I get to meet all sorts of interesting people in my position. Many of the meetings start out very casually and then evolve over time. I met Brad Hintze at the first Mashup Camp and was immediately intrigued by his somewhat vague description of his employer's product. Since then, Brad has done his best to keep me in the loop as the product has come together within a veritable cone of silence.
So, what are they building? I'm not ready to spill all of the beans just yet, but I can say that they are working on some very intriguing tools which should simplify and streamline the process of building and deploying powerful, Ajax-style web applications and which might happen to call one or more SOAP or REST web services and/or deal with raw XML data. I've seen it, and it works as advertised.
Later this month, a few lucky Seattle-area developers will have the opportunity to see what I am talking about!
If you are an individual developer, part of a small company, or part of a small development team at at larger company and you are using one of more of Amazon's web services, then you may be eligible to partcipate. On the 28th of November, there will be a free Seattle-area training and focus group session for the product. You will receive full training on how to use the system, and you'll have plenty of opportunities to provide feedback. You will also get individualized, hands-on attention from the development team, and you will have the opportunity to qualify for free application hosting for all or part of 2007.
Sound interesting? Are you actively using AWS? Do you have the time and the inclination to participate?
If so, send an email to Brad -- his address is firstname.lastname@example.org.