Monday, May 28, 2007

ILUG 2007 Recap's 10 PM here in Dublin on Saturday night and I am sitting in the lobby thinking back over the crazy last few days. ILUG 2007 has truly been an amazing experience and one of the best conferences I have ever attended. The entire ILUG staff (Paul, Eileen, Kitty, Tom, Bill and Warren) are to be commended for a job very well done. From the looks on the faces of the attendees as they exited the closing session Friday afternoon, I think the conference was a resounding success. I have to thank the ILUG team for the opportunity to present my little session. It was truly an honor and a privilage to come to Dublin and speak to the attendees. I met a lot of great people and I look forward to chances to meet again in the future.

I always feel like the dummy in the group when I'm looking over the speaker list and I'm still amazed I'm even up there. It's really energizing, though, when people tell me how they've been inspired by my techniques (or even better...they show me a db where they are trying them out)!!! I started this blog because I like to write and I like to teach, so I thought it would be a good outlet for those interests. That it has translated into the opportunity to get up on stage and speak about this topic I'm passionate about with the community that I love so much is really special and I thank everyone who showed up for giving me the opportunity!

As for the conference itself, it was just amazing from start to finish. Alan and Mary Beth kicked off the show with an inspring look at IBM's strategy and with some of the ideas about decisions for Notes 8 and how they were made. From there, the sessions started. The technical content was brilliant and indeed we were very lucky to have the opportunity to see this stuff...AND FOR FREE!!! Tom Duff got the ball rolling with an introductory AJAX session that set the stage for a couple of other AJAX sessions later in the show. The technical level was perfect for the beginner and Tom has a great, relaxed delivery style that's fun to watch. While Duff got the "jazzed up on caffine after coffee break" crowd, I was up after lunch. I was afraid I was going to send everyone into the post-lunch food coma much quicker than normal, but we had a packed room and I didn't see anyone nod off. It must have been the dancing nuns! ;-) Bruce, Vince and Kevin were giving an OpenNTF presentation next door and were able to successfully throw me off with a rousing cheer of "Hi Chris!" from the room next door. I decided I couldn't even try to compete with that, and after frantically trying to remember what I was talking about, we got back on track. I had a great time...thanks if you came by!

Other excellent sessions I attended included Rob McDonagh and Bruce's OpenLog talk, Deborah Latter's decision-making presentation (complete with ringmaster costume and real bull whip!), Sean Burgess' Domino blogging template overview, and Grégory Engels' "Pimp My App With Ajax". Last but not least, the man who went the farthest to buy the delegate love...Mr. Rob Novak's Free Code and Beer session, where he placed an order for 80 pints of Guiness(!) to be delivered and enjoyed while we watched him and his Ajax code magic. You all did a spectacular job! The only bummer was the fact that I couldn't get to the other equally deserving (and I'm sure just as excellent) presentations that were going on at the same time.

Speedgeeking was a blast! I've never had to talk so fast and so much in such a short time, but everyone seemed to love it. The open bar from IBM probably helped here too! :-) I presented 5 techniques with layers staring Shrek and the gang ('cause onions have layers, ogres have layers and Notes has layers!). If you are looking for the sample database, I have to get it ready for download...keep an eye out in the next couple of days. Rocky did a great job as MC. I hope I have the chance to participate in Speedgeeking again sometime soon.

Thank you also goes to the sponsers and ILUG team for all of the off hour events, such as the drinks reception, Geek Dinner and so on. The Geek Trip was a perfect way to wind down the event, although it looked like most of the people on the bus were ready to collapse due to lack of sleep! :-) It was very nice to meet so many of the delegates to the conference as well. Thanks for saying hello.

Finally, to Mr. Bruce Elgort, my hat is off to you sir. You truly are THE MAN!

Now just a few days rest and it's off to Boston for Lotus Developer2007. Whew!


Vitor Pereira said...

Chris, your session was by no means a "little session".
You are right up there with all the other great speakers and you did a great job.
Thank you.

And if, like you said, your wife keeps asking you why do you do this thing for free, tell her I said thanks.

Anonymous said...

Chris, I don't understand this 'belittling' of yourself.
First of all, your presentations are great and you are truly giving off a professional vibe.
Second, you are talking about topics too often neglected by developers.
I have lived and worked in several countries, and in most of them the Notes client is the 'king of the UI'.
There is no way many clients will even think of using another client, but they will welcome any effort to make that ugly Notes client UI look at least a bit better.

So Chris, may hat off for you.
I certainly hope that you will keep this line of work up. Me and many others will learn a lot from you and we can make our users more happy - which in the end was the whole idea, wasn't it?

// Ken Haggman, NotesHound

Chris Blatnick said...

@Vitor...thank you!

@Ken...I guess I'm my own worst critic! It's kind of like when you hear your own voice on just sounds weird! :-) Thanks for the very nice comments and you're absolutely's all about making the users happy. And dancing nuns too! :-D