Who Do You Love?
By Elden Nelson
A couple years ago, I did something I had never done before: I wrote a thank-you letter to a company. Specifically, I found an e-mail address on the Montrail Web site, then sent a quick note telling them their brand of trail running shoes were the most comfortable I had ever owned - great for trail running, snowshoeing, and hiking. I got a reply within the day. The person who wrote back said they had a lot of pride in that shoe's design and execution, and were glad it suited me so well. He also asked me to be sure to tell my friends how much I like those shoes. I have, and now have a couple of friends who also trail run/snowshoe/hike in Montrails.
Since then, I've tried to let companies - and others - know when they do something exceptionally well. They almost always appreciate the feedback (and you can bet that when an exceptionally nice letter about this magazine hits my inbox, I forward it to all and sundry, including the office staff, old college professors, my parents, ex-girlfriends, etc.).
When someone - whether it's a person or a company - creates something outstanding, they deserve to hear about it. Knowing they're on the right track, people will work even harder to win your accolades. The thing is, though, I don't have the time to send a thank-you note to everyone who's doing a fantastic job. And I'm sure that with your fast-moving development schedule, you don't either. If you've got a minute, though, I've got an idea for how you can help get some recognition out to some of the companies that deserve it.
Make Your Choice
With this issue of asp.netPRO, we're kicking off the asp.netPRO Readers' Choice Awards. Go to http://www.aspnetPRO.com/readerschoice and take a few minutes to vote for the products and services you like. It's a great way for you to give some kudos to the people who deserve it, not to mention spread the word that they're doing great work. Don't put it off, though, because you only have 'til March 3rd to cast your vote. And you know that if you wait to vote, you'll forget all about it until it's too late. And then you wouldn't be eligible to win any of the fabulous prizes you can get just by casting your vote. And that would be sad.
Once all the votes are in, we'll tally them and let you know who the winners are in the June issue of asp.netPRO - yeah, the issue that comes out right around Microsoft's Tech Ed conference. Winners get serious chest-thumping rights, along with the use of the "asp.netPRO Readers' Choice" logo on their ads, Web sites, promotional material, and so forth. Being able to say your company is the choice of professional ASP.NET developers is no trivial matter.
One Step Beyond
Why don't you take this "credit where credit's due" idea one step further? Take five minutes and send an e-mail message to someone who's made a difference in your work - maybe it's a training company, maybe it's a software vendor, maybe it's an author in this magazine. Let them know how they've impacted your job. And while you're at it, cc me in the message; I'm interested in what you have to say, and to whom you're saying it.
This industry is filled with exceptionally talented people. It's time they hear about it.