Home > Informational > Tom Brokaw at the Microsoft 2008 Launch Event Celebrates Technology Heroes

Tom Brokaw at the Microsoft 2008 Launch Event Celebrates Technology Heroes

It’s not often that you hear people who are involved in technology referred to as “heroes”.   Most of us are just techno-geeks trying to do the best we can.   And while I don’t necessarily drink the kool-aid as far as those of us who are using the newer Microsoft technologies being called heroes, I have to say I was struck by Tom Brokaw’s opinion of what technology has meant to our world and our society.

I went to Microsoft’s Los Angeles Launch Event 2008 this past week in celebration of the release of their three new products, Windows Server 2008, Sql Server 2008, and Visual Studio 2008.   Lots of great advances, lots of awesome stuff, and their theme was “Heroes Happen Here”.   By that, they mean that the people who are using these new technologies are the heroes of technology.

But Tom’s keynote speech (I was actually surprised when he came out on the stage at the Nokia Theater) revolved around what technology has meant to people in other parts of the world.   He admitted to not being very computer savvy…and admitted he would probably never write a line of code with Visual Studio, or manage a Hyper-V Virtual Server Farm…but he did recall the importance of technology in making our world smaller, and hopefully better.   He talked about the people who went to Pakistan to help during their last devastating earthquake, and how that when they came down from hiking into the deep mountains they were able to put fingers to keyboard and let the world know what had happened.   He talked about how technology was helping to improve farming, and irrigation, and what that meant to the lives of people living in Africa.  He talked about surgeries being led remotely by doctors via videoconferencing.  I can’t recall all the stories he told, but they all held essentially the same meaning:  that the people, the programmers, the administrators, all of us who help make technology what it is, and make it available to the true heroes of the world, we all have a stake and a helping hand in that heroism, and he wanted to thank us.

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s CEO, gave the rest of the keynote address as the event moved from true heroism into our own personal versions of “code heroes”…but what Tom Brokaw said does ring true.   Technology helps in ways that sometimes we never know about, and our role in that is crucial, and we shouldn’t take for granted what we do with it.   We’re all heroes.

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Categories: Informational
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