A grand day out (x 2)

I have spent a couple of Grand Days Out  this week – being as I am just a little busy at the moment I wasn’t sure if I could spend the time out of the office, but I am pleased to report it was a worth while exercise.

Wednesday 23rd March was the WebSphere User Group (WUG) – at IBM Bedfont
Thursday 24th March was the Dachis Social Business Summit 2011 (SBS2011) – at the Imagination Gallery London

Both were very different days, I will elaborate more in separate posts but here is the condensed version 🙂


Good points:

  • Always good for any WebSphere related tech
  • I learnt something new – about classloading, will help me debug issues a lot better now
  • Lots of good tracks
  • I got to meet up with lots of WAS people I have been out of touch with for the past couple of years
  • There were 2 whole tracks dedicated around Portal  – from case studies, to development, to use cases.
  • There was a not bad lunch – although not quite enough of it, and at the end of the day beer and cake – although everyone disappeared pretty early.

Could Improve:

  • No Commerce Tracks AT ALL – come on WUG organisers, Commerce is a big thing, yes its a bit specialised but you could have squeezed in 1 or 2 commerce sessions. By having none you are excluding a big audience (until recently there were no Portal tracks either)
  • There were far too many IBM speakers –
  • Not enough social interaction – no #hashtag specified in the opening session. There were lots of people taking notes and tweeting, but no way to follow what they were doing.
  • Twitter ID’s on Name Badges – all conferences should have this now
  • Not a real community built up around WebSphere unlike Lotus – Although the WUG has been going for 10 years and most people do know each other there isn’t the same sense of community – if there are community things out on the internet – they are not easy to find.Please promote your community better – I have been a WebSphere person for almost 10 years and a Lotus person for only 2 – as the 2 communities are working more closely together and more and more of us are overlapping our skill set there must be a way to interact when we are away from User Groups – I am happy to help with this – contact me here.

SBS2011 – Wow – I was so totally blown away at what a great day this was

Good points:

  • Tech agnostic – this was all about social and not what you use to do it
  • Very diverse set of speakers – different speakers, talking about lots of different ways that people do social, in and out of business.
  • Fantastic social interaction – Jazz Impact was a great way of  using  audience participation and social interaction to demonstrate what the speakers of the day had been talking about.
  • Fabulous venue – with real food.
  • Great social networking opportunity – it was like a who’s who in the social software community

Could Improve:

  • Not a lot to be honest – having one track keeps everyone focused. There were plenty of breaks, good food and much chance to talk to the speakers and always an opportunity for Q and A
  • The only real improvement would have been a screen of the twitter stream for the hash tag (#sbs2011) being visible
  • Twitter ID’s on Name Badges – all conferences should have this now (same as the WUG)


I will post in more detail about each event in detailed posts – but all in all both days are well worth taking the time out of your schedule for.

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