XPages101 done. (for now)

Yesterday, Ben Poole and myself presented the XPages101 course which I have designed over the last couple of months to be an introduction to developing with XPages.

Overall it seemed to go pretty well, the timings need some work, I went a little fast at some points which may have left a few people overwhelmed at the fire hose of information we got through in a short period of time! That will not happen again now that I understand how it all hangs together a bit more.

The feedback from the attendees was really gratifying…

Question Score
Overall, how would you rate the course? 95% (between Excellent and Good)
How was the course material? 86.67% (between Excellent and Good)
How was the presentation style? 86.67% (between Excellent and Good)
Would you recommend the course to your colleagues / nerdy friends? Yes: 100%


Obviously there’s always room for improvement and there were some great feedback comments as well…

“A real eye opener for me as I’ve not looked XPages prior to the course.”

“Excellent value for money. Pitched just right for the first steps into XPages.”

“It gave me a very good understanding of XPages under the bonnet.”

“It was great being here, great course, the XPages start I was looking for.”

One of the things which I had consciously not done was provide lots of handout materials. The aim was to reduce the costs of the course as much as possible. From the feedback it seems people would have been happy to pay extra to get more paper based materials. So I think in future iterations of the course we’ll change that around.

The other area where a couple of people expressed an interest was for an “intermediate” course. This leaves me in a bit of a quandary, as I’m not sure I know what intermediate is. So if you have any thoughts I’d love to hear them.

Overall though, as I said earlier, it was a great day. Good fun for me, and hopefully useful to everyone else.

Just eight days to go…

Next week I am running (with the able assistance of my LDC colleagues) the first iteration of my new XPages101 course. Interest has been gratifyingly high, but we do still have a very few places left. If you wanted to come along and either the news got lost in amongst all of the #LS10 craziness, or you’re worried about training costs generally, then I’d encourage you to check out the course page

I designed the course to cover as much as possible in a day and the price to be low enough that independent consultants and contractors (my background) can afford to send themselves on it.

So I hope to see you in London next week. If you can’t make it during the day for some reason then we are also having a LotusBeer gathering in the evening of the 9th February at the Founders Arms from around 6pm. You’re more than welcome to come along if you’re in the area.

So iPad in the UK… not so much

The hype around the iPad which was announced yesterday has been pretty amazing, even by Apple’s standards. As with a lot of these types of things the real detail only starts to trickle out slowly. For example, compare this page and this page. Notice the difference? Well it’s subtle but in the UK, the iBooks feature of the iPad is not being mentioned.

I’m guessing this is due to much the same reason that the Kindle is crippled over here, the lawyers and copyright deals.

What with that and the micro SIM card which means you won’t just be able to swap out the card from your 3G USB dongle and use it in your iPad. Maybe you need to think twice about buying one straight away.

Shiny as the new Steve Jobs goodness may be, look before you leap and definitely read the fine print.

Lotusphere 2010 Day Three

Wednesday was, for me at least, the busiest work day of the conference. I managed to get into see Philippe Riand and Eamonn Muldoon’s XPages futures session. Peter Presnell has a good wrap up of the details announced in the session. Suffice it to say that the future looks bright, the future is XPages. Very very cool things are coming down the road.

Down in the Product Showcase it was the last day and it seemed everyone suddenly realised it as we had by far our busiest day with lots of people coming by to chat about IdeaJam, IQJam and to the rest of the LDC guys.

We shut down the stand and then headed upstairs to see the Oral history of Notes session given by Ed for the 20th anniversary of the release of Notes. It was a fun trip down memory lane with a couple of the R5 adverts that they played (Dennis Leary and “I am” of course) getting huge rounds of applause.

Warren Elsmore and Mike Smith hosted a Lotus User Groups BOF for the last session of the day. Huge turnout and a great chat. I’m not sure how much was learned, but I suppose the fact that people now know of a few more LUGs around the world may well help us all out.

The Wednesday night party was at Hollywood Studios, the one park that I hadn’t yet done, so I’ve finally completed the set. It was actually pretty fun with the Toy Story ride providing particular amusement (we were all in particularly juvenile mood so no more shall be said).

I made the silly mistake of heading up to my room to drop off the badge at around midnight, checked email etc and just crashed. As always happens at Lotusphere, the days (and nights) catch up with you and the first time you stop during the day you really need to force yourself to get going again. On the up side I did get a full six hours sleep for the first time in days so I may make it through to Vegas tonight at 3am without keeling over.

Lotusphere 2010 Day Two

Tuesday, for me at least, was a combination of sessions and show floor. Tim and I repeated our SHOW112 session (you can get the downloads here) and then I headed back down to the showcase.

As we’re working down here, we have to negotiate as to which of the other sessions we get to go to. I ended up getting along to see Declan Lynch and David Leedy‘s XPages CSS and Themes session. It was a really great explanation of the power of themes, I think you can expect to see a lot more of that subject in the future, the look and feel of Web 2.0 apps is all important, so the tools to implement good design really need to be understood.

Of course, Tuesday night is party night. There are all sorts of vendor, business partner, developer and other parties going on all over the campus. The Penumbra group and then GSX were kind enough to invite me along to their gatherings so by the end of the night in Kimonos I was full of very nice ice cream and steak. 

Lotusphere is definitely a little more low key this year, it was just a 1am finish for me. But that’s no bad thing, we had to get downstairs to set up the stand for the last day of the product showcase.

SHOW112 Building an XPages App from Start to Finish Session Downloads

Well now that we’ve finished the last repeat of our session at Lotusphere 2010, I thought I’d post the details of the downloads.

You can get the zip here.

It includes:

  • The presentation slides
  • The start and final session databases
  • Script snippets file

It should all be pretty self explanatory, but if you have issues then please drop me a line.

Lotusphere 2010 Day One

I have no idea what’s going on this year but I’m already worn out. The last few days have been great fun catching up with old friends, meeting new faces and generally doing all of the things which have become traditional in the days before Lotusphere proper begins.

Sunday saw Tim and I present the first repeat of our XPages Show ‘n’ Tell session. Apparently we overflowed the room and although we ran out of time (trying to squeeze four hours of content into two really is a challenge) the people that we talked to seemed happy. We’re repeating this morning at 10:30 in the Swan again and then I am done for the week on the presenting front (yay).

The OGS was great fun for us bloggers, we got really comfortable sofas up front, power and ethernet which allowed several of us to live blog the session. I think there were around 600 people involved in the live blog from all around the world, it makes the event even more fun from my point of view. 

Before the OGS started, Alistair Rennie came over to say Hi to us all. He had asked if we needed anything and I jokingly said a coffee would be nice, so (and this is ten minutes before his first OGS as General Manager of Lotus) he took Mitch Cohen and I behind the scenes at the main stage, gave us a tour of the (very cool) tech and finally sorted out some drinks for us. A very cool guy and a great replacement for Bob Picciano. 

On the stand front things have been going well, we’re not doing a “hard sell” demo approach this year, but instead just chatting with customers, friends and anyone who wants to come along. During the week Mark is writing a Flex app which talks to our IQJam product, so you can come and chat to him about Flex if you like. Ben and Julian are also around for general geeky chats. 

Last night was the UKLUG drinks reception at Shula’s. The things we learned from the evening are that apparently there are no fire regulations for room occupancy in Florida as the room was very very busy. It was a great evening all round, so thanks for coming along. Also thanks to Alistair and Bob for both showing up for a drink, they had a huge day and it’s these little things which really make the difference compared to previous GMs.

So onwards to today, more sessions, more Showcase and Bruce is presenting in the App Dev Keynote which is a huge thing. 

So Lotusphere has really kicked off with a bang. My plan on the tech side of things is to write later on in the week, there is simply too much going on, and still too much to find out, for me to reliably give an opinion on what has been announced so far. Except to say that it’s all very interesting of course.

On the road

After weeks and weeks of preparation and build up I’m finally heading off to Lotusphere for the eleventh time. We’ve been busy getting sessions ready, making sure we’re all set up for the stand and generally faffingaround.

In the end I decided to head to Gatwick last night even though it’s only thirty miles from home, thanks to the snow the trains were totally screwed up and it took me just under three hours to make the journey so I’m happy I got that over with and then got a decent night’s sleep at the airport hotel.

I am so looking forward to ten hours on the plane resting and getting ready for the insanity that lies in the week ahead. Tomorrow, I have bits and pieces of shopping to get done for the stand, but I suspect the early arrivals will meet up for a few beers and dinner tomorrow evening. No venue as of yet, but the Dolphin bar is always a good starting point.

Then on Saturday we have the BALD gathering. Joe Litton has all of the details on that, but if it’s your first time to Lotusphere then it’s a great way of meeting new people, just come along and say Hi.

Sunday is the first day of the conference and also Tim and I are speaking, hopefully a few of you will come to see our Show ‘n’ Tell session – SHOW112 Building an XPages App from Start to Finish. We have a huge amount of content to get through in two hours so buckle up before we start!

Other than that I’ll be on Stand 622 in the Showcase and trying to get to a few sessions this year, if you see me around say Hi, it’s always good to meet new people.

See you in Florida!

UK Night at Lotusphere – VENUE CHANGE

UK Night has proved such a hit with the sponsors that we’ve had to move the venue.

So the new details are: 8pm on Monday night at Shula’s Lounge.

The rest of the set up is the same as before. Come and join us for a few drinks, chats about the UK market and the chance to match up with old friends. Warren describes it best…

How to get in: 
Here’s the fun part! You’ll need to find someone from one of the above companies. Find one of their employees, let them hear your great British accent*, and get a special sticker for your Lotusphere badge. Make sure to wear your badge and sticker to get in! 

So, if you’re at Lotusphere in January, then we’d love to see you at UK Night. We’re attracting more freebies as time goes on, so you will even stand a change of winning a superb prize. Our thanks again to the sponsors above who are making this possible. 

*BTW, If you’re not British, but can do a good british accent – we might let you in too. Just don’t start learning from Mary Poppins…

You can find me, Ben, Mark or Julian (collectively representing the LDC) down on stand 622, the Elguji stand.