IMPACT 2010 was pretty cool; some highlights
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Thought I'd take a few minutes to share my impressions from IMPACT. I actually didn't get to see as much of it as I'd hoped, because I was busy in the Certification Test Center all week, but there definitely were some moments that made it all worthwhile.
Social @ IMPACT
I started following @ibmimpact on Twitter, Facebook, &etc. well before the conference @mirv_pgh, tagging the relevant tweets with #ibmimpact. This was actually a great way to keep up with the latest news going around the conference, because I could quickly and easily check Twitter on my phone, and filter tweets using that hash tag. I could see what everyone else was tweeting about at IMPACT. On Wednesday, I was able to attend the Tweetup at Dos Caminos in The Pallazzo, and actually met some of the people I was following. I picked up a few new followers from IMPACT, too. You can see who all is involved in Social @ IMPACT here (points to a Twitter list).
There was a lot of buzz about OneCity - previewed at IMPACT; coming in fall 2010. It is perhaps IBM's answer to SimCity, but more serious, because you can actually use it to help you solve problems. The object of the game is to manage water, energy, banking, and retail of a virtual city. The byproduct is developing potential solutions to real-world business, environmental, and logistical problems. Cool.
Global WebSphere Community
At one of the receptions in the Solution Center, I met a rep from a vendor called Splunk. They win my award for best product name. Splunk actually enables you to search, report, monitor and analyze streaming and historical data from any source. Considering that I develop educational programs for teaching troubleshooting and problem determination techniques, this sounded like a tool I could use, or that my students would be interested in. And, they gave me a cool t-shirt.
Another vendor that impressed me was HubSpan - a provider of cloud- based business integration solutions. They actually won "best of show" at IMPACT, for their flagship solution, the WebSpan SaaS Integration Platform, which combines Hubspan’s cloud-based platform and managed services with key components of IBM WebSphere integration software. They also gave me some cool squishy lego blocks.
While wondering around the Solution Center, I also chatted with various other cool people from developerWorks, Amazon.com, WebSphere Education, and so on.
Certification Test Center
...was a steady stream of customers, business partners, and ibmers from all parts of the globe. It was interesting, as a proctor in the test center, meeting so many different people and seeing what tests they were taking. Tests on SOA, WebSphere Application Server, WebSphere MQ, WebSphere Process Server, XML, and Cloud Computing seemed to be very popular, perhaps because you could take them for free, but still, pretty impressive.
The biggest highlight of my week was getting to hang out with colleagues I don't see that often. In a huge company like IBM, where many of us work in virtual teams scattered across different geographies, this was a great opportunity for me. It was also good to see some of my coworkers from the Left Coast, and The Great White North. Wish we could do that more often!
The Venetian, Las Vegas
...was my home for a week, and what a very fine home it was! It is the nicest hotel in Las Vegas, IMHO, and I enjoyed staying there. Good thing, too, because I almost never left the building. However, I did make it out one night for a team dinner with the WebSphere Education people. That was very cool.
IBM/IMPACT is awesome
I overheard a lot of very positive reviews of the conference, as far as attendance and quality of the sessions, & etc. It may have been largest attendance yet for this show.
Well there you have it in a nutshell.