Today, I flew up to Boston and spoke at the Gilbane Boston conference. It was a long day, full of way more planes and taxis than I would like in eight hours and I learned several things today; some good, some not so good, but lessons none the less.
Apparently, This Was An Off Year
I’ve never been to Gilbane before. It’s my understanding that they are one of the larger conferences dedicated to content management. Perhaps; I have no frame of reference on the subject. However, as I was talking with a number of attendees, they universally talked about how fewer people were there this year and the ones that were tended to be from the Boston area.
From my perspective, the talk at which I presented was very sparsely attended. As we got started, the ratio of presenters/moderator to audience was 1:1 (this changed about halfway during the session when another person came into the room). On the one hand, that’s actually a nice challenge and an opportunity to learn what does or doesn’t work. One of the things I’ve learned from playing music is that it’s much easier to play for 4,000 people than 4 — if 2 people leave in the first case who cares; if 2 people leave in the latter case, that’s half your audience. So you have a very good chance to make connections with your audience and get immediate feedback on what does or does not work.
This Was The Wrong Conference For Me
Content management is an important area of technology; it’s just not my area of technology. I’m a big data guy; this conference was all about enterprise systems of managing content from a high level, end user focused point of view. As opposed to optimal ways to store/index/search/process the content.
This Was The Wrong Topic For Me
I spoke on federated queries. The way I have implemented federated query systems and the way the content people were talking about implementing them were not the same. It’s a good thing that I spent most of my time talking about the political issues surrounding a federated query system rather than specific technical implementation.
I Did Meet Some Interesting People
The people I met at the conference — and the two gentleman who were nice enough to share the stage with me — were quite interesting and knowledgeable. If for no other reason, the trip was worthwhile for that alone.
Delta Between DCA & BOS Is Overallocated
The 9am flight to Boston had 7 people on it. Seven. After the attendants gave us the nod, we drew straws and six of us moved to first class. The 5pm trip back was a bit better, in that there were about 20 people on the plane. Perhaps Delta might want to cut back on flights and, you know, lower prices a bit rather than burn all the fuel for seemingly no good reason?
Still, I don’t regret going. The more speaking I do, the better at it I get.