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Life before and during Demo Jam LV 2010

I’m used to travelling long distances by train but to travel more than a day and a half by air across time zones was something new to me. The entry into the united states was uneventful, so was the descent into Las Vegas.

Las Vegas was exactly the way I had imagined. Opulent! There was wealth pouring out of every nook and corner of this city. Our hotel was spectacular as well and it was apt that we had to pass through the heart of their casino to even enter our rooms.

The suite was luxurious and the view from the suite – spectacular. The first evening was spent in city gazing. Truly a wrong place to be in – if the motive was work.

The next day was earmarked for work. Being developers at heart, neither our application nor the demo was truly complete yet. We had factored in being able to work till the nth minute and beyond. Not that we achieved much on the day before the Dday. At least we got a fair idea of the TechEd event itself – the venue and the various arrangements made. No doubt that the event was extremely well organized. Everybody was truly professional and I was really amazed at the level of details kept in mind. One more thing that we noticed was Singh-Mecker and Vishal practicing on stage for their keynotes – showing that that no matter how good you are, it helps to practice the day before. 

Dday dawned. Soon, due to the lack of time, it was apparent that we should focus on the demo itself. The afternoon was the time when we met our fellow demo jammers for the first time. We all had the grand ball room to ourselves to practice for the next 3 hours. Of course the demo jam organizers were coordinating the whole thing and ensuring that everything happens smoothly. The sheer professionalism of all those involved went a long distance in relaxing all the nerves involved.

The dry runs themselves were uneventful. Ironically the “criticism” for our demo was that we were too dry :). Between the dry runs on stage and the actual event, we went through the script a million times – each time not satisfied- till we ran out of time. It was time to Rock!

Thanks to the litres of coffee consumed before the event,  I was iceman personified. No nerves whatsoever. No nerves when I saw the crowds accumulating into the ballroom, no nerves when the first team started presenting, no nerves when me and Sangeeta were up on stage about to start.

The demo itself went like clockwork. Almost. One wrong button pressed and requiring a deviation from the script – but this was merely a blip. I was pretty confident and clear, so was Sangeeta and in 5 minutes, we were able to complete our demo as planned, including showing the data in the ByD system. The audience was polite in their applause and we were off-stage! 

There was the small matter of the announcements of the results and we ended up third. Considering we knew no-one in the audience and nobody in the audience knew us, it was no mean achievement. 

We were done!!! Done with what we had come for, a logical conclusion (at that time at least) for an idea conceptualized just 5 months ago in a meeting room in SAP Labs Bangalore. It was now time to party.

Demo jam was over. The rest of our lives had just started.

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