Posts Tagged With: Howard Greenberg

Proud to be an #IBMChampion

In one of the many jobs that I held, I remember someone telling me that they weren’t sharing knowledge of something because being the only person who knew that gave them job security. I’ve always felt that was foolish. If you’re the only person who knows something, you get stuck doing that same stupid, repetitive task whenever it needs doing. I can think of nothing more boring for a developer than hoarding knowledge. I don’t ever want to have to do the same thing twice – unless doing it the second time is showing someone else how to do it or demonstrating the way things “used to get done” before I automated the task.

So, it’s no surprise that I’ve always wanted to share whatever knowledge I’ve acquired. Sometimes, the knowledge I’ve got to share is so esoteric that people’s eyes glaze over and they ask me to stop talking. (Like the time I was about to talk for 30 minutes about Miljenko Grgich’s life story and how that related to the wine I’d poured, when my best man, Stu Shelton intervened…) Fortunately, in the IBM ICS community, among committed “Lotus” Notes professionals, any short or long blog post, knowledge sharing session or roundtables veritably demands the sharing of esoterica.

Now, here’s the thing. It’s not only encouraged – it is REWARDED.

I really wasn’t good at sharing outside my own work groups until about 2013. I was at Lotusphere (whatever it was called that year) and Marky Roden saw me singing karaoke. As horrid a singer as I am, I believe his thinking had to be ‘anyone who can risk that kind of humiliation can be a conference speaker’. He’d seen me answering questions on Stack Overflow (I’d gotten over a few hundred reputation points and he was shocked that he didn’t know who I was – no one did!) So, he told me I needed to become a speaker.

I’ve worked on that, but not made the breakthrough to the big time. I’ve blogged over the years, helped out with the DC Lotus Users Group (presented once!), participated in more IBM calls/sessions and gotten very involved in MWLUG. I even was on a panel at Connect 2017, talking to executives about technology trends. Then, when Richard Moy asked, I jumped at the chance to be the local host for MWLUG 2017, here in Alexandria, VA.

Nonetheless, I still have felt like I wasn’t doing all that much. I was living with The Imposter Syndrome. So, when time for IBM Champion nominations came round, I would nominate a few people and then cringe at the idea of nominating myself. I’d been nominated by others, but couldn’t get myself to fill out the paperwork. Howard Greenberg was the first to push me toward this. In 2016, Kathy Brown nominated me and pushed me to nominate myself. I wilted when looking at the paperwork, even though it was something I really wanted.

This year, I finally filled out the paperwork, to go with nominations from a few community members and, to my shock, I didn’t need to write a “it was an honor to be nominated” speech while talking about the great stable of Champions out there. I’m swollen with pride. I was named an IBM Champion.

I’ll get some swag. I’ll get a chance to participate more fully in our community. I’ll have a chance for some recognition at the various conferences. I’m excited about it and vowing to put even more effort into our community.

I want to thank everyone who has encouraged me along the way and those who played a particular role in this process. I hope that I can be your humble and obedient servant, sharing knowledge and helping build our community.

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Categories: Conferences, IBM Champion | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Videotapes of #MWLUG2015

The whirlwind of MWLUG has passed for 2015. It was an outstanding conference, giving me an opportunity to explore a lot of new technologies, to learn some new techniques and to spend time with the peers that I usually only encounter online. I’ve said before, and I’ll say again, the greatest benefit of these conferences is sharing ideas and discussing issues outside the sessions. While you can get a good exposure to the information watching the videos, it’s never as much as you get from everyone being there. Additionally, my video list is subject to my own tastes. As such, it leans heavily toward development. I won’t apologize for that, but encourage anyone else who wants to start videotaping the administration sessions to do so.

I took my trusty video camera along, remembering to pack my best tripod this time. I’m not sure it’s so evident with the 2014 videos, but I’m not a good self-leveling cameraman. My Sunpak 70″ Ultra 7000TM Tripod has two bubble-levels and rises above the crowd, even when they’re standing. This is most helpful when I’m at the back of a big room and people need to walk in front of the camera. It probably also helps a little in assuring a better angle for the footage – nothing worse than staring up at the speaker. My Canon DM-50 Directional Stereo Microphone might actually be the coolest piece of equipment in the bundle (the Canon HG10 AVCHD video camera is old, but not cheap) and having found the back cover, it worked like a champ in Atlanta. The vaulted ceilings in Grand Rapids last year may have hindered the quality of the sound, but missing the cover couldn’t have helped. I might look at adding wireless microphones or getting some lights, since I know I can improve the image and sound quality further, though I be better served by buying some books and getting a steadier hand! Checking a few videos, I know I need more attention to lighting for certain, if not actual lights of my own.

The important thing today is to share our whole suite of videos from the conference. You could jump right to the entire MWLUG playlist, which includes some sessions from 2014, or use the chronological list here:

Wednesday sessions

CS101: Entrepreneurs Roundtable – What “They” Never Tell You About Owning a Business panel moderated by Lisa Duke
BP103: Let the Phoenix Rise: Rationalise your IBM Domino environment by Arshad Khalid and Stephanie Heit
AD108: Move Your XPages to the Fast Lane by Howard Greenberg

Opening General Session
“Everything Starts From A Dot”: The Elements and Principles of Design as the Visual Link to Innovation by Katherine Rhodes Fields
Establishing a New Culture of Design by Adam Cutler
IBM ESS Strategy Roadmap and Radar: A New Way to Work by Kramer Reeves and Peter Janzen

Thursday sessions

AD109: Navigating the Jungle of Modern Web Development by Shean McManus
The Greater Good of Social Collaboration by Louis Richardson
AD101: App.Next: The Future of Domino Application Development by Pete Janzen
AD107: Maven: An Exhortation and Apology by Jesse Gallagher
IV102: Graphs in Action by Nathan T Freeman

Friday sessions

AD117: Web Sockets – “Pushing” the web forward by Mark Roden
AD106: Just a View: An Introduction To Model-View-Controller Pattern by Ulrich Krause
AD114:Take Your XPages Development to the Next Level by Brad Balassaitis and Paul Calhoun
AD112: Real World Experience: Integrating DB2 with XPages by Steve Zavocki and Dwain Wuerfel
AD101: Design Matters by Keith Strickland and Bob Kadrie

All 16 videos published within a week. Last Wednesday at this time, Howard was wrapping up his session so that we could head down to the Exhibitors’ Showcase Reception. While all of these have gone out on twitter, there will be more postings and linkings to come. I think most of the slide decks are on people’s sites and some them have linked directly to the videos already. So, almost all of the 2015 work is done.

Spoke to my boss about MWLUG 2016 in Austin and she’s all in favor of it. Looking forward to seeing 250 of you there and many more of you in Orlando at the end of January. Now, if I can just get some work done on a session for Connect by the end of next week, I’ll be golden!

Categories: Conferences, Videos | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

WWII Veteran to speak at MWLUG

Virgil Westdale, who served in the all Japanese-American 442nd Regimental Combat Team during World War II, will be the featured speaker at MWLUG at the end of August. I’m incredibly excited because I’m not just a XPages developer, but I’m also a historian. This week, I’m actually at a conference on the invasion of southern France in WWII, and expect to hear a talk on the 442nd this afternoon.

Among the many difficult tasks that Westdale and the rest of the 442nd had in late 1944 was the rescue of the 1st Battalion of the 141st Infantry Regiment of the 36th Infantry Division. They were fighting through the Vosges Mountains in eastern France and the 442nd had been attached to the 36th. Some in the higher reaches of Allied command thought the German Army was done fighting. The Germans felt rather differently. The fighting was incredibly difficult because the Germans were experts, especially on the defensive. Those talents were compounded by the fact that they were fighting in the mountains. That battalion had advanced down a ridge line in the Vosges Mountains, but went too far. The Germans were able to slip in behind them from adjacent ridges and surround the battalion. So, the 442nd had to fight through the Germans to rescue the “Lost Battalion”.

I’ve spoken at historical conferences about the 36th Infantry Division and this fight in particular, so I expect to have a lot of questions for him. It should be outstanding!

Hat tip to Howard Greenberg of TLCC for pointing this out to me.

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