2015 is the year of the road trip for me. On the downside I know the insides of DFW, ORD, SFO, LHR, LGA and PHX airports way more than I’d like to. But on the plus side is the reason I still like getting out on the road after many years in technology: getting to speak with other die-hard IT professionals.


I’m headed to Microsoft Convergence in a few weeks and if you’re attending come by and say hello. This show is a little different than other shows we typically attend. Usually, I’m talking about implementation and strategy at the level where we geeks apply technology- in the datacenter.  We talk about the deep details of protocols, compatibility and applied security. We even get to talk about disaster recovery, availability, governance and budget on occasion, but for the most part we’re actually planning how to make IT happen for real.


But Convergence is focused on Microsoft Solutions, the full-stack, highly customizable and heavily integrated big-ironware welded by some of the largest IT departments on earth.  It’s not just setting up SolarWinds AppStack monitoring with SAM, VMan and SRM.  This is all that, plus Dynamics CRM, plus Azure plus IBM Watson and more.


Attendees for Convergence are more likely to be technology owners than administrators, and it’s always a pleasure to have conversations with them. As admins, we know the increasing rate of technology change and complexity is a serious problem because we’re the ones who actually have to wire it together. But, we are “allowed” to develop new skills because it’s necessary to manage new gear on the loading dock. Management on the other hand, is not always so fortunate.


Although many IT directors and VPs are sharp and a decent number once slogged it out on the helpdesk like us, today the rate of change is causing some real headaches when it comes to decision-making. They aren’t generally encouraged to block out regular time to develop new technology skills.  Instead, they’re working long hours running the business.


And it’s precisely their sleeping inner-geek, eager to have the occasional technical conversation that makes shows like Convergence so much fun. Most are happy in their roles, but if they could sneak away for a week in an SDN or OpenCompute lab, and dust-off their config and programming skills they would. It’s the reason being a part of SolarWinds is so easy. Vendor agnostic geeks, managing unruly piles of IT infrastructure for the quiet glory of doing the impossible.  Though sometimes, that window office looks pretty comfortable.


See you in November 30th in Barcelona!