The annual yellow-wash this year was my first without a staff badge and lots of people asked me what it was like to not be an IBMer. At the time I could not tell them as it was Sunday or Monday and I had not really experienced it yet. Now it's finished and I've had chance to evaluate it a little bit I can tell you that it was different but not as different as it could have been.Working for GSX (an IBM business partner) meant that I was still working on the product showcase floor. Talking to customer about our product set and seeing familiar friends from previous years. This felt familiar to me as the IBM Innovation Lab that I worked in previously was located in the corner of the showcase too. This all leads to my work week being in familiar surroundings. Also this year I was presenting again and the presentation I did with Matt White, XPages Blast!, was very well received and the feedback so far has been very flattering. My third year presenting with Matt and I'm honoured that Matt still agrees to present with me. We compliment each other well and get lots of technical content into a presentation that is structured and digestible by most people. So what was different? Not working in the labs this year was kinda strange, I really missed working with the lab management team, such a great bunch of personal friends now. Not getting enough time to spend with them was the hardest part of Lotusphere for me. Spending quality time with the people in GSX was great, breaking bread and sharing wine, I've really got to know some of folks that work in different locations to me. They've also had the chance to get to know me a little better, and being relatively new to GSX, that's a good thing. Not having to work on the weekend before Lotusphere starts meant that I could go riding motorbikes with the annual LS Hog Ride. Another new family to join, and wow, what a bunch of great characters. Being a business partner this year, meant that I didn't get a staff shirt, but that's fine as I don't need any more t-shirts. But that also meant that for the first time in seven years I officially got the backpacks, which for the first time is not yellow on the outside. On the whole I feel that this year was a great Lotusphere for me. Great to see old friends, meet new ones, try new things and not have to do some of the stuff that was a drag in previous years. I hope I will get the chance to be there again in 2013. Will I see you there?