Well I'm home, watching the Six Nations from the sofa, recovering from the usual tiredness that a week in Florida in January inspires.
Although I felt as exhausted as ever when I got home, it's for a different reason this year. Far fewer heavy nights and far more work commitments. And this isn't a bad thing, just different. Of course there's the sadness at friends not being there as usual, it was especially weird to not have Bruce and Gayle around.
The content for the week was generally quite interesting with the announcement of Mail Next raising lots of questions. Very few answers at this stage but if even half of what we were told comes to pass then the required changes to the back end Domino server will make us devs happy people.
This was also the first year where my focus shifted slightly towards Connections. The session which Mark and I presented seemed to go well and hopefully people are a little more aware of the integration possibilities with Domino, I see a lot of that sort of work in the near future. XPages continues to grow of course, but there was not quite the focus on Domino as in previous years. If you are still tied exclusively to Domino and hadn't yet read the tea-leaves, take this as a klaxon warning. Learn Java now, we've been saying this for over a decade, but at this point you basically have no choice.
The other major focus of the week was my work with the Unplugged Controls; project which we did a couple of presentations about. It was great to see so many people interested in mobile in general and our project in particular. We promised that there will be regular updates and, indeed, this week I will be making the last few changes to the 3.1 release before testing begins. Teamstudio won the CTO and Best of Show awards which is a great achievement and I'm very pleased to have been able to be involved in a very small way. If you haven't yet checked out the Unplugged tool then it's worth a look if you want to dip a toe into mobile development.
So will I be back in 2015? At the moment it's a cautious "yes" with the caveat that if there is no technical content (as has been rumoured) then it will be much harder to justify. I still think the annual pilgrimage is time well spent, I just hope that IBM continues to as well.