Thursday 6 September 2012

UKLUG 2012 - If we don't change, we don't grow. If we don't grow, we aren't really living.

There is a Pizza in the oven, there is beer in the fridge and I am collating and bubble sorting my thoughts while making those odd noises of deep satisfaction only known to aliens from Alpha Centauri and *LUG attendees...Yes another UKLUG is done, dusted and put away for another year.

First a super-duper-ginormous-fudge-flavoured-exceptional-experience-with-extra-cheese-THANK-YOU to the Elsmores, Warren and Kitty, without whom UKLUG would not happen and if by some fluke of chance it did then it would it be only a fraction of the fun. I can speak with some authority here as I am one of the "helpers" and I see the event from both sides.
(*note "helper" is used in the Norn Iron sense of "getting in the way and making rude jokes")

LUGs are primarily about the attendees, the organizers and sponsors make it happen and facilitate it being a good experience but at the end of the day it is the attendees that make the event a success. So from this small cog in the organization I say a loud (and if you were at speed sponsoring you know how loud) THANK YOU to all that attended, without you well it would be really really boring!

I will leave it to others to wax lyrical on their favorite sessions and seminal moments and there were many, too many to mention here. While all UKLUGs and ILUGs are brilliant this one seemed somehow better and I cannot put my finger on quite why. My more regular readers will of course recognise that when I can't put a finger on something a theory will not be long in the coming. :) So here goes.

Like all things the yellow-bubble is in a constant state of change and change like sunshine can be both a dawn or a dusk. The last few years have been replete with changes the most recent being the renaming of "Lotusphere" to "Connect" and some are announcing this as the dusk of the Yellowverse. This negativity may come from the pain that comes when separating the little bit of the professional "us" that was defined over the years by everything under the Lotus brands, but I would add that it is also the dawn of "something different".

Whilst this separation is painful it is seldom fatal and as the dawn of a new day replaces the old one what is lost will be soon be replaced by something new. I did two sessions this year, the first one with 4 other Lotus luminaries on how the Lotus products still provide superb, value for money platforms for enterprise applications and that they will continue to do so! In contrast my other session was with Sharon Bellamy on "Taking the fear out of websphere"... to be honest given the subject and the 9am start on day two I was not expecting the 39 people that chose to attend, but this is an indication that some of the changes that are happening are being recognized and are being prepared for. This was echoed in the number and content of other broader scoped sessions on offer in the agenda.

So I think part of the difference I alluded to earlier may have been the start of a community acceptance of the fact that we are not able to control the changes that are happening no matter how much we whinge or how adroitly we wring our hands. Since we have got that out of the way we are left with the challenge of changing ourselves and I for one am now looking forward to it :-)

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