The SDN Day worked surprisingly good on Monday, which feels like ages ago already. We had a vision a couple of targets with it:
- Chance for top contributors of SDN and BPX to meet, exchange ideas and work collectively on solving problems.
- Strengthen relationships within the community
- Having fun
It feels very strange when the things then fall into place and actually work out as planned.
After my introduction to the day and the team we did networking sessions: Four times 20 minutes the chance to get to know 4 new SDNers. Some participants left the room after the first round and I was afraid that they didn’t get anything out of this exercise, but it turned out they were going to an outside table to continue their conversation 20 minutes was not enough for them and they joined us again for the next round.
Improvement idea from a participant: Do random in the first two rounds and then create themed areas for example: BI tables for a greater chance to meat people with the same interest areas. Something we try out in Amsterdam.
In the afternoon we did unconference style sessions. Most of them were already suggested from the community before we started, but we filled all the rest of the spots and there were even some session requests that got filled by other SDN Day participants. The white board also worked nicely in the afternoon when Shai confirmed his appearance and we were able to react and move sessions around.
I talked with a lot of people about SDN Day and one of the things they said was that the networking session really helped, because it broke the ice and made people comfortable to interact in the afternoon sessions. Made these a lot more interactive and interesting.
My favorite story of the afternoon was when the presenter for the Apache Reverse Proxy session couldn’t make it and instead of going to other sessions the audience worked together to share their knowledge and learn from each other.
Scoble was there and interviewed Shai just before he addressed us SDNers. Can’t wait for his show to start to see more of the videos he shot. He promised to visit us in Palo Alto too. Will be great to show what is happening at SAP to a wider audience. I also like all the interviews done by the PodTech team especially the ones done with regular SDNers. They even have a sound file from the evening event at the Hofbräuhaus. Sweet.
The SDN Clubhouse worked like a charm. It was buzzing and impromptu sessions where happening like The Future of ABAP Reporting, suggested from the community and held in the BOF area targeted for 30 minutes and finished after 2 hours.
On Thursday evening at Game World I had the following conversation with Rich Heilman:
Rich: You know I am a bit sad.
Rich: Well there is no Clubhouse tomorrow.
Me: But there are TechEd sessions still going on.
Rich: That’s true and they are great, but it is so much more fun to hang out in the club house with your fellow coders and code.
On Friday morning I bumped into our guard that did the morning shifts at the clubhouse.
Me: Hey how is it going?
Guard: Are you flying home today?
Me: Yeah, later this afternoon.
Guard: You know, I liked your Clubhouse.
Me [surprised]: How come?
Guard: Oh, there was always something going on. People were very friendly and time went by so fast. I hope I will be at the clubhouse next year too.
Me: I hope so too.
Waiting in the security line at the airport with David E. Jacobs from Kraft Foods who used to work for SAP. David told me that he had a conference call with 12 of his team leads where they talked about contributing more to SDN. They had one of their guys who has done more on SDN already tell them about the different opportunities.
He also thought that we should keep SDN and BPX communities together as long as possible, otherwise there will be two places to check for content again, but that is a topic for another blog.
It was a great event and a lot of work went into it from the whole SDN and BPX Team (we were the ones with the crew shirts) as well as from many many SDNers that just helped out wherever they saw need. Thank you very much, I am proud to be part of this great community.