I always hate coming up with these things. But, it's supposed to be a good thing, so here goes...
My name is Michael Flanakin. I am a development consultant with Microsoft Consulting Services currently working with various agencies throughout the US government to help solve their woes -- specifically, I target the US Public Sector, Federal space and am actively supporting the Department of Homeland Secuity (DHS). I try not to specialize too much, as there will never be a single answer to all problems; but if I had to name a few areas I'm very passionate about, I'd say I enjoy software architecture, software engineering patterns and practices, process improvement, user experience, and research and development. I'm also big on productivity -- anything that can help us get our jobs done quicker, smarter, and better. I still have a lot to learn in each of these areas, but when are we ever done learning? While I primarily focus on .NET tool and technologies, I have a good deal of experience outside of the Microsoft world, to include Subversion, Java, and Oracle, including Oracle Forms and Reports -- don't ask; it's a painful memory.
As I mentioned, I currently support the US government. I've been working with government agencies for my entire professional career, which started when I enlisted in the US Air Force as a programmer in 1999 -- 3C0x2, for those in-the-know. I enlisted for six years, which served me quite well at what was the Standard Systems Group (SSG) in Montgomery, Alabama, USA -- last I heard, the name was 754 Electronic Systems Group (ELSG). At SSG, I supported a number of systems to include the AF Center for Electronic Distribution of Systems (AFCEDS) and various crisis response applicatoins for Air Staff after 9/11, ultimately forging a new Architecture Team of which I was the principal .NET architect. After leaving the Air Force in 2005, I supported development efforts at Air University and SSG before joining Microsoft in June 2006.
I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA and graduated from Shawnee Mission North High School in Shawnee Mission, Kansas. From there, I joined the military, which sent me to Montgomery, Alabama, where I graduated from Troy University with a degree in computer science. I'm currently throwing the idea around of obtaining my Master's degree, but I honestly don't think too highly of degrees and certifications -- I see them as a necessary evil used to make you look better on paper. With that, I am a Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) and Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) for Team Foundation Server (TFS) and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS). Like I said, necessary evil.
On a more personal note, I love music, dancing, and trying just about anything new. I'm all about exploring and making the most of life, whether that be food, travel, or just meeting new people. Before committing myself to school in 2002, I picked up being a DJ as a hobby. That was fun, but didn't mesh well with the full-time soldier, full-time student schedule I mapped out for myself. For those interested, I mix(ed) electronic music on vinyl, not CDs.
I guess that's more than enough for now. If you want to know more, let me know.