Some final observations about SHARE Orlando:

SHARE isn’t just our name. It’s what we do. I love the User Experiences sessions. The best presentation is a story and these sessions are the best stories, often describing a journey that isn’t complete yet. I remember looking around during session 17619 Modernization Real Life Scenarios and thinking “they’re needs to be more people here!”

Complementary sessions. Another way to tell a story is have it build through multiple sessions. That way attendees can jump off at one of the stops if they so desire. A good example of this is the interaction between the various PDSE presentations and the various COBOL v5 presentations. In many ways these two are tied to the hip, both functionally (COBOL 5 requires PDSE) and in the general user experience (both take some effort to implement but you’ll be in a better place once you get there).

Moxie. Since z Systems was slightly late to the party for some of these technologies (Java, Linux), I like the attitude that the Java group takes: the fastest Java on the planet. I’d like to extend that feeling to Linux on z Systems as well. And then use Cryptographic services as a differentiator. In other words build a case for “why z Systems” instead of a relying on “why not z Systems.” The Java group attitude needs to be infectious!

Of course it all wasn’t seashells and balloons:

Back to the future. The Technology Expo needs some reinvention. As I rode the escalator down I could feel the years peeling away until it was 1985 again in the expo room – tchotchkes, free food and liquor to entice attendees as they scurry past vendor booths as quickly as they can. Throw in the rubber stamps and it completes the picture. There’s gotta be a better way.

Death by PowerPoint. I can see where (possibly) PowerPoint is a necessary evil for presenting, but it is never a good handout. I know this is asking busy people to be even busier, but I think the handouts should use the best tool for the job – convert your deck to an actual paper. (Shameless plug – I did that with my session handout here.) This can be really noticeable (excuse me while I get up on my soapbox) with IBM presentations where the decks are often simultaneously incredibly dense and remarkably content free.

And finally:

Man these guys are good at what they do.  Again congratulations to SHARE for a well-run event. I didn’t witness any AV issues or room confusion, and when approached, the SHARE staff was knowledgeable and friendly. The mobile app was extremely helpful and the ROCK’ed spin added a nice touch. Kudos!

Read all my posts from my week at SHARE:  August 12August 11August 10 and August 9.