Our fourth and at the same time last Dice conference was all about the cloud. It took place on the 15th of April and as usual was held in the Helix on the DCU Campus. Unlike the three prior conferences this one only lasted two hours because it was a part of the third National Conference on Cloud Computing & Commerce. An event that consisted two parts, six tracks and the plenary. Therefore, the number of speakers was lower than usual, in total five. The speakers included Clare Dillon from Microsoft Ireland, Paolo Malinverno from Gartner, Davin Cody from Hewlett and Packard, Alistair Croll international author and public speaker and the CEO of Enterprise Ireland Julie Sinnamon.
The event started with Clare Dillon from Microsoft Ireland. Remembering the last speaker from Microsoft who basically did nothing else than advertising the Microsoft products I hoped this one would be different and I really wish I could say it was different but it was not. I am not saying was not a good speaker. She definitely knew what she was doing but sadly gained the feeling that she was just trying to sell you the Microsoft products/services. Somewhat disappointed and tired of Microsoft I was looking forward to the next speaker.
This was Paolo Malinverno, the Research VP at Gartner. What I liked about him was the way he simplified things and breaks them down to pieces so everybody understands them. An example of this was before he started his presentation which was about cloud computing, hybrid cloud and them being restricted in Europe by regulations of the EU. He told us about what his real job is. He said there is loads of technology and a variety of programs out there which can do a lot of different things, the problem he said was that the companies do not know what program and what technology suits them best and fulfills their needs. And that was his job consulting those companies on what stuff they need in order to improve their business.
Something like this would have been nice! Something simple!
Next up was Davin Cody, a Converged Infrastructure Specialist at HP. His presentation was about the hybrid cloud, its beginning, its journey and some other things. The problem with his speech was the way he did it and the time. Our ‘DICE day’ started at 1 pm with pinning up our posters and the attention span of almost everyone had already exceeded its limits and there was no way one could possibly take in another 20 sometimes poorly executed slides packed with loads of text and even more content to process. Although some of his points were interesting and made you wonder about the consequences of the cloud most people around me were already deep in their thoughts about how they would celebrate the end of the DICE conference.
The penultimate speaker was Alistair Croll an author and public speaker. He talked to us about the book ‘Lean Analytics’ and ‘the innovation challenge, why large companies can’t change quickly, and how the small-batch economy that digital technology is creating means cycle time is more strategically important than scale’. The thing I really enjoyed about this speaker is that you noticed from the beginning that he is used to speak in public and that he knows how to do it, including preparing a presentation that does not scare you off by just looking at it because of its overwhelming content.
The final speaker was Julie Sinnamon the CEO of Enterprise Ireland. To be honest even when looking at the slides of her presentation right now they do not ring the slightest bell. Her presentation was set at the worst possible time. She started about five minutes before the official ending of our last DICE conference and took ten minutes overtime. Plus she had the nerve to wear this ‘bizarre’ dress with this even more bizarre blazer which caused a lively discussion in my study programs Whatsapp group.
This might not seem fair to the Mrs. Sinnamon as I am sure she did her best up there but I hope that I am not the only one who uses this blog as a medium in order to reach the people organising and planning the DICE conferences. There is so much potential in these conferences as many speakers have really interesting topics and you can really learn something from them. Sadly these speakers are some kind of rare gem hidden under a lot of advertisement and boring talks about figures nobody is able to remember anyway.
In this sense, I hope next years First Years will be able to enjoy the speakers the way they deserve!