Tech Field Day 7 - Keep Austin Weird!

Date July 26, 2011

A lot of people have asked me how I like unemployment. I'm apparently not a very good hobo, because after too short of a period off, I got another gig.

Now, I hope you're sitting down (and given that you're reading my blog, you probably are, though you shouldn't be), but I've got a job, and I'm not even employed as a system administrator! How bizarre is that?

So what is my full time gig? Well, I can't stay away from tech completely, of course, so I'm like an "event coordinator" working with Gestalt IT planning Tech Field Day events! Awesome, right??

I've done a Tech Field Day before, in 2010, on the Boston trip, aka Tech Field Day 2, and I asked to come to the current one, TFD7, mostly because Bob Plankers of Lone Sysadmin fame was going to be there, and I've wanted to meet Bob for a long time. Little did I know that I was going to be there helping to organize it!

For anyone who isn't aware, Tech Field Day is an event that brings together around 12 tech bloggers and "independent thought leaders" from around the world to one city. Once there, they're herded from one company to another where they hear and take part in presentations of enterprise IT solutions. The companies find it valuable to have people at the top of their game getting a very personal experience with their offerings, and it's great for the bloggers because in almost every case, we get to meet the engineers who actually created the products, so we get real answers.

Just because the vendors are paying to appear at TFD doesn't mean that it's a "love fest". Anything but, really; I've seen everything from adoration because a solution REALLY WAS amazing to near mutiny because of a combination of bad presenter plus bad slides.

Tech Field Day delegates don't get paid for taking part in the event. We sometimes get things given to us by the sponsors, and when that happens, we disclose it on our blogs. We don't sign NDAs, but we will respect embargo dates.

So who does Tech Field Day consist of? Bloggers, mostly, but they're pretty much all experts in their fields and at the top of their games. Here's the rundown:

Theron Conrey Conrey.org

VMunderground
@TheronConrey
Scott Lowe TechRepublic

VirtualizationAdmin
@OtherScottLowe
Roger Lund vRoger

vBrainstorm
@RogerLund
Frank Owen TechVirtuoso @fowen
Bob Plankers The Lone Sysadmin @Plankers
Fabio Rapposelli Juku

P2V It!
@FabioRapposelli
Brandon Riley virtual insanity @BrandonJRiley
Derek Schauland Technically Speaking @WebJunkie
Matt Vogt Virtualization, Storage, Community @MattVogt

And me, too.

There are some great companies presenting as well:

Thursday, August 11
08:00-10:00 SolarWinds @SolarWinds_Inc
10:30-12:30 Symantec @Symantec
13:30-18:00 Dell @Dell
Friday, August 12
08:00-12:00 Dell @Dell
13:30-15:30 Veeam @Veeam

Since we're in Austin, we're spending a decent amount of time with Dell, but we're going to be seeing a lot of different aspects of the business. They have a huge presence in Austin, where they employ over 17,000 people across three campuses and more than a dozen buildings. It should be really interesting!

So that's how I've been keeping myself busy - planning for the next Tech Field Day!

We delegates don't do it just for ourselves...sure, I mean, it's fun to go spend a few days in a new city meeting people we've only talked to over the internet, but we do it because it helps us share information with you, our readers. Stephen Foskett, the organizer of Tech Field Day, knows that, and he's worked hard to set up a system where anyone who wants to can take part.

During Tech Field Day (August 11-12), the home page will include embedded live video of what's currently happening, and twitter will be abuzz with discussion, too. Just use the #techfieldday hashtag to join the discussion. It's always fun watching it with Twitterfall.

Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions, because this is going to probably be my last Tech Field Day as a delegate, and I'm representing you, my readers. Let your voice be heard!

  • http://solarwinds.com Jodi

    We're looking forward to hosting, Matt!

  • http://lonesysadmin.net/ Bob Plankers

    Aww, thanks man. Likewise, I've wanted to meet you, too. Having a sysadmin mindset in the TFD planning & organization process will bring a little different spin to some of this, and I think it'll make TFD even better than it has been. I've enjoyed every TFD I've been to (even the one where it was me vs. 11 network engineers... actually, that might have been the most fun), and have been looking forward to August 10th for months.

  • http://weinshenker.net/blog Jay Weinshenker

    Hopefully will see you around town during the event - was great to share a meal with you and The King (the other less well known one next to Stephen Foskett)

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