So I’m back from Connections 2014 and Ignoring a terrible case of the IBM Connect flu (which has been upgraded to include vomiting and diarrhoea) the event has been a great success
The previous 2 years of LotusSphere and IBM connection have been more than a little depressed and to a certain extent ‘desperate’ feeling, this year it felt much different, not the happy go Lucky ‘lets have a party’ of older Lotuspheres, but a heads down lets do some work feeling.
I ended up making far more contacts and having far more business conversations than in previous years, which has ended with the best set of business leads to be got from the conference in many a year. If I was honest this is largely due to the assistance provided to me by The turtle partnership and other members of LDC, which made my skill set perfectly timed for IBMs current focus.
IBM have re-badged us “Connections Developers” when what they really mean is ‘Web sphere Developers’, it’s what they have wanted us to be for years with little success and at last they have found a way to sell it to us without a revolt, this is fine by me as I had already started the transition, but it is a little bit ‘marketing’
The scheduling sucked, sorry but it did, people found lots of sessions with similar subjects matched against each other, there are tracks for a reason people!!, if you are a developer you should be able to follow the developer track without constantly deciding which developer sessions you can attend due to there being 3 on at once.
The social side of the conference was excellently done with Veronica Belmont (who’s autograph I got) providing a professional touch, plenty of things for people to do and the placement of the social cafe was just right as it provided a excellent amount of foot fall though the vendor area (always a good idea)
There were some indication that IBM is tightening the purse strings, such as the lack of entertainment at the party and there only being 4 rides open at the fairground trip, but that was compensated by none of the messing about with speaker tickets that we had last year, mind you as I was working neither worried me, but I might have cared if had paid 2k for a ticket.
My habit of walking though a crowd just listening in order to get a feel for it revealed a surprising large amount of Germanic and eastern European languages and quite a lot of Japanese, far more than I remember in previous years, perhaps market areas to pay attention to in the next year. Hmmmmmm
Conclusion: A good conference all round, and other than the scheduling, well done, if IBM can repeat it next year then I will be there, but if only 30% of the rumours of changes are true, it might only be a conference for management and HR staff, who tend not to ask difficult questions about technical products.
The Other LDC Blogs on the same subject
LDC Group Photo for Connect 2014: aren’t we beautiful