The past three weeks were very busy. Today I finally found the time to put down some words about it. I had the pleasure of attending three interesting events that took place in three countries. These started the conference season this year - and there are more to come soon! I didn't attend IBM Connect so joining the events in Europe are my prefered way to say "hello" to all my friends in the ICS community - some of them I met for the first time.
It started in Hamburg where We4IT, the company I work for almost a year now (wow, time flies...), held the annual local conference in northern Germany. As last year's location was Bremen we now headed to Hamburg to the IBM Forum. This year was just a single day event which was perfect for most of the attendees. We received very positive feedback from almost all of them. I presented two sessions: OpenNTF Domino API and XPages on Bluemix.
Flickr album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/132362754@N04/albums/72157665966830090
Super Webgate Day
This wasn't an official ICS event in particular. This was actually the 15th anniversary celebration of Webgate Consulting AG, a company, that I am familiar with for several years now. I know Roman, the CEO, since the last Engage and of course Christian, the CTO, as our chairman from OpenNTF. I was invited to join them and to provide two sessions with OpenNTF background (ODA and Graphs). Due to the large amount of attendees this event was held in an event location called "AlpenRock" - an impressive party location with artificial rocks and block houses inside a huge hall. I never presented in a room which had a bar and a DJ stage including a colored lighting on stage. We enjoyed Swiss food and live rock music in the evening (with Roman and Daniel performing, too) - and it was late as we all left the place. It was a lot of fun! The location was just around the corner of Webgate's headquarter in Dietikon near Zurich. I enjoyed meeting the rest of the Webgate team finally in person.
Flickr album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/132362754@N04/albums/72157665966462280
What can one say about this Engage, Eindhoven, NL. It is in fact THE European user group meeting, combining top notch speakers and sessions, fabulous locations and a perfect organization - and everything made by a single man (plus team) and not by a large company. Attendees of Engage always appreciate and enjoy hospitality like "coming home" to family or friends. Of course this is a business oriented event but you don't feel it. It is like a class reunion. I presented the XPages on Bluemix session again and I had an interested audience with many questions and discussions afterwards. I enjoyed meeting some of my peeps in person for the first time: Marky Roden, Mat Newman, Bob Kadrie, Keith Strickland, Bill Buchan and many others who are not named here.
The event though was clouded by the bombing at Brussels airport in the morning of March 22. Some of our friends from RedPillNow just landed as the bombs exploded. They were safe but their journey to the final destination (Inntel Hotel Eindhoven) took about 12h - with no luggage. As they all are professionals they dealed with it during the days and presented their sessions. Another friend of mine was also missing due to serious personal problems. Johnny Oldenburger had to cancel his session in the night after the first day and our thoughts were with him. I was really looking forward to meet him in person but I am sure we will next time.
Flickr album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/132362754@N04/albums/72157666212667452
All of these (and all the upcoming) events have common elements: you meet old friends, that you didn't see for months or longer and also make new friends. This is a strong community and I am proud of being a part of it.