London SWUG: The Hangover Edition

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With over 1,000 days between the previous SolarWinds User Group and the London SWUG, many of us were equal parts excited and petrified. Yes, we were scared (myself included), not for any reason other than our social-interaction firmware hadn't been patched in over two years. However, once we were in the rooms, interacting with the attendees, and on the stages, all the thrill and jubilation came right back.

It was amazing to have SolarWinds CEO  and Chief Product Officer  kick us off by speaking to the continuing evolution of SolarWinds solutions in lockstep with our customers, who need increased visibility into all levels of their organizational IT spaces.

Throughout the two days, we had SolarWinds staff and THWACK® MVPs presenting sessions and interacting with attendees and for me, I hadn't realized I truly missed this during the large gap in time. Although it's true I spend most of my days here on THWACK interacting with people from all over the globe, there's no interaction like speaking directly with our customers and community members.

The Attendees

The attendees were from all around western Europe, but there was a special place in my heart for seeing so many of the THWACK MVPs again. This was my first chance to see, in person, some whom I hadn't seen outside the bounds of a computer monitor for over two years. Additionally, it was an opportunity to meet up with a new European MVP (hello ) for the first time.

SolarWinds THWACK MVPs

I'd say that these people have become extended members of the SolarWinds community team, but it's somewhat more than that. We (and all other community members) are brethren in helping IT professionals do the best with the tools they have at their disposal. To me, the MVPs are those knowledgeable older cousins who impart their knowledge freely and with grace to those newer to the monitoring space. I'll be eternally grateful to them.

The Sessions

Two days, three tracks, hours and hours of sessions, and my far and away favorite was from new MVP for 2022, . Her session on building your alerts like you work for NASA was just amazing. I learned aviation alerts are analogous to those valuable in monitoring your technology stack. I also learned one of the sounds you never want to hear.

I'd like to say that the keynotes on both days are my second and third favorite, but since the former was from the CEO and CPO of SolarWinds and the latter was from myself, I know it'll sound like corporate narcissism, but I'm being 100% honest here. I'm so very excited about how the new platform-based solutions will enable our customers to gain understanding throughout their entire IT structure.

As alluded to above, I also presented a scant few sessions myself and because of that, I wasn't able to be in the audience for every session. That being said, I was clued into the content (a benefit of being intimately involved with this program) and I know I missed some amazing shows from the presenters and engaging conversations from the attendees.

The Staff

I cannot express my gratitude to all the SolarWinds staff that helped make this event a success. Many of you were new faces (at least in 3D) for me and I can't thank you enough for all your help. Here is just a selection of the faces that made this the most fun I've had in 2022 – at least – thus far.

Some SolarWinds Staff

What Makes a SWUG so Unique

I guess you could say that the content shared at a SWUG could be presented in a webinar, and I agree, but there's something about the interaction between attendees, the energy in the room, and the chance for genuine two-way conversation that makes it so much more than something streamed to your screens.

In summary, what I'm saying here is that if we come to your area, you need to make it a priority to be in the room. There's something truly magical about being a part of an event like this, something that's so intangible, it's hard to put down into words.

The Next Phase

Now that the first SWUG in over two years is under our belts, it's time to get planning for the next one. Keep your eyes affixed on THWACK where we'll share more details about all future SWUG events. Mark your calendars NOW for September 2022 in Austin, TX, and November 2022 in Phoenix, AZ. You can pre-register for our Austin event here, and our Phoenix event here.

Until such time that SWUG lands in your area, take heart knowing that you can see us at various industry events, including Cisco Live! US on June 12-16 where you can find me and others at the SolarWinds booth. If you're there, find me and say hello. It'll make my day.

To everyone who attended the London SWUG, please consider this my personal "thank you." You welcomed us back and we were glad to be there. We genuinely felt embraced by you and you made the re-introduction of this program a memorable trip.

Until next time THWACKsters, this is  signing off from London. Cheers.

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