Kevin Ragsdale: Visual FoxPro 9.0

My Favorite Teacher Is Speaking At Southwest Fox

Updated: Most links now point to archived versions of the Southwest Fox Conference (depending on the year). Click here to visit the current Southwest Fox web site.

Southwest Fox 2005 was the first FoxPro Conference I attended. Though I was a wallflower for most of the conference and kept to myself, I was amazed at the amount of technical knowledge that permeated the air (I spent most of my time at the conference simply absorbing as much of the knowledge as I could).

What I learned in one session that year practically paid for the entire conference, saving me tons of time in my own work. That year, Rick Borup presented Integrating RSS With Visual FoxPro Applications. I had been working on integrating RSS with a couple of apps, and had hit the proverbial brick wall. Everything I tried, failed. Miserably. The harder I worked on it, the worse it got.

In a single 75-minute session, Rick opened the floodgates. My problems were solved that very day as I went back to my hotel room with my laptop that night and started applying what I had learned from Rick to my apps.

Flash forward to 2009. I was (finally) going back to Southwest Fox, and Rick was speaking again, presenting The Show Must Go On: Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Planning and Quibbles, Quirks, and Quickies. Having promised myself that I would go to at least one of Rick’s presentations anytime I was attending a conference he was speaking at, I chose the Quibbles, Quirks, and Quibbles session.

I didn’t go to that session expecting to learn a whole lot (though I did, especially considering he wrote a 35-page whitepaper for the session). I went because I really appreciate Rick’s style of presenting. He is direct, informative, knowledgeable, and as well-prepared for a session as anyone I’ve ever seen.

There’s never any wasted moments in one of Rick’s sessions.

And that reminds me of my favorite teacher in high school. An Air Force retiree, he taught Algebra, Geometry, and Calculus with an almost surgical precision. Never a wasted moment, always prepared, always something to learn (even when you think you already know everything there is to know).

Rick is speaking again at Southwest Fox. A pre-conference session titled An Introduction to Ruby and Rails, and a regular conference session titled Design Patterns in Visual FoxPro.

There’s no way I’ll miss the Design Patterns session.

This week, Rick was interviewed by Andrew MacNeill on The FoxShow podcast about his sessions for this years conference. As usual, his style was evident: direct, knowledgeable, and prepared.

Rick is one more great reason to attend Southwest Fox this year.

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