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Oct 29

A Tribute to Dave Coleman

This post is a tribute to Dave Coleman who sadly passed away this morning after a short battle with prostate cancer. My thoughts go out to Sue and his family.

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I had known of Dave Coleman for some time having conversed over Twitter a few times and bumped into each other at the odd SharePoint Social, but it wasn’t until 2011 that we became friends. I was making plans to attend the SharePoint Conference in Los Angeles and Dave was asking for live bloggers for the SharePoint Edutech blog.

I got in touch and agreed to live blog from Anaheim for him along with several others. Up until this time, I hadn’t really expanded the reach of my blog beyond articles that had been posted as solutions to MSDN questions so I was really pleased Dave was happy for me to live blog from the conference and to cross post my articles.

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Dave and I had a lot of chats during SPC11, especially after my first day in LA ended up in a frantic dash to the hospital due to a cellulitis infection gained during the journey. Dave had suffered a similar infection in the past and had some great war stories about it.

One of the discussions that affected me the most though, was when we were talking about Community speakers and why I hadn’t made the jump onto the community speaking circuit. This was a conversation that I have had on previous occasions with a few people, but Dave helped me to understand that most of my reticence to speak was based around a lack of confidence in my own manner and abilities, rather than a true lack in either. He suggested that I should start small and perhaps present at the local User group in Southampton that he attended. As it happened Ian Woodgate who runs the SUGUK South region was presenting at SPC11 and we had a discussion the very next day, whereupon I signed up to present my very first session to the SharePoint community the following January!

Since that conversation with Dave, I’ve presented at several SharePoint Saturdays around the UK and Europe, many user group nights and I’ve presented at the SharePoint Evolutions Conference, my biggest audience yet! I can only offer thanks to Dave for pushing me that final bit of the journey and convincing me to take a leap of faith in my own abilities.

Salut Dave! Thank you for your encouragement and support, it will never be forgotten.

Paul.

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