Brainshare Salt Lake City 2010 – The Journey

Its great when you get upgraded when there’s a long flight ahead. Not that it was free, I used my miles to do it, but sitting in the calm of the Virgin Atlantic lounge at Heathrow is a lovely experience compared to the heaving crowd wandering around the rest of Terminal 3.

As a I relax with Earl Grey tea , it’s so far removed from the last few weeks where I’ve been working long days getting two sessions written, both of which have heavy technical content which needs to be communicated effectively in 75 minutes the audience. I’ve leaned heavily on the experience of my wife who educates teachers who in turn impart mathematically knowledge to children between the ages of 5 to 11.

With children of that age, you can’t use lots of powerpoint slides. It just isn’t effective and fundamentally have you ever tried getting a 5 year to concentrate for any length of time? As any parent knows, they have the attention span measured in milliseconds. Adults can concentrate a bit longer but even so, death by slides isn’t going to convey the information very well.

Bit of a puzzle. I need to get technical information to the audience but avoid a method which is higher in on the U.N banned list of interrogation techniques than water-boarding.

So after chatting with my wife about this, I came up with the approach of a short burst of tell ,  show the technical feature and relegated the really heavy technical slides to an appendix which can be referenced at a later time by delegates.

That’s the session flow sorted, and on to constructing the show pieces using our solutions. For this I’ll be using Novell ZENworks Configuration Management running in Amazon’s Cloud infrastructure. It saves trying to transport equipment over the Atlantic and avoids stressing my laptop as it now only has to run a single XP workstation and not the backend servers as well.

During the demo build, I learnt far more than I intended about how the various versions of Windows deal with power management, why running tasks at Windows logout isn’t quite as easy as it sounds and gained a reasonable knowledge of SNMP OIDs which I wish to forget as quickly as possible.

Thankfully the U.K weather improved enabling me to get away from the keyboard and clear my head with a few motorbike rides. I’d recommend motorbikes to anyone who wants to forget about everything else and just have one item to focus on. Doing so imbibes a great emotional and physical experience. The upside of a wandering mind whilst riding is that you’ll be helping others; the downside being that you’ll be minus several organs and dead.

Need more tea and then onto seat 14k on VS019.

See you in Salt Lake


About Jon Giffard

Husband, father, motorcyclist , amateur runner ( on hold due to knee injury ) - now trying not to drown whilst swimming. Product Manager at Webroot Not available for yodelling. Please do not ask.
This entry was posted in Brainshare 2010 - SLC, Novell ZENworks. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Brainshare Salt Lake City 2010 – The Journey

  1. Thomas says:

    remarkable, nice style
    thx Jon

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