Lotusphere 2007 - the Wednesday


Oh. My. God. Another "not enough sleep" night. And I'm standing in the Swan ballroom, with Paul Mooney, half an hour before Worst Practices. It has to be said that I'm on fire this morning, and some of my language was a little more "direct" than usual. (I'm usually pretty good at not actually swearing on stage). Well, this morning, I think I was less careful, and one evaluation was pretty damming. This did make me more thoughtful and careful during the day. Apologies to the person who put that in - we do really care about evals, and do want everyone to like and appreciate the presentations. Sorry. And I suspect next year we'll refrain from saying "End Users please leave the room", "Lawyers please leave the room", etc.

I'd calmed down sufficiently during the presentation to make it as good as yesterday. I dont know - did my "Marcel Marceau" mime go down well ?

Finally, off to catch up with Jens and practice AD507. Well. That was the plan. Just kept meeting people in the corridors, and chatting. Finally got to the speakers lounge around 11:50, just in time to get my power adaptor back from the Disneybots, and plug in. Then straight down to the Barmy Bloggers Boat Race.

Now. The history. Last year, Paul Mooney, Warren Elsmore, Spanky and myself snuck out on the Thursday, hired the swan pedalos, and had a wee race. I was in my kilt, smoking cigarettes, and generally not being the trained athelete that folks think I could be. It was a blast.. So this year - Warren and Kitty organised (with the Disney Recreation folks) a four-day lunchtime race, with the final on Thursday. Paul and I manned the Poseidon adventure - named as I weigh about fifty times more than Paul, and we knew that there would be a little bit of a list.

Now the film crew came out with us, and actually got in the back of a 4-person swan - facing backwards and fiming. A little like the tour-de-france. What we didnt expect is that the film crew came second that day..

Its hard work on those pedalos, and I suspect that one swan is far faster than the rest. Oh - and it helps if both people are fit, and around the same weight. Paul was doomed. So we just got half way, decided to turn around, and try and ram the winners.. We failed, but it was a blast.

Kudos and thanks to Warren and Kitty for organising it, and other volunteers included Jason Hook and Declan. Nice work guys!

Back to the Speakers room momentarily, and then onto the repeat session of DevBlast. Loved it. The scary thing is that folks that I really respect were in the audience. I kept thinking "Why are they here?". In particular, Andre Guirard of IBM, who works in Westford and was in "Beat the Developers". I'm on stage thinking "What can I say to those guys that is new" ? Its scary ...

Over. And back to the speakers room again to practice with Jens B Augustiny. We checked out our Demo code - an RSS reading application - and of course it didnt work. So less rehearsal, and much more debugging. Thankfully, it worked on stage.

AD507 - Leveraging the power of Object Orientated Programming in LotusScript

Now this was a fun session. My previous "object orientated code" presentations really raced through important topics, so this one tried to redress the balance somewhat by covering them in more detail. I was the "boss" figure, and Jens was the "Cool developer guy" figure, and it seemed to work out pretty well. Again, a medium sized room, and again it was basically full.

One good thing to come of this is the public awareness of interesting lotusscript data structures such as Lists. When I first did OO stuff on stage three years ago, less than 5% of the audience knew about them. Its now approaching 40% or so (estimated by the number of hands that went up). Its cool stuff, easy, built in and will save you a TON of work. Check it out.

A quick break, and then straight into speedgeeking. As I was answering questions, I was the last presenter to hit the venue (much to Rocky's relief that I did actually turn up!. Time enough just to unpack the laptop, and get the AD505 - DevBlast Presentation - on screen. The rules were simple. 12 groups of people - almost evenly distrbuted by month of birth - formed packs of 5-15 people. They would move between tables, and have up to five minutes.. Wow.

Both Paul and I were doing our "Blast" presentations - 30 standalone tips. A good choice for an event like this, as if you run out of time, the delegates still get useful stand-alone items. Cool. I did that presentation 12 times - and managed to get to the end once. Most times averaging 22 items. It was interesting watching peoples reactions - first "cool", then "wow", then "fear" as they struggled to concentrate with the breadth of information hitting them. Phew.

Voice gone, brain frazzled, I headed back to the room - and not Animal kingdom. I was bushed. I was sharing this year with Jon - our new sales guy. I got back and found the heating cranked up at a million degrees, and he passed out on his bed. After adjusting the heating, he woke up and explained that after three days on the stand (and sharing a room with a snoring scotsman) he was physically exhausted. I sat down in the chair, and started blogging.. And fell asleep.. Crawled into bed..

And my phone rang. And rang. And rang. The usual suspects were at Kimonos and wanted me there. And werent going to let me sleep. Damn. So by midnight, I got showered and dressed and headed over.

Sober, partially awake, and feeling better, I bumped into hoardes of folks, and managed to successfully pursuade them not to get me to sing. Evidence from last years attempt at Bohemian Rhapsody still burned into their brains, and they agreed. Thank god. Outside, chatted to Pooter. Inside, chatted to everyone. Thought "Hmmm. I could just slip away now..".. Ahh no. Since everyone had kindly bought me drinks all week, I bought a round of Saki and Whisky - came to a cool $300 USD.

The plan was that the bloggers would stay up all night, and hit the Bloggers BOF at 7am on thursday morning in slippers and dressing gowns. I didnt think I could do that, but would head back to Pauls room in any case.

Rock and Roll - Lotusphere style.

Mayhem. 25+ people (some very senior), two minibars, one room, a shaving foam fight, etc. Ah. The minibar. Greyhawk had foolishly lent someone his room key so they could use his toilet. Well. Andrew basically lifted the entire mini-bar and brought it back. Damn. It was locked. A few attempts to pick the lock - failed. So another greyhawk room raid - couldnt find the key. The concierge was called, etc, etc. Finally. Opened. [I hasten to add, none of this was my doing.]. In the meantime, I thought it was a good idea to empty Pauls bathroom of all contents. Shower curtain, towels, etc, were all hidden around the room (whilst Paul was there, BTW. It added to the fun). Shaving foam, shampoo, toothpaste, all down the toilet. Ah.

Rumbled. Paul reacts badly, grabs the remains of the shaving foam, and starts spraying. A lot. At one stage, I'm hiding behind the bed, covered in the stuff. Great fun...

Spanky made sure I got back home - thanks man - and there I went to sleep. 5am or so I think..God, I'm getting too old for this!