After 20 years, THWACK is still one of my favorite places to spend time online. In celebration of THWACK's 20th birthday, I wanted to go back a bit and try to find a few of my earliest postings. This is easier said than done because a community like this is all about what's "current." Let's be completely frank here: if you are working with technology that's 20 years old, you are probably spending time working on classic cars more so than working with computers. That said, I went through the annals and found some information that gave me pause given my 2023 eyes.
Going back, my very first post of any kind was on February 3, 2009. (For those counting, that was 5,239 days ago and THWACK was already over 2,000 days old). It was about some basic scripting and how to change how the data was presented in Server & Application Monitor (SAM). Anyone who knows me realizes this was just the start of me annoying fellow THWACKsters with my requests about scripting into the SolarWinds solutions.
When THWACK was new, I was still trying to wrap my head around the best way to deal with angry users: either or a help desk or as a network engineer. I was *grumble* years old, didn't have a clue, didn't have a plan for my life, nor any idea about my career. So much of my adult life has been influenced by THWACK that I can't begin to imagine what this life would be like without it.
In those early years, I spent my time on the monthly missions, taking part in the annual bracket battles, hounding the Product Managers about feature requests, and trying to level-up other people while I was being levelled-up myself by others. I remember attending my first THWACKcamp and being in awe of what the plethora of products could do. I learned that there was more to THWACK and SolarWinds than I originally thought. I didn't make the same mistake the next year! I blocked my calendar for the day, invited my co-workers to a conference room, and we streamed the entire event via a projector so everyone could partake. Just another reason that THWACKcamp holds a special place in my heart.
One year, we even hosted a D&D game night before THWACKcamp. Such good memories.
These days I get to spend all day thinking about THWACK. It might be about the community platform itself, working with people to run the SolarWinds User Groups, helping plan things like THWACKcamp, and anything else I can think of to try and help our customers. To this day, I still carve out a a little time to try and answer questions on THWACK, but many times, other THWACKsters have already stepped in and lent a hand. That's true teamwork.
I always say that SolarWinds may pay the bill to keep THWACK online, but it's you all, the members, who make this a great place to spend a part of your day.
Hopefully you'll share some of your memories about THWACK and participate in the other things that are taking place this month in celebration of THWACK's 20th birthday. By all means, feel free to comment here or start a new discussion thread so we can keep the conversations going. Just do me a favor and add the
THWACK20 tag to your post, so I can find it when I want to learn about everyone else's experiences.
Raise a glass, eat some cake, and help blow out the candles. Here's to you THWACK and I hope you're here helping people in twenty more years!