Tuesday, February 23, 2016

My Second Day at IBM InterConnect

Somehow this post was lost, so I am reposting it. I added a few links. This was about Day 2 at IBM InterConnect (Monday February 22, 2016)

My day was a busy one.  It started with a wonderful set of calls with my wife and then my daughter and grandson.

If you want to read about how my presentation went, scroll down

Interesting Kickoff to the day - My colleague misplaced his phone
My day had started with a Skype with grandson and my daughter and talking to wife.
I met my IBM colleague (Markus Van Kempen) at the lobby. We took a taxi to the convention center. When we got out were were walking to the curb and he realized he left his phone in the taxi. I immediately called it, but no answer. Fortunately I had taken a receipt from the cab and called the company and left a message. (We Could have used a new idea that I came up with when I lost my phone last year. It's filled as an IBM patent. Watch my blog for updates when I can talk about that idea when it's public.)
He tracked the taxi with his tablet and eventually the driver called and brought it back.

Opening Session
The opening session was amazing! (you can watch it here). There was breakfast to bring to our seats in an enourmous stadium. There was a live band and so many people! There was a section in the stand for media (I suppose mostly press and bloggers). It started with 3 clients talking. We were able to hear some new announcements from IBM!  Key points:
  • Disrupt of be disrupted
  • VMware partnership announced
  • New bluemix apps announced
  • Open wisk available in partnership with Apple
  • Apple has 1.5 million apps, 100 billion downloads,11m devs, 1 billion devices connected
  • Xcode is Apple's Dev environment
  • A humorous statement "C and c++ is a bummer."Apple created Swift to make it easier
  • Fastest programming language adoption than they've ever seen
  • Used with LinkedIn, Disney app, 
  • IBM is largest developer (over 100 mobile first apps)
  • Third parties have shown that Swift is as fast as c++
  • it's Safe: it designs out common programming errors
  • Apple wanted it to be fun too! Swift playground shows live simulation results live on screen.
  • Robert LeBlanc from IBM says "let the cloud work for you!" That sounds good to me!
It took 35 minutes to go between the MGM and Mandalay Bay convention centers! Here's a photo of the crowd lined up for shuttle busses:

Learning from other presenters:
I attended a session were it was so difficult to see slides due to the colors used
Amazing Lunch
I hurried through lunch. The place was amazing in size with so many tables for lunch. There were waiters all lined up, dozens of them, directing us to dozens of buffet tables set up with surrounding tables. It was like parking lot attendees at a big concert. I didn't get a photo, but it if happens again,  you have to see this.
Here's a photo of the room with all the tables. The food was very good.

Sessions Full 
I hurried through lunch to get to a noon bluemix session given by an IBM executive 3 levels above me. The session was full. I tried another one on blockchain next door that I wanted to go to as a second pick and it too was full. Here's a photo with the signs saying we couldn't get it.  boo

Changing my badge to see Elton John
I went downstairs and found out that I could change my badge to have my "icon" changed to a piano to see Elton John on Wednesday night. I ended up being about the 20th person on line. They were going to start the changes at 1pm and it wasn't clear how many seats were available. In minutes, the line had more than 100 people. I was talking to folks around me and asking people working at the desk if I might be able to get my ticket changed and get upstairs to speak by 1:15pm (I was supposed to arrive 15 minutes early to get microphone and computer connected). They started right at 1pm. There were people in line that graciously invited me to go ahead of them because I needed to speak. I gave them my business card and asked them to email me to let me know for sure that they got their tickets switched over too. I wanted to know that all of those who let me go ahead got in too!  They said, "don't worry, if we don't get in we'll all show up at your session and let you know!"  LOL
Here's a picture of the my badge with the treasured piano on it and a poster I saw!

My Presentation
I spoke at a breakout session on the topic of connecting a Internet of Things device to IBM Bluemix. My Slides are here.
My presentation went really well! I'm estimating maybe a few hundred people, but I have to get a count later. There were very few seats open and a bunch of people standing. They laughed at my humor and especially my repeated phrase "It's so easy that even a Project Manager (like me) can do it!"
The audio stopped working during the presentation but I asked if I spoke louder if the people in the back could hear and they did, so I continued on (they fixed the audio later).
I had several questions and people came up afterwards and talked for a while.  
I had several people coming up to me during the day and thanking me. Two people actually saw me at other areas of the show and called out my name and came up to me and thanked me. One IBMer told me that it was not only informative, but also entertaining. He said it was the best presentation he had heard at InterConnect!
Here's a link to a picture tweeted by one of my fellow IBMers (who helped answer questions when I was working on the IoT Sensor I presented about). 

 Later Session
At 3pm, I went to a big Cognitive IoT session. Harriett Green (IBM ) had a race car driver come up and talk about Honda and Montecarlo racing. They spoke about using Watson to analyze data from race cars. They also had the coach of the USA Olympic cycling team which will be using Watson this summer.
Vernon Taylor IBM told us that there were 9 billion devices connected to iot last year, in 2020 there are 30 billion connected devices are expected. He talked about Zetabytes of data ( 10 to 21st power)!
Then, John Cohn got up to speak!  Wow!  He had a great explanation of Cognitive IoT and showed several examples, including his VanDeGraff generator that he connected to Watson to generate music based on Watson's social sentiment analysis for a few US Presidential candidates!
Here are some photos:
John Cohn, IBM Fellow

His Generator
The Expo
I went to the expo center to hear my IBM friend Markus Van Kempen speak about IoT
he had a good size crowd

I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening talking to folks I met and people coming up to me about my presentation. 
Then, I took a shuttle to the Mirage and walked the Vegas Strip back to the hotel
The fountains at Bellagio

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