ThatConference 2016 Wrap Up

It’s been a real fun experience so far at ThatConference. This is my first time and while I’m pretty excited by all the topics/presentations, I also did an Open Space session on Wednesday on Octopus Deploy & deployment automation. This is totally different from the notion of a presentation. An Open Space session seems more like an open forum for discussion on a particular topic and a much more organic conversation rather than a planned presentation. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but it was a lot of fun. I’ll be posting my thoughts on each session I’ve attended over the next few days. I should note that ThatConference is very kid friendly which is pretty cool – especially for parents and kids. The attendees of the conference are very interesting and interested in all things tech. ThatConference is truly a summer camp for geeks.

Day 1 Keynote I managed to make it through four sessions on Monday. On Tuesday, I managed to take a demo of Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Microsoft’s HoloLens. I’ve been very hesitant to jump into the 3D arena because everything is in it’s infancy and while it appears very coolit may not stand the test of time. I must that virtual reality (VR) has definitely taken several major steps forward since I was a kid. I remember the first VR I tried out was in the 1990s at the Museum of Science and Industry exhibit. At the time, the lack of detail and freedom to move within a space were severely hampering my experience, but today’s solutions are gorgeous, interactive and for brief moments nearly life like. VR will be an interesting industry to watch over time.

For Tuesday, I attended two sessions and the pig roast that evening with my wife and one year old son. It was a fun time to socialize for everyone (my son included). Wednesday, I could not attend any sessions as I have to drive back home but as I mentioned earlier, I hosted an Open Space session on Wednesday at 10:30am. I had a really great turn out for my session on Octopus Deploy as well. Some people were already using Octopus Deploy, some were not. I had a lot of good questions and discussions around Octopus Deploy. I hope that I was of some help for users who have or were looking at Octopus Deploy.

Open Spaces boardThere’s a wide variety of topics to attend and a number of areas where you can talk with sponsors or meet with other attendees and discuss whatever you’d like. The Open Spaces concept is really nice to see in practice. ThatConference doesn’t really force any particular practice or view at the conference itself. You can sit around and chat with other people – attend Open Spaces and never step foot in a presentation. It’s very open ended and very cool. Causal yet geek/nerd-centric.

Kids had their own 30 minute presentation blocks which is really nice to see. I wanted to attend one or two sessions but they were during presentations that I really wanted to go to so unfortunately I didn’t make it to see any sessions, but next year I will definitely do so. ThatConference is a really fun conference. There are lots of people to meet and socialize with and learn at the same time while having a lot of fun.

My sincerest thanks to all sponsors and everyone who attended! All the sponsors were really great and I enjoyed talking with them. I didn’t know a conference could be so much fun. ThatConference is scheduled already for next year and I’m definitely going again. I will submit several presentations for next year on Octopus Deploy and hopefully other topics aside from deployment automation.