IBM Connect 2013: the third post

Tuesday was a superb day in Orlando, really enjoyed it. And I’ll tell you for why… (said in best Uncle Bryn voice):

First up, a load of work, and chat in the rotunda. Always good!

And then, just before lunch we had a gem of a session: Spark Ideas, put together by the Nerdgirls. It was just wonderful. I nearly ended up blubbing like a baby (thanks Graham :-)) and also laughed like a drain. Nothing technical, nothing about IBM. Just a group of people I respect (more than ever) laying a little of themselves bare—and all power to them. Francie was a compere beyond compare (do you see what I did there?) and everyone who spoke was deserving of a massive round of applause. So thank you Susan, Carl, Gab, Tim C, Graham, Jenn, Andy, Kathy and Tim D.

Come the afternoon I cracked on with some more work (so diligent), thus missing out on a number of good sessions, boo! That said, I managed to attend a presentation chock-full of Domino Designer tips courtesy of senior members of the Designer team Kathy Howard and Dan O’Connor. This was a good ’un, some handy nuggets of info and a few Eclipse tweaks I had hitherto missed.

As the day drifted into evening, things really got going. The Penumbra Group put on their mighty Milkshake reception, which was made especially delicious (and not at all fattening) with some new custom milkshake flavours: whiskey and bacon being one of them if you please. It tasted amazing, although for the most part I stuck to a rather splendid boozy coffee concoction. The Wookiee managed to put away his own body weight in fruity vodka shakes, and as a result felt somewhat peculiar all evening (not that we noticed).

Tuesday night got even better with participation in another Nerd Girls event, The Great Greek Challenge which was just so much fun. Kudos to all the organisers, question-setters, and question masters! Team LDC managed to scrape prizes in a couple of rounds (despite a dire performance in the music round from yours truly)—in fact, we acquitted ourselves more admirably than we ever could have hoped. LDC were also very proud to be sponsoring this event alongside many other splendid organisations in the IBM world (check out the GGC site for a full list of sponsors).

But Tuesday was not done! Not by a long chalk! Many repaired to Kimonos (of course) along with half of the conference, but the evening topped-out for many of us with some wonderful homebrew (courtesy of Devin Olson, excellent apple pie vodka (thank you Karl-Henry Martinsson!), and of course fab company, all round the Swan-Dolphin pools (and later hot tubs. Class will out).

And so to Wednesday. This was by far the most session-mungous day undertaken. I attended excellent talks from Bruce Elgort and Serdar Başeğmez (“Meet the Java Application Server you already own…”), Matt White and Warren Elsmore (“Deploying & Managing Your XPages Applications”), and Craig Schumann (“Take a REST & Put Your Data To Work With APIs”). One other notable presentation was from Tony McGuckin and Martin Donnelly, all about XPage patterns. Very useful info, and helped validate my own approach to a lot of work recently, but sometimes a tricky presentation to follow—these gentlemen are very quietly-spoken!

Last, but by no means least, we flew the LDC flag and came along to the Wookiee’s presentation. The poor sod was placed in the last slot of the day (5.15pm) and was up against Paul and Bill’s “Worst Practices” session. How unfair was that?? Anyway, the loon acquitted himself well, talking about alternative languages on the IBM JVM, principally Scala. Bravo Wookiee! Have an arm to gnaw on…

We opted to skip the park in the evening and instead dined with good chums. After the meal, can you guess where we went?

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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.