I just found out my travel has been approved for IBM’s Transaction & Messaging Technical Conference coming up this November in Barcelona! I seem to have inherited ownership of the High Availability presentation which I certainly do not mind. I am also expanding the WebSphere MQ Security presentation into separate Basic and an Advanced sessions. The Basic session still covers securing administrative access to the queue manager. The Advanced session will look at user and application security and include such things as application isolation, message-level authentication, B2B interfaces and so on. I had to agree to present three sessions to get approval, but after two years it really was time for an update to the security slides anyway.
My family (and to a certain extent my management and colleagues) seem to think these trips are glamorous or working vacations. But giving at least two sessions each of three different presentations takes a lot of time. There is some prep work before the session, invariably questions and answers in the hallway afterward. At IMPACT 2008 they also had “meet the experts” sessions where the presenters manned booths where conference attendees were free to wander in and out and ask technical questions or just say hello. This was a lot of fun and I’m hoping they have something similar at the T&M. And, as Louis Suarez and Matt Simpson noted in the Sweettt podcast, the value in these conferences is more in the social networking than the technical skills. So when I’m not presenting or attending sessions, I’m trying to meet and talk with other attendees. If time permits (and not too jet lagged), I’ll squeeze in a few hours of sightseeing Sunday before the conference. But other than that, I expect I’ll barely have time to sleep.
I only mention this because when I get excited about the European T&M conferences people assume it’s because it’s in Europe and I’ll be off doing the tourist thing half the week. But this assumption is misplaced. What I’m excited about is the conference and the people! If someone told me I could only be in the conference center while I was presenting and the rest of the time I had to be taking in the local sights, it would drive me crazy. I wouldn’t go.
So if you will be attending the Barcelona T&M conference in November, look me up while you are there and say “hi”. After all, you are the reason I’m there.