Hello Lovelies I'm Back!!!!!
I've been struggling with back pain for a lot of 2022 and it's surprising how much it saps the will to write blogs etc. After work and GDevCon I had nothing more to offer. It's as if all my ideas and opinions had retreated behind the wall of pain. Anyhow I'm now doing physio and a wonderful small lady is literally pulling me back into shape....The biggest complement I can give the process is that my brain is back in business!!
I have always been fiercely independent, my entire family is really annoying in that regard, so take this article with that in the front of your mind. It may just be confirmation bias.
We are in a peculiar moment in time with regard to NI and the community, the community has somewhat been abandoned, but now the situation has begun to be addressed by the appointment of the lovely Nancy Henson as Developer Relations Manager. NI (the corporation) has lost interest in developer events and the structure of the company doesn't lend itself to funding such things. Where do we go from here I wonder?
So we can demand a return to the halcyon days of old where NI did all the work for us, but I'm reasonably sure that won't happen. I also feel it was not really a good thing.
In the absence of corporate NI, good people from inside and outside NI began to fill in the vacuum. So organisations like GDevCon, GCentral and events like VIWeek and GLASummit have grown up in their place. The good things about these organisations is that there is a purity to their remit. For example the reason for GDevCon to exist is actually this....
"The aim of the company is to act as an independent group to deliver and facilitate information exchange in graphical programming (primarily National Instruments’ LabVIEW) through:
- The organisation and delivery of conferences.
- The organisation and delivery of workshops, seminars and presentations as agreed upon by the members of the group."
(Taken from GDevCon Ltd Articles of Association)
There's no external marketing pressure and any money we get is pushed into better venues and cheaper tickets. We are independent to do and say as we please and this is really important.
What does this independence get you tho'?
Actually it's less about freedom of speech and more about self-determinism. We started GDevCon as a reaction to having our plans ruined by factors outside our control, not because we knew NI was getting out of this type of thing.
And self-determinism is the thing we need to fight for.
So what do we need from NI and our new Developer Relations Manager? For me I would like to see NI really embrace the "Connect" message that was initially bandied about for "NI Connect". They should be facilitating and connecting... So connecting partners and user groups to distributors, encouraging/incentivising them to create events for the eco-system. Connecting these events to the user-base with their marketing machine. Connecting the business units to the expertise in the eco-system. Connecting the nervous inexperienced new user (purchaser) to people who can act as technical comfort blankets.
None of this needs much budget or much technology... most can be done over zoom!
They can do the thing I would like most management to do, facilitate the boring stuff and get out of the way.
GDevCon in Amsterdam was an entirely life-affirming experience and I enjoyed the company of 145 friends old and new.
Thank you all for being so inspiring and fun! Plans for next year are looking amazing already.
And welcome to battle Nancy, I can't think of a better person for the job and a shout-out to Eric Reffett, it ain't easy and I appreciate your efforts.
Lots of Love