As one door closes, another one opens

As one door closes…

I have had the pleasure of speaking with Matt White since the birth of IBM XPages in 2009. I have made a friend for life in Matt and also learnt lots about creating workshops, materials, presenting, teaching, travel and podcasting along the way.

Stephan Wissel and I took a text file from the very first XPages workshop held in Dublin and turned it to 26 exercises that we delivered in our own regions. Stephan in Asia Pacific and me in Europe. I never did get as far as the Middle East or Africa with it, but I’m sure there are people from those regions that have seen the material.

In January 2010 Matt and I presented at Lotusphere with a Show and Tell session where we created the now infamous ‘LOANr’ application live on stage in 1hour and 45 minutes. We managed to get through 260 (ish) slides, which I know breaks all the rules about presenting. This presentation was picked up by several people after that and even presented by people inside IBM as their own work. Shame on them. The funniest bit of that little story is a friend of Matt and me asked them 1/4 way through if this was Matt and Tim’s presentation from Lotusphere. I wish I’d been there to see that. The LOANr application also turned up on YouTube as part of a competition to build an XPages application that was set for students. This has now been accredited to Matt and I, so that’s all good.

For the next Lotusphere we decided to try borrowing an idea from Paul Mooney and created the XPages Blast, as well as another show and tell. We trialled it at ILUG in 2010 and submitted the abstract for Lotusphere 2011 where it got accepted and was an instant hit. 30 top tips on developing XPages applications delivered in 45-60 minutes, seemed to be the way to go. It took us 2-3 days to create the presentation ideas, slides and practise runs. The Show and Tell on the other hand took about 20 man days to come up with the ideas. create the application, tear it down into manageable chunks, rebuild it taking screen shots of everything, creating the slide deck from the hundreds of screen shots and then practising it at the wall 3 or 4 times until we knew it inside-out.

We ran XPages blast at LUGs and again at Lotusphere 2012 and Connect 2013 and each season had a new set of tips and we always got positive comments on the content and presentation style.

Our last presentation together (as far as we know) was last week and it was a webcast for TLCC and Teamstudio of the XPages Blast. It was our first webcast of the XPages Blast and I’m glad it will be our last. Every time that Matt had a slide to present the webcast software would die on his machine and I had to finish the slide and in most cases his sentence. That is an experience I don’t want a repeat of as it’s way to stressful. But technology has a way of making me think on my feet like nothing else, and that’s probably why I’m such a geek/nerd.

So as this door closes on my involvement with XPages I’d like to thank a few people;

Matt White, for all the help, support and good times.
The Dublin Development team (Philippe, Eamon, Tony, Martin, Maureen and others), for the countless questions they have answered from me and the rest of the XPages developers.
Stephan Wissel, for allowing me to tag along and create something useful in the X-Cast.
Paul Withers & David Leedy, for joining me on the X-Cast as co-presenters.
Everyone else that has watched a presentation or workshop I gave about XPages, your comments good and bad have made me smile and get better along the way.

Thanks for watching. It’s been a great ride on the XPages Express!

…One door opens.

I’m now a full time project manager and working still around the yellow bubble. I’ve been asked to present on PM best practises and experiences for an event in June (more on that next week).

So I’m not done with this presenting stuff yet and I’m sure I’ll be at many a LUG and/or Connect in the years to come.

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