Random thoughts from an unusual company

The Conference That Never Happened And My Slides From It

Gabriella Davis  12 February 2013 11:53:56
Apparently a conference happened two weeks' ago.  I heard good things however if you saw me any time after Monday night it would be good to know what I was doing and where I was because, like many other people this year, I went down hard with the shiny and new IBM Connect flu.  It's a very frustrating situation to be in because for the first time in 17 years I pretty much missed all of the conference and every session I was hoping to see, as well as my friends. I do have a few highlights though and some people to thank and I did at least manage to make it on stage for all my presentations..

I loved the opening general session and I thought the choice of speaker was a very good one, Joseph Gordon Levitt talking about his community art based website hitRECord.  If nothing else it made an impression on me about finding something you're passionate about and working with others who feel the same.  The IBM message of the importance of enabling people by providing them with ever better information and ways of working was less technical that we usually have but that was the theme of the conference and it does tie into the technology I'm working with.   The closing session was pretty much a blur for me, I remember going on stage for the final photograph and standing between Warren and Kitty Elsmore, but weirdly in John Roling's photograph there's just a gap where I'm sure I was so maybe that didn't happen!  http://www.flickr.com/photos/greyhawk68/8437116720/lightbox/

My Presentations
I did 4 presentations this year, 3 with Paul (including 2 Adminblasts) and 1 by myself.  Those of you that were there know it was a tough week all around and I'd like to thank Mat Newman for the ice cold beer I used (unopened) to keep my temperature under control on the big stage on Tuesday during Adminblast.  I'd also like to thank Paul for putting up with a presenter in a feverish state and anyone who came and sat through my sessions and filled in evaluations.  The evaluations were very kind (unless I'm still delusional).  

Rock Solid Sametime For High Availability

Understanding IBM Connections And Designing to #NOTFAIL

Adminblast 2013

Some Thank You's
  • Starting with Susan - track manager, goddess, my friend and inspiration (whether she wants to be or not). She looked out for me (and everyone else) all week, sent out a call for medicine when Tim and I were both unable to move and walked a burger to my room when Tim decided he was hungry and I was too ill to even get near the smell of anything. She also gave me a pass on Gurupalooza when I simply couldn't get out of the room.  
  • Everyone who participated in Spark Ideas - we've had such great feedback again this year and the talks were by turns, funny and inspirational and heartbreaking.  To Kathy Brown, Carl Tyler, Graham Acres, Jenn Priske, Andy Donaldson, Tim Davis, Susan Bulloch and Tim Clark and Francie Tanner for doing hosting duties
  • The SocialBizUG team who worked so hard to get the site testing and published before IBM Connect. I was the monkey doing the buiding but Sarah Cenedella and Julia Weisman from WIS were behind the design, Mark Myers and Ben Poole from LDC were the genius developers and Joyce Davis from IBM fought the good fight to get us the support we needed in a pinch.
  • The Nerd Girls who I missed all week, my friends who I missed all week - like the Chumbawamba song, I kept getting knocked out and getting up again but never made it to Kimonos.  I hope I'll see you at Benelug or IAMLUG or The View Admin conference in Boston in April or sometime very soon. I miss you.
  • Andreas Immitzer who came up trumps with throat pastilles at the end of Speedgeeking on Monday night
  • Everyone who came to the Great Geek Challenge and all our sponsors, from what I remember it was a fantastic event , held together by Paul and Carl's MC'ing and we filled the place up.  Here's hoping we get to do it again.
  • Abigail Roberts from Ravendesk who did all the design work on the new Nerd Girl badges as well as our Nerd Girl Zombie and Bond t-shirts (appearing on a zazzle shop very soon).  Abigail also did most of the marketing and logistics for our Nerd Girl events, helping me out both before and during the conference.  If you need any kind of design work undertaken I really recommend you get in touch, if you were lucky enough to get a badge or a t shirt you can see how great her work is.
  • Matt White and Mark Myers from London Developer Co-Op who went a fetched Tim and burger and fries (why does he get to keep his appetite when ill?) when I couldn't face doing it.  
  • Chris Miller, who stood in for Tim keeping an eye on me on Tuesday when I managed to temporarily lose my iPhone, my backpack with laptop in it and my power charger in 3 separate incidents over a 2 hr period.  Whenever I was confused I'd turn around and Chris would be there to help me find my way back and there's no better friend than that.  He also video'd the Sparks sessions for the Nerd Girls and the Great Geek Challenge.  It is possible he was patient zero on Saturday when I first met him but let's say not :-)
  • Kitty Elsmore for hugging me anyway despite me being plague ridden on Thursday afternoon.  I really needed it.

I hope to be back for IBM Connect 2014 and to see some of you at user group's throughout this year.  2013 was off to a rocky start but it can only go uphill from here!

1Karl-Henry Martinsson  12/02/2013 16:47:13  The Conference That Never Happened And My Slides From It

You did great at AdminBlast! and at Spark Ideas. You are a trooper, I am just sorry you missed so much of the conference.

And the SocialBizUG site turned out great, good job!

2Gabriella Davis  12/02/2013 19:05:52  The Conference That Never Happened And My Slides From It

Thanks! I'm glad it wasn't too noticeable, that's a huge relief :-)

3Chris Miller  12/02/2013 20:33:41  The Conference That Never Happened And My Slides From It

It's what good friends do and that week we saw a lot of who was good friends since everyone needed something or someone.

4Ben Poole  12/02/2013 21:52:40  The Conference That Never Happened And My Slides From It

You were an absolute trouper, and I cannot thank you and the others enough for what the NerdGirls did that week: you really made it the best.

Now get well!

5Kitty Elsmore  12/02/2013 22:38:49  The Conference That Never Happened And My Slides From It

Hugs! :-)

6Mat Newman  13/02/2013 03:04:45  The Conference That Never Happened And My Slides From It

That's why you're one of the best Gab, nothing stands in your way from presenting an outstanding session - even the 'Chris Miller' knock-down ConnectOsphere Zombie Flu ;-)

You're an inspiration!


7Abigail Roberts  13/02/2013 11:14:37  The Conference That Never Happened And My Slides From It

Gab - What can I say! You really are a tough cookie! I would have been hospitalised running that kind of fever... But not you!

"Nothings gonna keep you down" Your sessions were awesome! It was the first time i've ever seen you present and you are a natural speaker, great job!

Thank you so much for your kindness before and throughout the conference you are a true friend and a pleasure to work for!

At least we got our one dinner in - Rum, coke and laughs!

Love you both! *hug*

P.S For 2014 Please listen to your body as well as your clients & don't burn it too hard!! ;-)