Reflections from the Sphere

I survived "The Sphere", again!

Last week was the annual yellow wash in Orlando called Lotusphere 2011. It's always a great event and I particularly liked this years event. A whole bunch of reason, but mostly because the labs worked really well and all our planning meant we were not working at stupid o'clock to make stuff work for 10am on Monday morning. Thank you to all the team who helped make that happen.

Saturday night was dinner out night, so I'm glad I had brought a decent shirt with me. I also got my hands on this years Completely Unofficial Lotusphere Tshirt from the Penumbra Group. Thanks for the dinner and the shirt folks, as always the evening was a blast.

Sunday morning was a bit of a blast for me as Paul Mooney and Bill Buchan invited me to have a ride of their Harleys that they had rented. Evidenced in this blog post and photo that Paul promised he would never publish. I should have known better.

My next big thing at this year's Lotusphere was that Matt White and I presented two sessions, a show and tell about getting started with XPages and a best practises session about 30 top tips for XPages. I have the best presenting partner in Matt as we compliment each other and get on really well. It helps to get on with Matt as the long hours going through our material would be a real chore.

I met up with some old friends, teams I have worked with and various LUG crews from around the planet. I also made some new ones too, Mat Newman, Paul Calhoun..... I also managed this year to pluck up the courage to say "Hi" to some folks that I knew but didn't know if they knew me. One way or another they had heard about me and had some nice things to say about me too. Always very flattering but I find it almost embarrassing and never know what to say in return. I have now worked out that "Thank You" is enough.

Another highlight of this years Lotusphere was meeting up with Paul Withers and David Leedy, my co-presenters on the X Cast. We never did get to use the microphone that David lugged all the way there, sorry David. But we are recording a new podcast this week with our highlights from the conference.

Once all the work was done it was just left to a few hardy soles to brave the R-rated nature of the Fantasia Mini Golf course for the beer drinking, innuendo spluttering and general craziness that is the Blogger Open. We had a great time and didn't mind at all that our team had the highest score and won the "Worst Team" prize.

On the way home I manage to catch up with Matt, Paul, Mark, Jullian and a few other folks in the bar at Orlando airport. They all started calling me "stud" and I had no idea what was going on, until Matt showed me some of the comments from the session reviews. I had to laugh, what else could I do. But really, stud? Here is a small sample of the comments that people left about our sessions.

Excellent presentation. Great content. Explained so we could understand. Well done.

I always try to catch Matt White's sessions because he's so good, and Tim Clark was the best IBM speaker that I saw. It's obvious they both enjoy presenting and both enjoy using XPages.

Great session.  And yay for providing the sample db!

Tim is a stud. For me ... The laurel and hardy presentation wins the best of Lotusphere 2011 ....

I'd watch these guys complete their tax returns....they're THAT interesting.  Great presence, good speaking, and nice content.

Excellent session. Clearly a huge amount of work went into preparing it.

To all of you who completed your session evaluations for our, or any, sessions please accept my sincere thanks. Without your comments it's like talking at a brick wall, and we do enough of that in preparation to present. If you have not yet completed evaluations for the presentations that you attended, please spare a thought for the presenters who spend hours putting together the content of their sessions, tell them what you thought of it, good and bad.

So all in all it was another rousing success and I'm sure everyone there had a great time.