THINK 2018 – Monday

The first day was interesting. IBM merged three separate conferences into a single mega-conference, and the difference is palpable. Unfortunately, this is not exactly a good thing.

In previous years there were a number of advanced classes. Insights into advanced logging and how IBM analyzed these files was one of the best sessions I’ve attended. Sadly this year IBM seems to has eschewed the advanced stuff for introductory marketing-type classes.

What’s worse, the rooms are all tiny compared to demand. I actually missed the first two sessions of the day due to extreme over booking. The “what’s new and coming” session apparently had 500 people register for a room with a capacity of 70. The same thing happened over and over. Each Cognos-centric session had far more people waiting in line than room available. Hopefully Tuesday will be better.

The sessions I did manage to attend where interesting, and the self-service tools are incredibly impressive. Some of the features I’ve asked for are being planned, but no promises were given.

In the expo I spoke to a few very interesting vendors.

1. InfluxData
Open source database specifically designed to handle large timestamped based databases. Think telecoms, with hundreds of thousands of rows being entered every second. The interesting thing here is that it’s a database built from the ground up. It uses an SQL-like querying language, and can return data in JSON format. They have a tool that can aggregate and load the data on the fly, making it an interesting tool for high data volume environments.

2. Sauce Labs
Automated testing for application development. Imagine you’re building an app for iPhone and Android. You want to make sure it works on as many phones as possible. How many do we have? a few iPhones, and half a million devices from Samsung, Huwei, HTC, and a host of others. Sauce Labs will test your app on each and every environment you want. It can compare outputs (pixel level differences), and system performance. It might be possible that on OnePlus it works great, but on the Nexus 6P there’s a memory leak. What’s going on? Sauce can help you narrow down exactly where the problem is. Also, they were giving away hot-sauce. No swag could ever compete.

3. Code42.
Endpoint data security. This stuff has always fascinated me. They can track a document, Excel, PDF, whatever. Who’s seen it? Where is it being mailed to? Is it being pulled off site? Security always has a special place in my heart. When other people do it, I get to try to break it. When I do it, I get to try to break it even more. But I’ve never considered what happens AFTER the data is exported. These people have, which is awesome.

And finally, a big shout out to Lisa from Motio. Motio is currently making my life significantly easier on an upgrade project, and everyone attending THINK should stop by their booth (716) to say howdy. PMsquare is, coincidentally, also at booth 716, so stop by there and tell them how awesome I am.