CTC 2005: The 7 pillars

This conference is shaping up well. CTC 2005 starts properly tomorrow, but today was an optional tutorial day. After skipping breakfast (see yesterday’s post!), John and I walked the two miles down to Pier Sixty, the conference venue. We grabbed coffees and pastries from Ruthy’s Bakery and Café, before attending Michael Sampson’s session on “The 7 Pillars of IT-enabled Team Productivity”. As a keen reader of Michael’s site, I was already aware of this framework. However, a full day’s session exploring all seven pillars was extremely useful. This really is something tangible that you can take to the workplace and start to work with immediately. The results may not always be palatable — it’s clear that even the most switched-on organisations are missing a lot in this area — but the pillars make for an invaluable analysis tool.

The tutorial was attended by around fifteen of us, which made for a good-sized group: we could have mini break-out sessions that were genuinely productive, and we learned a lot about how all our organisations approached collaboration.

The conference features wireless internet access in all the rooms, so after sorting my recalcitrant StinkPad out (why on earth the “radio” setting default is “off” in wireless-equipped StinkPads at my place I will never understand…), I could get on to the conference wiki easily. There’s even a Flickr tag for the conference! Unfortunately I forgot my USB lead, so I won’t be uploading anything until I get back to Blighty.

We finished up at around 4pm, and decided on an impromptu trip to an Apple store. Eric, John, Michael and myself all piled into a cab, and couldn’t believe how busy the SoHo / Greenwich Village area was today — if Sunday afternoons are as crammed as this, what’s it like during the week?!?

For all of us, this was our first trip to an Apple store, and we agreed that we could see what the fuss was about: there was a real buzz about the place, and it was crammed full of people playing, talking and buying. We were particularly impressed with the (active) lecture area at the rear of the store: you don’t see that sort of thing in a retail space very often.

Anyway, after lusting over PowerMac G5s, iSights, and the rest, Mr. Barrow and I opted for a walk-about whilst Eric and Michael had to get back to the hotel. We ended up rambling from SoHo back to the Westin (Times Square) via Washington Square Gardens, Fifth Avenue, Madison Square and Broadway. There’s no substitute for walking around to really get a feel for a city, although we were a little tired at the end of this jaunt I must confess. We took pictures, laughed at the driving and generally enjoyed the trip. Notables: New York’s fire stations are tiny, the Empire State Building is amazing (but its street level entrance is curiously unimpressive) and New York has reams of fantastic buildings.

A quick stop at the hotel to dump bags, and we were out and about again. Instead of trawling down 9th, we decided to just nip up the road back to the Heartland Brewery pub. Well, if you discover a good thing… We weren’t disappointed: a good meal and great beer. I got some good pictures (I think) of Times Square by night on the way back. So far our first thirty hours in NYC have been tip-top!


  1. @Ben,

    Did you go to the Heartland Brewery in Union Square?

    BruceBruce Elgort#
  2. No, saw it though. The one we've been visiting is very near the hotel, on Eighth Ave.Ben Poole#

Comments on this post are now closed.


I’m a software architect / developer / general IT wrangler specialising in web, mobile web and middleware using things like node.js, Java, C#, PHP, HTML5 and more.

Best described as a simpleton, but kindly. You can read more here.