Connect 2016 – People, not technology

For the 20th time I am heading to the conference previously known as Lotusphere. IBM has renamed it Connect, but to me it still is the same conference. The focus may have changed from Notes and Domino to Connections, Cloud and Mobile, but the people is largely the same: a mix of developers, administrators and managers who all are interested in or using the IBM collaboration products.

As a wise man said: it’s not about technology, it’s about the people. And I am looking forward to the people. I have many good friends in the Yellowsphere community (I don’t have a better name for the IBM Collaboration Software community), people I admire and have learned much from over the years. I hope that speaking at Connect 2016 (a first for me) will help others like I been helped in the past. That is why I enjoy helping people out in the forums and on Stack Overflow, and why I blog and share code: a way to give back to the community.

Lotusphere/Connect is a way to connect with the community. Every year I leave the conference revitalized and energized. I have been hanging out with my peers, sharing a couple of adult beverages, having dinners with some of them and — most of all — getting ideas and inspiration. Working as the only Notes developer at a company gets lonely, and Lotusphere/Connect is the one of the few time of the year I get to “talk shop” with people that do the same thing as I do. No mater how understanding and technical my wife is, when I start talking about some cool Lotusscript class or the benefits of list over arrays her eyes glace over and she is gone…

As I write this, my workplace is migrating from Notes to Outlook/Exchange for email. A pilot group (including me) was migrated last weekend, and the rest of the users will be migrated this coming weekend. Applications will stay in Notes for a long time, though. They are not going anywhere.

Even if I would have switch to a different platform for development at work, I hope to still be involved in the Yellowsphere community. I am also working on some cool side projects where I use Domino as the data backend but where the browser based front-end is built using modern web technologies like Bootstrap and jQuery. So I hope to be doing things with Notes and Domino for many more years.

So if you haven’t registered for Connect 2016 yet, hurry up. We are getting close. I booked my flight and my room earlier today and for the first time since 1999 I will not be staying at the conference hotel. Instead I found a good rate at Days Inn across the street, about a 5 minutes walk away away and at 25% of the cost. Since I am once again paying out of my own pocket, I could not justify the cost of staying at Hilton where the conference takes place.

If you want to listen to my session “AD-1100 : Break Out of the Box – Integrate Existing Domino Data with Modern Websites” it takes place at 5pm on Tuesday February 2 in the Solution EXPO Theater. It’s a 20 minute long (or should I say short?) Lightning Talk.

I hope to see you in Orlando in January and February!

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