Y'all come back now, ya hear! (MWLUG recap)
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I'd like to start this post by thanking Richard Moy and his family, who tirelessly worked to make MWLUG a success! And of course all of the generous sponsors who make events like this one possible. Those who know me know that I love my job. I feel that I have the best job at IBM. And it's purely because of the people that I get to work with. People like Richard, and the rest of the IBM Champions, people who run the sponsor booths at these types of events. You all make this community!
In addition to two days packed with learning opportunities, there were many other cool things, such as Tuesday's visit to San Antonio to the historic Alamo. I'm sure that was a trip to remember (see what I did there?). Ending the evening with dinner and drinks on the San Antonio River Walk, which is lined with bars and restaurants and provides excellent people watching opportunities. Wednesday morning before the official start of the conference, there were tours of the IBM Design Studios at IBM's Austin campus, where visitors got a behind the scenes look at the design space and some inside information about the design process.
As this time it was held in the live music capital of the world, Austin, Texas, of course there was a musical element to it all! At breakfast on Thursday we were treated to music from the very talented Kevin Chin (who also happens to be Richard's nephew), and Melissa Ndettemi. The guest speaker was Christine Albert, a local studio owner, musician, and founder and CEO of Swan Songs, a non-profit in Austin that grants musical last wishes to terminally ill people. Oh and as an added bonus, Christine is the the Immediate Past Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Recording Academy (known for the GRAMMY ® Awards) - the first independent artist and only the second woman to hold this esteemed position. So when Christine agreed to be the keynote speaker, I was thrilled! Christine took us on a journey of her career in music, noting how technology had changed the way musicians recorded, collaborated, and shared their music over the years. And also how technology changed music for the consumer. She introduced us to her charity, Swan Songs and talked about how meaningful these interactions are to people at the end of their life, and how the musicians are also changed by these interactions. She debuted the new Swan Songs promo video, and I am certain there were a few teary eyes in the room, mine included (my Britishness almost doesn't allow for me to admit this).
You can see the recording of the Opening General Session which was live streamed by Team Studio on their Facebook Page
Attendees spent 3 days attending sessions, networking, socializing, spending time with friends old and new, exploring this great city, (including some traditional "Texan" pass times like bull riding. I won't point out any videos here), and generally basking in the warmth of this community. The curriculum was very well-rounded and it's no surprise that people came away having learned something from the speakers. Many of the speakers have posted their slides below their session descriptions on the MWLUG web site, so if you're interested in reviewing the session slides, visit the Sess
I'd like to end by saying a big THANK YOU to all who supported MWLUG's chosen outreach program beneficiary, Swan Songs.
We raised over $1800!
Blasting our expectations out of the water, and raising the bar for the next one! And speaking of the next one, the next host city of MWLUG was announced. Washington DC! So we'll see you next year, MWLUG, and THANK YOU!