So Melbourne was the 3rd and final stop for this years Australia Exchange. It's certainly been a different experience from the usual 3 day get together, and from what I can tell it seems to have been a big hit with those who attended. Many of whom were able to attend for the first time due to the show coming to them, as opposed to the other way round!
Once we'd recovered from the weather shock we had a little downtime before the show started on the Friday. I must admit from a personal point of view, having the travel day in between each of the session days has been huge bonus, otherwise the schedule would have been a killer. So it was good to hit the gym, and for those that know me and have just fallen off their chairs, yes I went to the gym and ran!! Not very quick, admittedly, but hey something's better than nothing, right?
Not wishing to sound like a broken record, but just like the other cities, Melbourne was a complete sell-out which was great to see. There's nothing worse than presenting to yourself!! Once again the main themes presented certainly seemed to hit the right notes, with Multi-Tenancy and RIA peaking the most interest. I must admit I've been pleasantly surprised by the reaction to the Multi-tenancy proposal, even by those who don't yet see SaaS as a big play for them today.
I was also reminded on this trip that I sometimes get so focused and involved into something that I often forget that not everyone is as obsessed as I am. During this trip one of the topics that I mentioned time & time again during each day was Amazon EC2. Currently living in the US I guess I take it for granted that in the IT world at least, people know that Amazon have a cloud strategy, even if they don't know the specific terms, so it was sobering to be asked at one of the after conference cocktail party's if I was talking about the same Amazon that simply sold books! It just shows it's good to get out of that ivory tower as much as possible!!!
The one common story from all the cities, and one that shows we still have a better job to do was around Progress Communities. I was surprised how any people either hadn't really heard of it or didn't realize what it is. Don't get me wrong there were many people who'd used it and got value from it, but it seemed there were more that hadn't. That surprises me because if you're an OpenEdge user, Progress Communities is the key place for you to discover a huge amount of information relating to the product and best practices. It's our main vehicle to deliver valuable content to you as users, and a mechanism by which you can post questions and comments around anything OpenEdge related. In fact there are people within Progress, such as myself, who as part of their job are expected to participate in the activity that's going on, so if you do have a question or comment, the chances are the person who responds is more than likely the person responsible for that area of the product or maybe even implemented it! I really do encourage you all to take a look, but don't just to look, participate.
I'd like to take this opportunity to firstly thank all those who attended the sessions over the 3 days. I realize it's not always easy to leave the office, especially in these current economic times, but without you the sessions would have been nothing. I'd also like to thank the whole Progress Australia team for their hospitality during our visit. There are too many names to call out individually but as always they made a long trip so much fun in addition to all the hard work.
Oh, and the highlight of the trip back, meeting will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas in the 'Chili's To Go' at LAX. Shelley even got his autograph. See how we just mingle with the stars here at Progress!!!
'I've got a feeling' its time to go :)
Thanks for reading
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