Lotusphere 2011 wrap-up

Well that’s it, another Lotusphere is over. I’m sat here in the Dolphin rotunda waiting for my LDC compatriots to check out, just watching the occasional yellow back pack head towards the checkout line, it’s always a sad sight. But on the other hand I am absolutely exhausted after the most hectic ‘sphere ever.

Every year i think that I can’t possibly do any more, but every year i prove myself wrong. This year for the first time in a while I actually got to attend sessions which were (with one unfortunate exception) superb, the track managers really do a great job.

With my three different work hats of Elguji, LDC and XPages101 there are many different tasks to get through, and from the point of view it was an incredibly successful week, if this week is anything to go by then 2011 is going to be a good year, budgets seem to be freeing up after a tough couple of years.

Tim Clark and I had our two sessions on Tuesday and barring some minor errors they have been well received. If you’re looking for the slide deck, then click presentations link at the top of this page. Presenting with Tim really is great fun, we seem to have a good rapport on stage so it reduces the (still almost overpowering) nerves I get before speaking to such large and well informed audiences.

<I stopped typing at the Dolphin here and flew home>

I should mention Mark Myers who not only put in a huge amount of work on preparing the LDC t-shirts which so many people seemed to like (well they were all gone by Tuesday evening anyway!). The fact that he also won the Lotus Idol competition was great news for him, I’d never been to that before and it was great fun and good to see such talented speakers coming through. The competition to speak next year has become even harder I would say.

Of course the social side of things was as manic as ever, i managed to escape with just a couple of really late nights, there’s too much to do during the day to go for a full “wild Bill” week, I simply have no idea how those guys manage it.

On the wider view of things I still need to let things mull in my head for a while. I have a feeling that we have seen a very significant shift this week. The focus of the OGS on business rather than technology was the most obvious manifestation of this change i think. I’m not entirely convinced that ignoring the really impressive tools IBM have to show is the right way to go in the long run, however if the plan is to move away from the Lotus branding and even drop the Notes / Domino name to draw a line in the sand for what is currently Notes Next then you won’t hear any complaints from me.

In terms of the technical content (from which we were untroubled in the OGS) this really was the year that XPages came to the fore. The number of people who attended my sessions and every other XPages session I went to, plus the sales of the book really show that there is genuine interest in this technology. This is “A Good Thing”™ not just from a personal point of view with the last two years of my life beginning to pay off, but also from a Notes Domino view bringing app dev up to a level that it can reasonably compete with the other platforms out there.

And now to take some advice from the best t-shirt of the week…