is the Best.Wife.Ever. She is the woman who allows me to be successful by supporting the crazy ideas I come up with. She supports me to follow my dreams, even when I am not sure they are the right dreams to follow. Without her I am unable to do all the things I do. People often ask me how I am able to do everything I do, the answer is one word: Therese. She is my rock, and my biggest supporter. I fell in love with her nearly 30 years ago, and because of it I am one of the luckiest people on the planet.

My kids think their dad is a dork. That is fine, as long as I am their dork and they are okay with me attempting to mold them into the fine adults they have become.

Next up are my parents, who coincidentally came to Phoenix this year to vacation with us after the conference. Amazing coincidence and timing they were there, and it brings me great joy they were in the room to see their son go speechless. They would not have believed it if they had not witnessed it. They gave me the foundation that helping others is something you just do. Kudos to Doug for seeing the opportunity and making it happen. Priceless.

Next up are the people who nominated me. Wow. I am so honored by your recognition. I say this without reservation: it would have been an honor just to be nominated. I think of all the people who I hope someday will get this award, and I am amazed that you feel I deserve the recognition this year. I still get chocked up thinking about this. Thanks.

The past recipients who made the selection: Whil Hentzen, Rick Strahl, Doug Hennig, Tamar Granor, Rainer Becker are all personal heroes of mine and friends. Alan Griver is another hero of mine and also a friend. I also appreciate that Naomi stepped up when no one else wanted to and participated in the selection. Thanks for selecting me for this award. And thanks for shocking me. Well done.

Doug, even though I did not comprehend your announcement and the kind words you had to say about me at the time, I really appreciate them. I am so glad I have video (BTW, thanks Kevin Cully for recording it for me). I especially appreciated the “love you as a brother” comment and feel the exact same way.

To the Fox Community: there is so much good and generosity in our community. Being part of this group and being able to share and learn from this group is such an easy thing to do. Thanks for letting me be a part of it for so many years.

Thanks to everyone who was at Southwest Fox and for all the kind words since the conference. To know I am having a positive impact on other developers, on other human beings, is more than enough for me. To be recognized this way is mind-boggling.



For the last four years White Light Computing has supported the efforts of Southwest Fox and the Fox Community with a scholarship to one person who registers for the conference. You can read all about the scholarships for the 2010 conference on the Southwest Fox Scholarships page.

The first year I did it to help Bob Kocher as an incentive to get some people to register for the conference. It is hard to measure what marketing gimmicks work and which ones are less successful, but Bob noticed an uptick in the registrations after I made the offer. During that experience I realized that it was more than getting people to register for the conference, it was about giving back to the community. I fully understand the importance of education in one’s career and good conferences are an excellent approach in the grand scheme of advancing and pushing the technology learning curve. The conversations with the winners is enjoyable because the winners are first surprised and second, appreciative that someone would help with the costs of going to the conference.

This year I mixed it up and decided to offer two US$150 scholarships, which turns out to be double the fun. The Director of Marketing at White Light Computing (my oldest daughter, and yes the title is not real because she will expect some sort of salary) picks the winners each year. This year she first picked the top 10, and then picked the final two. The winners this year are:

  1. Prentiss Berry of Pensacola, Florida: last year was Prentiss’ first Southwest Fox.
  2. Allan Gordon of Littleton, Colorado: this is Allan’s third year coming to Southwest Fox.

Both gentlemen are looking forward to this year’s conference and are excited by the sessions and presenters we have on the schedule.

Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate with MSDN

White Light Computing also contributed a copy of Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate with MSDN which retails at US$11,899. Now I see myself as a generous person, but even a company as successful as White Light Computing is not going to plop down close to twelve thousand dollars to give away to someone in the Fox Community. Not this year.  The Microsoft Developer Division provided each MVP with three licenses to share with other developers. I decided to offer one of these to give away to one person who registered for the Southwest Fox Super-Saver discount.

The winner of the Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate with MSDN is: (drum roll please….)

  1. Mary Pilon of Farmington, Michigan: this is Mary’s fourth year coming to Southwest Fox and she is a fellow officer of the Detroit Area Fox User Group!

Congratulation to everyone who won!

Thanks to Microsoft and in particular S. Somasegar, who is the Senior Vice-President from the Microsoft Developer Division and provided the license for me to give away.

And thanks to all who have registered for Southwest Fox 2010. Your support for our conference is truly appreciated and critical to making the conference a success each year.