Monday, November 7, 2016

There’s power in networking; NonStop community does it better than most!

Even as we scan the agenda and sessions-at-a-glance for next week’s NonStop Technical Boot Camp, the opportunities for networking remain high on the list of priorities for most attendees. And for a good reason – networking is the cultural heart of the NonStop community and shouldn’t be missed! 

The first Saturday of each month sees a gathering of car enthusiast at our local coffee shop. What shows up on any given Saturday can be anything from a rusty 1950s coupe to a  fully restored 1960s muscle car to a couple of full-on race cars. The Corvettes depicted above are from a nearby racing school, appropriately enough called GO4IT, and they are regular attendees at our local race track, the High Plains Raceway. Seeing the crowd that gathered around these two cars was a reminder of how it takes very little to attract car enthusiasts even as it also reminded me that networking among car enthusiasts is ultimately the major draw card as ownership of many of the cars on show changes hands with some regularity. 

While presenting at CTUG last month I opened with a couple of slides featuring blog posts and online commentaries and invariably one of the posts in the collage that was projected included a picture of a car. When I attempted to apologize for yet another car photo the audience responded with a chuckle or two before someone responded with “we like to see the cars!” As it’s been a couple of posts since I featured any car I felt it was perhaps timely to do so as the focus of almost everyone in the NonStop community this week is the upcoming NonStop Technical Boot Camp. If the sight of many cars can be the draw card for networking among car enthusiasts then there is no bigger draw card that attracts networking among the NonStop community than Boot Camp.

From its earliest days, Tandem Computers valued networking. In fact, the original Friday afternoon beer bust on the Tandem campus in Cupertino, California, originated as a means for everyone to engage in open dialogue, no matter where they stood on the corporate ladder. Jimmy could be seen talking to a developer even as Dave Rynne or Bob Marshall could be seen talking to someone from manufacturing. Coming from Australia, the first time I made it to Friday beer bust I instantly warmed up to the practice as Australians had enjoyed informal beer busts as a means of enhancing communication for quite a long time. To see it formalized the way it was at Tandem left everyone who ever participated with a very positive impression about the level to which Tandem would go to encourage all employees to network.

Over the years, the NonStop community too has integrated beer busts into the many user events that were held around the world and at this year’s Boot Camp, it comes as no surprise that first up, Sunday night, starting at 6:00 pm, there will be the official Boot Camp Kickoff Beer Bust that to many will be a priority. I can think of no better way to start networking than over a couple of beers, especially as it follows a number of very interesting pre-conference workshops.

Want to know who’s really been testing and leveraging the NonStop Application Direct Interface (NSADI that, as of last year, what had been previously called the Yuma project) then join the workshop starting at 3:00 pm. As for a workshop on security then take your pick as there are several workshops starting much earlier on Sunday, with the first kicking off at 8:00 am.

Sunday nights’ Beer Bust takes us back to a more laid-back, casual, atmosphere where the NonStop community can freely discuss projects and implementations as well as plans for further roll-out of new solutions featuring NonStop. Contrary to many technology pundits expectations, NonStop continues to roll and for good reason. The unique benefits of today’s NonStop systems remain unmatched by any other product offering and yes, it matters – availability matters; scale matters; performance matters; efficiency matters.

Attendees at any of the lead up regional events will have heard this message numerous times and it remains key to the success of NonStop. If you aren’t all that certain, head to the Sunday night Beer Bust and just ask anyone in attendance as they will make this value proposition abundantly clear.

Scrolling down through the agenda for Boot Camp, the first nights Beer Bust isn’t the only opportunity to network. Monday night features not one but two separate opportunities to network. At 5:00 pm all attendees can join the Boot Camp Reception hosted by many companies from the NonStop vendor community. Monday night too has been the time when, traditionally, vendors take selected users to dinner but having the option to network on a grander scale is definitely going to prove attractive to the NonStop community.

After all, as it’s so often said, you cannot have too much of a good thing, right? Fortunately, whether you have joined a vendor for dinner or socialized with other attendees at the Reception, as these events wind down there’s still one more important opportunity that will start up at 8:30 pm.

Proving popular last year, even though it was held in a reception room that was a little hard to find, there will again be the Final Nightcap of the Day hosted by OmniPayments, Inc. CEO, Yash. This time the venue will be the Gold Room located in the main building of the Fairmont Hotel, where earlier in the day several of the sessions will have been held. And as of time of posting, there is late breaking news!

OmniPayments, Inc. CEO Yash will be putting on a demo of just how fast transactions can be processed on NonStop X - yes, a 4,000 tps demo. This is something I want to see and I am sure there will be many others interested in watching a payments solution process this many transactions per second. OmniPayments are headlining this demo as “OmniPayments and NSX - Thunder and Lighting 4,000 TPS Demo!”

Yash tells me that last year, the similar event ran past midnight and so I have the sense that, with an even more convenient venue, that duration may be surpassed. There’s never any shortage of NonStop users willing to share their stories as they network with their peers to find out what other NonStop users are doing to better support the enterprises where they work.

If you would like to catch up with Margo and me we will both be in attendance at the Final Nightcap of the Day and we would be only too pleased to catch up with you – Margo has volunteered to help out Connect and so many of you will likely run into her working on the registration desk so of course say Hi! and yes, by all means, let her know of how you are looking forward to any and all opportunities to network over the course of the event. Who knows, you may catch her sipping on an adult beverage somewhere in the Fairmont. As for me, well, I may be off in a corner somewhere as I will be providing routine updates on the event to the LinkedIn group, Real Time View, as this is something I have been doing for many years now – and if as yet you haven’t joined this LinkedIn group, check it out!

There will be so much attention given to sessions by executives and to product presentations by HPE and the many vendors participating even as there will be a number of user presentations as well. This attentions shouldn’t be downplayed in any way as this is central to the success of Boot Camp – it’s the place to really come to terms with all that is transpiring in the world of NonStop. With as many as six separate breakout sessions running in parallel for most of the three days, there will be a lot of time where the NonStop community is scattered throughout the conference floor of the hotel.

The exhibition hall will be a constant draw card, of course, and from memory, coffee and drinks will be served on the exhibition floor. So yes, there will be many smaller conversations taking place but when it comes to networking with our peers, this event has left no stone unturned when it comes to ensuring there is a forum that any attendee will find attractive and highly conducive to networking.

It may be a tradition for the NonStop community. It may not be as flashy as a cars and coffee show (as far as what’s on display) and yet, it may be far more productive. As a former Tandem Computers product manager and then, much later, Chairman of the ITUG board, I have witnessed first-hand several discoveries made at NonStop events as “eureka moments” took place.

NonStop has always prided itself on having a very proactive ecosystem of vendors and that’s very beneficial for every NonStop stakeholder and perhaps Beer Busts and the like aren’t to everyone’s taste even as there may be those harboring some angst over the possible political incorrectness of it all, but if you want to be sure to catch Margo and me at some point, head to any one of these social events as for sure, you will find us there. Yes, GO4IT! and see you all at Boot Camp next week!

1 comment:

Richard Buckle said...

NonStop Technical Boot Camp - the first keynote presentation has just wrapped up!

It’s good to be alive, right about now!

This phrase kept returning to my thoughts throughout the mornings keynote presentation given by Randy Meyer and Andy Bergholz. Consume compute any way you want; move data as close as you can to processing / compute and yes, choice abounds! A lot more meat was provided on vNonStop – so yes, we have real choices as to how we consume compute – real or virtual or both.

Check out the first post from Boot Camp to the LinkedIn Group, Real Time View:

It’s time for three more wishes for NonStop!

Three years have come around rather quickly this time but it’s still worth thinking further ahead when it comes to our wishes for NonStop ...