IBM Connect 2013: the last post

And so to the last day of Connect, Thursday (this post is a bit of a ramble, I warn you now). I started off poorly by missing Mark and Julian’s show ’n’ tell, “Buried Treasure: Finding the Hidden Gold in IBM Notes Data”. Damn! Instead, a little work and then off to the various Q&A sessions, kicking off with Gurupalooza, hosted by the wonderful Susan Bulloch. This is always a fun session, and the “re-education bat” added a certain je ne sais quoi.

Gurupalooza was followed by “Ask the Product Managers” which started with Ed announcing his move away from the IBM Notes product and into IBM’s mobile enterprise team (read more in Ed’s post, My new role: Moving to IBM Mobile Enterprise marketing). Ah, the end of an era. I well recall Ed starting up his blog a decade ago (initially hosted in Movable Type by that good mother vowe), and I wish Ed the very best in his new role. Ed also introduced Scott Souder who looks after Notes, iNotes and Connections Mail. Count the likes of Pete Jantzen and Dan O’Connor too, and I think the Notes / Designer world is in good hands.

A spot of lunch in the sun was just what the doctor ordered (not those flaming pretzel cookies though), before nipping off to attend the final Q&A session, “Ask The Developers.” All three of these panels were well-compered and full of good humour, with some excellent questions.


I thoroughly enjoyed the closing session with the excellent John Hodgman and Steven Strogatz. I was especially delighted to see our very own Mr. Robichaux acquit himself so admirably on the big screen when discussing the proof for how 1 actually equals 0.9…. After the traditional blogger photo on stage (complete with reclining Hodgman!) it was time for the bit we all hate: a whirlwind of hugs and goodbyes, followed by (in this case) ten minutes of frantic packing and a mad dash through the Dolphin Rotunda (not for the first time) to catch a cab to the airport with Julian “Math Whizz” Robichaux.

All done then, for another year. It went too fast.

Highlights (people!)

There were sad and sombre times, but there was also jolliness scaled the very heights of joyful. Particular highlights:

  • The Nerd Girls’ Spark Ideas session
  • The Nerd Girls’ The Great Geek Challenge: a great job by Gab, Tim, Carl, Paul, Abigail and co.!
  • Seeing folks like Joe, Rob McD and jonvon who came to Orlando to catch up with everyone: you chaps are the best :-)
  • Friday night was an unexpected riot and set the tone for the rest of the week
  • Chats, hugs and coffee (thank you Mrs. Elsmore!) in the rotunda
  • When a seagull shat on the Wookiee
  • Swigging superb homebrews and apple pie vodka around the pool courtesy of Devin, Ray and Karl-Henry
  • … then ending up in the hot tubs after said brews
  • Seeing so many old and new friends
  • Late night (and early morning) chats
  • Hugs from Mat Newman!
  • Flying out with Matt, Tim and Mark. Especially when the Wookiee got his IBM keyboard out and plugged it in to his Nexus 7. The stewardesses thought our little quarter of the plane rather hilarious

Geeks on a plane

Uh, so… technology?

Oh yeah. Several people reported an upsurge in XPages-related activity, and I can well believe it. Having largely watched from the sidelines whilst doing other stuff (mobile web, Java and PHP), I now find myself getting involved in a reasonable amount of “modern” Domino development. Less forms, views and agents, more XPages and server-side Javascript and Java. The conference also exposed me to something I had hitherto ignored—DOTS—which I am most keen to get to grips with (assuming IBM see fit to include it in the server, scheduled hooks and all).

Beyond IBM, as I mentioned in my first post, I ended up buying a Nexus 7 at the airport, and used it a lot during the conference—definitely recommended. It beats out the iPad mini for me in a few areas: it’s slightly narrower, has a few more dots per inch to the screen, and is somewhat cheaper. Besides, my phone takes care of iOS things; as a technologist it’s good to have an Android device too (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it).

As an aside, the Wookiee used his Nexus most successfully to write and publish blog posts—if you want to know more about how he does that from pretty much any device that can use a text editor and Dropbox, you should read the following posts forthwith:

  1. Migrating to Markdown Pt1-The Rant!
  2. Migrating to Markdown Pt2 Nuts and Bolts
  3. Migrating to Markdown Pt3 From Domino To Markdown

Wonderful. Can’t wait to catch up with everyone again. Which brings me to my last point: if you feel the same, and are in London next week, come and join a load of us at some informal #LotusBeers in The Counting House from 6pm on Thursday (the 21st).

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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.