Monday, November 1, 2004

Mick’s Lotusphere 2005 preview

PREPARING FOR LOTUSPHERE

By Mick Moignard

It's October, or at least it was when I started writing this piece, and that means it's time to start thinking about Lotusphere again. Indeed, registration for Lotusphere 2005 opened early this time, quietly slipping onto the scene in early September.

That's quite a feat when you think about it; to announce registration is open for an event, and expect people to start signing up without having publicized anything else about it. That shows the reputation that Lotusphere has developed over the years, but, mind you, nothing like 1998 when it sold out in three hours.

Lotusphere 2005 will however be a little different than previous years, not much, but welcome changes nonetheless. They're playing with both the schedule and the content this year. Most noticeable will be the change -- at last -- to 60-minute sessions instead of 75 minutes.

Nearly all the sessions of the past ten Lotuspheres I've been to finish in 45 to 60 minutes, so I think the recognition that 75 minutes is too much is long overdue. Often there was nearly an hour between sessions, which is too little to enable you to do anything else, but more than needed to get to the next session.

It means they can get even more content into the schedule, and I for one am up for that. I have yet to come away from Lotusphere having been to all the sessions I wanted to hear, and while I suspect that 2005 will be no different, I'll have had the chance to go to even more sessions.

They're also changing the thrust of the session content. This Lotusphere will be more about current technologies than in the past. Ed Brill told me in early October that Lotusphere is more and more about training these days. Current technology and how to get the most from it is more important to the bulk of attendees than the marketing-led content and what's coming next presentations of previous years.

That sounds good to me too, especially if it means the sessions will have more detailed technical content. I still want to hear about what's coming over the next year or two though, because in my day job as a consultant I need to be able to advise my customers on the future and how to get the best from it.

It also gives us the opportunity to learn a little about the things we don't spend every day working with. For me that's going to mean a little brushing up on some of the Domino 6 Administration and Infrastructure areas, because I've spent most of the last year on a heavy-duty LotusScript LEI and Oracle project, rather than the Infrastructure consulting I normally spend much of my time on.