Post SpiceWorld High
It’s been a couple of days since I’ve returned from SpiceWorld 2013 and I’m still trying to digest the experience. First off I must say I have never been to a tech conference where I’ve had quite as much fun as I had here. The Spiceworks community has always been something different–an amazing collection of people who just want to help each other out–and that community translates almost perfectly to the SpiceWorld experience. Read on, if you’d like!
Day 1 – Monday
Arrived in Austin from sub-forty degree weather into balmy 70 degree Austin would probably be the first culture shock. Then getting on the shuttle for the hotel and having that panic moment that this might not be the right shuttle. I’m not going to lie, some of the area we drove through was pretty sketchy and I really started wondering how all of this was going to go. Luckily I got to the right hotel and met up with ChristopherO, a good friend of mine I met a few years ago on Spiceworks and have never met in person! After dropping my stuff off in the hotel room (Chris and I were sharing a room to save money) we hopped on the shuttle provided by LastPass and headed over to the Austin Convention Center. Met up with my PowerShell cohort Rob Dunn, and we all registered so we wouldn’t have to on Tuesday. Met up with a couple of other SpiceHeads and checked out the venue, including the room where Rob and I were going to be putting on the PowerShell session, which is a big room but not overwhelming for the newb in the group (me).
After that we stopped off at Champions for a quick bite to eat then headed over to a Spiceworks event at the Rattle Inn, which is really an excuse for Spiceheads to let loose and enjoy themselves before the event starts. Had a good time meeting a lot of people, including a very animated discussion with the CFO of Spiceworks Jeff Dean. One of the really interesting things about Spiceworks is how accessible the “C” level/founders are to the community. Neither Chris or I drink though, and jet lag was beginning to catch up so we found Rob and caught a cab back to the hotel. But we weren’t done for the night! Rob and I practiced our PowerShell session on poor Chris, and another SpiceHead who was hanging out in the bar (sorry, I’ve forgotten your name!)
Day 2 – Tuesday
Got to the convention somewhat early and had breakfast. Sat with some Spiceworkers and Rob tried to extract some information about this big special announcement they were making but they kept tight-lipped. It was pretty funny. But off to the keynote!
The keynote was a really electric and the CEO Scott Abel really pulled the whole thing off with near Job’s like precision. Very well done. Next came the big announcement and the idea of Profiles. This is a place where IT people can put together a tech-centric profile much better suited to our field than anything LinkedIn can provide. Really cool stuff.
After that was a panel discussion with all of the founders and some really candid question and answers.
Then we headed out to start visiting the vendors and the mountains of swag that they were putting out. I had read that you should leave plenty of room in your luggage for this convention, but I didn’t leave nearly enough!
But 2:45 came around sooner than I expected and it was time for the PowerShell session with Rob. Have to say the hard work and practice we put in really paid off as the session went very smoothly and I think we were able to convey some pretty important techniques you can use with PowerShell–and we did it in 45 minutes! Well, we actually ended up running long, just about an hour but it was still really a great experience. Got some really positive feedback too. I think we’ll be able to tweak the last part a little bit and have a pretty solid presentation. We’ve considered doing some video presentations for Spiceworks and I’m hopeful they’ll invite us back for next year’s SpiceWorld.
After that sat through another session and collected more swag until they pushed us out of the door. Chris and I were pretty tired at that point and went back to the room where we laid out our impressive pile of things and tried to organize it a little bit! Also put on the Red Sox and watched them win the World Series, so all in all a pretty good day!
Day 3 – Wednesday
Day 3 was more like the afternoon of Day 2, sit in a few sessions including a usability study for Symantec new Backup Exec version. I can’t discuss it, unfortunately! Then came the Spicy Awards! This is where 3 awards are handed out to SpiceHeads for contributions to the community. Here’s a link to who one this year! It’s entirely possible that a certain PowerShell blogger we both know may have one a Spicy back in 2010 (The Innovator)!
From there we rolled into a very entertaining raffle where I won a Dr. Dre Beats Pill, bluetooth speaker! How cool is that?! While I didn’t win the Lego Death Star I desperately wanted, I was still pleasantly surprised! We also took a pause during the raffle (there were over 40 prizes to hand out!) to have a very amusing segment where the help desk at Spiceworks got to make fun of some of their own employees and some of the funny tickets they’ve entered in the past year. Everyone had a great laugh and the Spiceworkers were great sports. After that there was a send off speech and then a great hangout afterwards as a chance to talk one last time and say goodbye.
Had a great time hooking up with Chris, Rob and Brad for another dinner at Champions after that, then it was back to the hotel to figure out how the hell we were going to pack all this stuff into our luggage!
Overall it was a great time, and I really enjoyed doing the PowerShell breakout session and would like to do more! May be a Boston SpiceCorp meeting coming soon and maybe I can do something for that? Who knows!
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