As I recover from jetlag (or over-partyitus) I think I should do a review of my trip (including the fun bits and skirting over the business bits)
So Jon Conway (JC) and I flew in on Thursday afternoon and we rented ourselves a little red mid-life crisis for the weekend. Jonny went to bed, I went wandering around Austin finding empty bars (I like empty bars!). This became a pattern for the trip!
Friday: Drove down to San Antonio for breakfast at the Guenther House and did the river walk to the Alamo (which was full of screaming kids), had a drink in a bar and was about to buy some food when I spot a big old rat in the roof piping, food order postponed. We then went back via Blanco as I was sick of the freeway. Good choice as the hill country is amazing and Blanco was a real slice of Texas.
The main event on Friday was seeing The Damned at the Mohawk a truly perfect day!, The Damned were astonishingly good and the support band The BellRays were brilliant too.
Here they are playing New Rose, 41 years old and sounding great!
You can have a go at Where's Wally (think gibbon arms), I might have had a little dance/fight sometimes it's hard to tell the difference.
Saturday: Think I might have broken Jonny (he does all the driving as he doesn't like mine). So we went back to Blanco and took it easy. Also it was raining!. If truth be told I needed some rest too! Out for drinks in the evening with friends.
Sunday: Breakfast at Cenote Austin, sad goodbye to the red car, ran through presentation and then Jonny had to do some work. I had a late lunch with Fab and it was very nice indeed (food was amazing, quantity was huge). Off to the Ginger Man for some pre-event drinkies.
And off we go......
Had a play with NXG, which was interesting. Then I had a meeting about NXG and that was interesting too.
Lot's of hanging around with friends and a great deal of chatting. Some of it was very very interesting and this is the key. Getting all of us in the same area for a few days sparks so many plots and plans, understanding and questions. Hanging around with people smarter than me is good for my soul.
Then it was off to a special event and once again the conversation was excellent. As an introvert I usually struggle with this kind of thing but this group was fascinating. Chatting to chaps from CERN until 2 AM!
Had a meeting about the SingleShot code, some positives, some business issues that need resolving. Then I got to see..
Brian Powell - Being a Humble Programmer (Always worth checking out Brian when he presents, excellent stuff)
Becky Linton - Practical Techniques: Gathering and Managing System Requirements (A really difficult subject to engage an audience with and Becky did this brilliantly)
Fab - Saving Money by Investing in Technical Wealth (As always an great presentation as the grey areas really make you think, I think grey areas may be my favourite parts of any presentation)
I sacrificed the LAVA BBQ this year (as a veggie it doesn't hold the appeal it should and I thought I should behave before my presentation on Wednesday). Instead I thought I should go to the Northern European mixer event, met a group of chums and spoke nonsense (WE WERE HILARIOUS!!) until 2 AM.... beginnings of a theme here!
Luckily I have got my drinking mojo back and am indestructible again!
Wednesday: Presentation day in Ballroom G and what a great place to present in.
First up was Jeremy Marquis - Planning for Change and Coping When Plans Change (The first time I have seen Jeremy present and thoroughly enjoyed it, also it segued into our presentation nicely I think)
Jonny and I presented -The SSDC Way: Desired Paths to a Simple Software Process and I think it went OK, I found it amusing to do but who knows.
The main point of it was that SSDC have a way of working that ticks most software process boxes and this is what all should aspire to. Not our way tho' because every team is different. If you see some compatibilities in our way and yours I think we should talk. I'll write about this later.
Now I could truly relax so went to the party at Moodys and then went off to see the Spazmadics at another bar, this actually turned out as good networking and I got to spend some time with my buddy Rob, got in at 2 AM again!
Thursday: Was feeling a bit jaded (mixed my drinks horribly the previous night), so was not my usual sparkling self on the VMs panel. Also I felt a bit of a fraud. But think I added a couple of useful insights. Then straight to the airport and home!
I missed far too many presentations and it's a bit of a frustration to me compared to CLA summits. I usually have to contend with timezone changes fouling up my calendar and then someone will stop me on my way and we'll have an interesting conversation.
Expenses for both trips = £10k, Tangible Return is £0 there are 4 things in the pipeline tho'. Intangible returns seemed higher this time round, I felt I was a bit of a shock to the system to people who didn't know me last year, this year felt better to me. I also had a some very nice things said to me (so my ego had an excellent trip)
Anyways thanks NI for an excellent week, thanks Casey Lamers and Nancy Henson for all your hard work on the advanced user track. Thanks to everyone who presented and had questions/answers, anyone who bought me food and drinks, anyone who politely listened to me.