When the IT Roadshow Comes to Town

 

In the past I’ve compared the logistics of tech conferences, tradeshows, and user groups to moon landings, touring companies, and polar expedition planning. Common to all of these is the anticipation of the journey, of meeting new people, and seeing the world in the service of sharing something really exciting. If you’re a technology geek, and measure the world in units of helpfulness, conferences – especially large events where thousands of like-minded attendees meet in the spirit of learning – can be amazing experiences.

 

Over the years I’ve had moments sitting in a session room in Las Vegas, A/C blasting, lights dimmed, watching a knockout presenter drop how-to tech awesomeness on the crowd. And when that happens, I’m certain there’s nowhere else I’d rather be. It’s valuable.

 

I’m also grateful in those moments because I know I’m very fortunate. Most working admins don’t get to travel. They miss the benefits of educational respites that move their careers ahead, and they miss picking up the skills needed to finally solve a bedeviling issue. And it’s the greater IT community’s responsibility to make sure we share with each other, especially as the rate of change accelerates and complexity increases. Because it’s not just technology like containers, distributed applications, or cloud that’s changing, but hard stuff, like business expectations, and IT culture.

 

THWACKcamp is the annual SolarWinds online learning event, now in its 7th year. Attended live, online, it’s two days of sessions covering everything from how to get the most out of the network monitoring tools you rely on, to industry experts’ recommendations for adapting to new technologies like containers, to optimizing virtualization, automation guides, and thought leadership admins care about, not vendor hype.

 

Registration opens today, with the live event beginning Wednesday, October 17 at 9 a.m. CT. As always, it’s free and delivered right to your desk. I think one of the best takeaways from last year’s live chat was from an admin who had a chance to go to another tech conference a few weeks prior and chatted with an MVP after a virtual session.

 

“This was like going to a conference and talking to the speaker after her presentation,” he said. “Only with THWACKcamp, they don’t have to shoo the speakers out of the way to make room for the next session.”

 

As professionals, we must all continue to find new ways to include all of IT. To share more, to listen more, and to encourage both new and legendary administrators to never stop learning. IT, and technology in general, remain an amazing intersection between cool and challenging, fun and rewarding. Because more than ever, success in IT is more about what you’ve learned and the community you’re a part of, than even the most magical or beloved tools.

 

I’ll be online at THWACKcamp in October, be sure to say HI when you’re there. Register now >>