I am just back from an 8 day trip to Amsterdam where I gave 6 sessions (and helped with one more). It was an exhausting trip with little sleep and I am happy to say I actually saw a bit of the beautiful city of Amsterdam on Saturday before coming home Sunday morning. More on this in a minute!
First, I want to annouce the launching of www.PatHelland.com . This will be an ongoing site at which I plan to put all of my new work and gradually dust off my older work and put it up for all of you to see. One of the stresses that I have felt as I want to blog something is that I am not sure you all have seen my other work and so I frequently don't feel I have the context to refer to in my blog comments. I will try to get better about this now that I have an ongoing reference site to link to. I would like to thank Harry Pierson (on my team at Microsoft -- the Architecture Strategy Team), Ed Siegrist (of Dynamic Events), and Cliff Thomas (of Logo Repair) for helping me get the web site up and running.
On the web site you can see the powerpoints for all of my presentations for the last year. Now, many of these are repeats with minor hacks and/or template changes. Still, I am going to publish ALL non-confidential work that I do moving forward. Also, there will be an ongoing effort to ressurect anything old and interesting that I have done before. We found 34 videos I have presented archived in the Microsoft video archives and we will pick the best and get them out for you to see. I will try to keep links to get best versions (in my opinion) of the different works available. Of particular note to be seen are the 4 talks descibed below that were given in Amsterdam (GNLARC, ARC402, ARC302, and ARC303). The 5th (PNL005) was a question and answer session, and the six, “The Nerd, the Suit, and the Fortune Teller” will be available soon on www.PatHelland.com . I am at home today and have the video on my laptop to get up on the web site this week.
Amsterdam was exhausting. I landed late Staurday night after flying through Copenhagen (with a 6 hour layover). When I left home, I was very unprepared for all the presentations I had committed to giving. Between business at home (my wife is sick in bed) and a wonderful visit from my oldest daughter and her 4 children, I was behind... Of the 4 talks, GNLARC was absolutely complete, ARC402 needed rewriting as I was unhappy with its stucture (although it had been given before), ARC302 (Metropolis: Buildings and Apps) was about 75% written and I had given a dry-run to a group of customers the previous week... it had not been as easy to understand as I had hoped!! Finally, ARC303 (Metropolis:Interchangeability and Operations) was about 25% written. I was in deep shit!!
On the plane flying into Amsterdam, I wrote on ARC302 to pound it into submission. I continued to struggle to get to the spirit and soul of the talk. When I saw the lovely room at the Okura Hotel (yes, a Japanese hotel in Amsterdam... it was a nice place and it was walking distance to the RAI convention center), I noticed that there was not anything comfortable to sit on! I had visions of hours upon hours of me and my laptop! I was able to convince the hotel staff to steal a comfortable chair from the lobby and bring it to my room!! Thank Goodness!!!
I spent all Sunday morning locked into my room writing on ARC302. Sunday afternoon, I walked over to the RAI and found the speaker lounge. There, I actually looked at my schedule and realized that I had 3 talks on Tuesday! Arrrggg!!! And ARC302 wasn't due until Thursday! At this point, I walked back to the hotel and grabbed dinner on the way. I locked myself into the hotel room and into that comfortable chair for over 26 hours straight... not emerging from the room except for Monday morning I had breakfast downstairs and bumped into Clemens Vasters while eating. On Monday evening we had a rehearsal for “Mr. CIO Guy“ in the Forum room with Don Box and David Chappell. After the rehearsal, I was able to have dinner with a new friend of mine, Craig, who happened to be in town on unrelated business and we had a great time chatting! What a nice break! Soon, I was back at the hotel typing.
I first pounded away on ARC303 finishing the history section on the development of manufacturing interchangeability and then on the implications of interchangeability on service oriented operations. This is a cool talk and I am very happy with it! Next, I pounded away at the rewrite of ARC402. It wasn't done when I went to the RAI to prepare for the GNLARC talk and song that was at Noon on Tuesday. After completing this, I went to the speaker lounge to finish ARC402. I finished at 14:30 and the presentation was at 16:30. ARC303 immediately followed at 18:15 until 19:30. A busy day!!! Dinner afterwards was at the speaker lounge and then back to slideware as I still needed to get ARC302 done. I hadn't slept more than 5 hours a night since Thursday night at home near Seattle and I crashed for a solid 8 hours.
Wednesday started with me on stage accompanying Wojtek Kozaczynski for ARC307. He was concerned he wouldn't give a dynamic enough presentation and asked me on stage. Well, he did a magnificent job and simply didn't need me there! Still, it is a bit of work to sit up on stage and watch someone present while 800 people are watching you watch him present. Wojtek simply did a great job and didn't need anyone to help and, believe me, I didn't help. The rest of Wednesday was more slide work and the panel session PLN005. I thought we did fine. The panel consisted of Maarten Mullender, David Hill, and Steve Cook, and me. It was moderated by Arvindra Sehmi. I was happy with the discussion. Back to slide work and then in the evening I went to join a lovely group of reporters at a very interesting and old building converted into a tiny restaurant in downtown Amsterdam. Unfortunately, I was feeling the crunch and had to leave early (re-inforced by the fact that the Football (soccer) game was almost over and it was Holland against Portugal in the semi-finals. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to get across town to the hotel to finish. With 4 hours sleep, I handed in my slides at 8:30 AM Thursday in time for a last minute copying for a 10:30AM presentation of ARC302 (Metropolis:Buildings and Apps). I am not yet as happy with this as I am with the others but I will work more on it and I believe it will become a very good talk by the next time I present it on July 19th. It needs a rewrite.
Thursday afternoon was all about preparing for the Friday session on “The Suit, the Nerd, and the Fortune Teller”. Rafal Lukawiecki had suggested this session and Clemens Vasters and I formed the threesome. We spent time on Thursday afternoon working on slides and talking about the plan. By Thursday night, we were in the venue rehearsing and preparing for the next day. All of us were so exhausted we could barely stand and we kept working until quite late. I know that both Rafal and Clemens had talks in the morning and I was fortunate enough to start Friday at Noon. I slept 8 hours as I was simply pooped.
Friday was fun! We had the Suit, Nerd, Fortune Teller presentation and I think we must have had 1500 people. That was a demanding session because we were always having to be on our feet thinking of the next comment! Still, it was a lot of fun!!! Friday night was a lot of fun at the speaker party and I thoroughly enjoyed the comedians and had a good time outside chatting with Clemens...
Satrurday was sightseeing and then home yesterday... Amsterdam is beautiful and I thoroughly enjoyed the Van Gogh museum. Thanks to my new friend, Craig, for recommending the museum and the audio tour.