The lesson I learned at ILUG 2010

November 14 2010

After a good sleep (still recovering from jetlag and an abysmal Illini performance on the football field yesterday), I am reflecting on the posts from Tom, Ed, and Volker. And I realized something. You don't go to ILUG to learn about XPages. You go to learn who in the community knows about XPages so you can reach out to them and ask for help.

Think about it. In 60 minutes, you aren't going to be an XPages expert. Not even in 6 sessions times 60 minutes. You pick up a tip or technique in each session. But we all know, to learn XPages (or DDM or DAOS or LotusScript or anything else in any software product), you learn by doing. But being at ILUG, Lotusphere, or any of the other conferences and user groups, you learn who to ask your questions. And the same people who donate their time to speak at a conference like ILUG are the type of people who are willing to take your email or IM when you need help. Lotusphere has always had a bit of a chill factor on the Q&A piece, but ILUG and the user group spawn it has produced has broken thru that.

I admit that as of late I have felt a bit detached from the community. My career has me growing into new directions and many of those are not on the same path as the Lotus community. I now begin to understand how Alan feels. But ILUG was a reminder of how amazing this community is. How petty our disagreements on-line can be. ILUG was the catalyst that caused many user group yearly meetings to happen around the world. And coming back to ILUG reminds me of why I still want to participate. It's not about new customers or my quota, it's about the people.

ILUG 2010 was like confession, therapy, and your 21st birthday where you tried to drink 21 shots all rolled up in one. I am always physically tired after Lotusphere. After ILUG, I just want to figure out how to do more. And that is what I want to think Paul, Eileen, and the rest of the Green Shirt Mafia for. Thanks. Both Ed and Volker mention how we do no thank Paul and Eileen enough. I get the feeling that both would rather us do something than buy them a new laptop. So to both of you, Paul and Eileen, thank you for your efforts. I hope to support you for many years and find ways to help make the US user groups even more successful.