Combining these two because I was slack and didn’t get a chance to post Thursdays (or even Fridays!) the morning after…so here goes!
Thursday was a slightly late start for me, as I wanted to a) get a decent amount of sleep in preparation for the party and b) do a practice run through of my mini-Hack talk as it was the very first time I was speaking at Ignite.
So, things didn’t really go to plan. My sleep-in was ruined, as I’m always up early anyway, so was up at god-awful-o’clock (which is to say around 5am). Figured if I was awake, I could use the time to my advantage, so actually got practice run throughs of *both* my presentations done. Made me feel slightly less stressy. Had a quick cup of tea and a bowl of cereal in my room, got ready and headed over around 9:30am…mainly to let my nailpolish dry >.> (Yes, I do have girly-girl tendencies…for instance, do you *KNOW* what’s required to keep my hair this purple?! 😛 ) Also gave me time to finalise the blog post for Wednesday.
So, poked my head into the end of a few sessions – “Introduction to Identity Management in the Microsoft Cloud” looks like one I’ll definitely be watching the recording of – and then made my way to the speakers lounge in the expo hall.
Next hour and a bit were kind of a blur – probably due to nerves. Spoke to a few people milling around the Hack stage…who were probably there for the free swag, not for me! Realised that wearing heels and feel jittery was probably a really bad combination for me, so kicked my shoes off and decided to present bare foot.
Got introduced a little later that anticipated, so missed a bit of my content (bugger!) and was a bit rushed. Also – said the word “shit” twice. This will be relevant a little later.
Overall, felt the presentation went well. Got a decent round of applause, people saying it was a nice little session etc. Did get told by someone (and I wish I’d grabbed their name off their name tag) that presenting bare foot was “unprofessional”. I would think falling flat on my face because I was wearing heels would be worse, but hey…each to their own.
Realised the Hack session, though a shorter 20 minute one, still had evals so checked them out. BAAAAAD idea – first comment was something along the lines of “Only presentation I’ve walked out on, language totally inappropriate”.
Okay…those who know me will be either slightly outraged on my behalf or chuckling. Because “shit” is BY FAR not the worst thing I could’ve said. I was up there for 15 minutes and I didn’t say “fuck” once. That’s almost some kind of *record* for me. No, really.
Decided not to let it bother me, especially after the next batch of comments were large positive. Was also told not to let it bother me by a few speakers.
Was snaffled immediately after my Hack session to sit with someone who’d come a *really* long way to discuss AD stuff with people who knew what they were talking about, and apparently I was one of them. Somewhat flattering!
Discussion went longer than anticipated – I can’t help myself, I’m kind of passionate about AD, migrations, upgrades, passing on knowledge and making sure people don’t make the same mistakes I’ve done or seen. Trust me…I’ve made my fair share of awesome mistakes (Rule 1 when building new domain controllers – don’t promote them all into the domain at once..not that I would have *ever* done that >.>) so it’s always good to help others.
Really *REALLY* wanted to see Jess Payne’s “Anatomy of the Attack – How Cybersecurity Investigations Actually Work” but the room was PACKED. I mean, they were turning people away. I was late, my own fault, so vowed I would catch that one once it went up on Channel 9. Ended up catching a small amount of Tommy Carron’s “Enhancing System Center with Operations Management Suite (OMS)”. Definitely going to want to watch it in full…and probably more than once. OMS is awesome, and if you haven’t looked into it yet – *DO*.
Lunch was slightly extended, but was great to catch up with people, chill in the speaker lounge and just relax a little – guessing I was probably a little tense still from the presentation in the morning and also still stressy about the BIG presentation on Friday morning.
However, all of this was abandoned when a lovely lady from Microsoft (and I cannot remember her name, I feel awful about that) taught me the “Pig song”. Can’t do it justice if you can’t hear me singing it (and doing the “motions” – I might record myself one day >.> I swear, if I find a kid that doesn’t know this song, I’m teaching it to them. It’s brilliant in it’s evilness because it gets stuck in your head AND YOU CAN’T GET IT OUT! (it is still in my head now…)
So, time for more sessions – went and chilled in “Protect your VMware VMs using Microsoft Azure Site Recovery”. More stuff for me to use back at work, more session recordings I get to push on colleagues. Yay!
Wanted to get another practice run of my session in, so bailed a little early, sadly missing the last session of the day which was a choice of ILL’s for me – felt a bit bad, but wanted to be sure my presentation the next day was awesome.
Did a practice run (well…two, actually) and then it was time to get ready for the Microsoft BIGnite party, hosted at MovieWorld. Had my shower and thought “I’ll just lie down for 5 minutes…” which turned into a 35 minute nap, so I was running late. Madly got ready and headed out to meet up with a mate (Hi Will! ^_^) for a quick drink and bite to eat before heading to MovieWorld. Was rather nicely offered a lift by Sir Will, rather than queuing for the buses, so had a nice comfy ride down and arrived just before the doors opened!
Headed in, first glass of sparkling down and ready to party – headed for the rides, but there were *way* too many people queuing for Superman so headed to Arkham Asylum…which wasn’t open, even though it was meant to be. Few minutes later it was and after wait for some mates (Hi Damon! :P), mulling it over, getting my photo taken with The Joker and having another glass of wine, decided to go for a ride. Waited in line for only 10 minutes then away we went. Love that ride!
After the ride, went in search of food…found icecream instead. Then found more mates (Hi Nick & Adam!) and decided maybe some actual food would be a good idea. Was smuggled (well…permitted :P) to go into the Optus party area and was kindly offered a glass of Kahlua on the rocks (my friends know me too well…). Bumped into MORE friends (Hi Robin!) so now that food had been consumed, drink had, we decided maybe it was time for another ride – so headed for the Batwing (if only to get some breeze!)
Got there just before they closed off the line (rides shut at 9:30) and got to go on, along with Nick, Robin & Tommy.
Figured it was then probably time to head back, considering I had to be up again at god-awful-o’clock ready to present first thing.
Bumped into even *more* mates (Hi Ken, Jim, Dusty, Russ & Alicia!) and then climbed on the bus to head home. Crashed at about 10:30-11ish. Decided no practice run was required, sleep was far FAR more important.
Friday dawned bright an early…very, very early. Was up just before 5 in order to get one final practice in, which seemed to go okay. Made myself a cup of tea, relaxed for a bit, checked Twitter and email, and then got read to head over for about 7:30ish.
Arrived nice and early to my room, which was open – gave me a chance to get comfortable, put my stuff down, walk on the stage and know where everything was. Slight scare when the AV guys said they didn’t have my presentation yet. Finally showed up on the PC at about 8:10…at which point my nerves were a bit tightly strung.
Got wired up with my lapel microphone, greeted the few people wandering in early and started to get nervous. (For those there – yes, I was nervous. I was crapping myself. If you couldn’t tell, that’s awesome :P) By the time 8:30 rolled around, the room was full. And I mean, FULL. I mean, even fellow speakers came to see me, like Ben & Regan! Could not believe so many people had got up early after the party, many with hangovers, in order to come see me!!!
Gave my presentation – and I honestly couldn’t tell you what happened in those 50-60ish minutes. It was a blur. I think I dd okay, and I certainly got a round of applause at the end…I think. I was just glad it was all over. I was done. I’d presented, passed on my information and I could finally relax. Had a few people come up to me afterwards and say that they loved my session, it was really helpful, they took something away from it. That’s what I wanted, it’s what I really wanted to hear. Was really stoked. Many hugs and congratulations from people who knew me and were in the audience (hop they were there because they wanted to be, not just for my benefit!) and then it was time for me to actually eat something – because I couldn’t eat early in the morning for fear I’d just end up being sick.
Off I went for breakfast with a good friend of mine, who was the one who actually asked me to speak in the first place (HI MACCA! ^_^). Was great to finally be able to breathe, to relax, knowing it was all done and dusted and I had no more practices to do, no more stressing, no more worry. (For those who know me, you know I’m a serial worrier…). Also able to check some of my eval comments – seriously guys, THANK YOU! Your comments and evals were so appreciated, made it all worthwhile!
Got back to the conference centre and was able to catch the tail end of Michelle Sandford’s Hack session! Also meant I was in time for the third session of the day, and for me (surprisingly, actually!) this was “Linux on the Microsoft Cloud Platform”. I had no idea so many Linux VM’s were hosted in Azure. It’s something like 25%. That’s insane. Figured the info would be useful if my organisation start looking at more cloud-based hosting. Also got to say to better-half and father (who are both *nix admins) that I went to a *nix focused session at a Microsoft event. HA!
Was front and centre for Rick Claus’ Hack session, in which I was sitting with a few friends (Jeff & Simone! :D) and able to heckle slightly. Was then time for giveaways, in which I was able to snag a Microsoft Ninja Cat Unicorn shirt for a close friend who really wanted one and wasn’t able to get one while he was down (JB, promise I’ll bring it when we next have yum-cha!).
Was then time for the locknote, which was *AMAZING*. Dr Jason Fox is just awesome – really, really cool way to end the conference. What I took away from his locknote was pretty much this – “Do the work”. If we want to see changes being made, if we want to see new technologies being implemented in our environments, if we want to see things done better *WE* need to be the ones to start the work and do the work. No one else.
After it was over, everyone went their ways, many hugs and promises to keep in touch – much easier when we’re all speaking on Twitter anyway! It was then a quick trip back to the hotel room and a short nap before my better-half arrived. Showered, make-up done and dressed in a particularly girly-girl dress, it was time to go off for dinner with family at Hellenika. If you haven’t been there, I highly recommend it – the food was to die for (any place that serves grilled cheese is high in my book of “places I will go back and eat at”). The odd espresso martini may or may not have been consumed as part of this wonderful dinner >.>
Back to the hotel around 11, straight to sleep for the first good night’s sleep I’ve had all week – no more stressing about my presentations! Up bright and early on Saturday morning to head home. Quick coffee before leaving, on the road by 7:15 and back in Brisbane by 8:30!
Before I get into the big list of bigness, a *MASSIVE* thank you to Macca for giving me the opportunity to speak at Ignite and believing in me. Wouldn’t have been able to do it without you 🙂
Now, I want to give a shout out to the people who made this week so awesome – and please, if you’re name isn’t mentioned, don’t be offended – shoot me a message and I’ll get you added to the “Awesome list of Awesome”. There was lots of awesome, I was stressy, so it’s easy for me to forget things!
Now, this is in no particular order (just how the Twitter handles all opened up…also where they appear in my blog post, so I was able to copy and paste >.>):
And for those helping with positive vibes from afar (via the Twitters) especially if they were unfortunate enough to *want* to be at Ignite, but couldn’t make it:
Alex, Lina, Colin, Sonia, Marc, Chris, Dutchy, Iain, Aaron, Malcolm, Nigel, Aimee, Paul, Adrian, Kelly, Paul, Rob, Chris, Mick, Paul, Trevor, Andrew, James, Khaxan, Stuart, as well as a whole bunch of friends, family & colleagues who aren’t on Twitter!
Thanks to everyone I saw, everyone who reassured me, everyone who gave me good wishes, everyone who came to my session, everyone who came up after and told me what they thought, everyone who filled out their evals and…well…everyone at Ignite for an amazing week. Had a wonderful time, definitely keen to do it all again next year!
(Will link any of the session I’ve mentioned, including mine, once they go live on Channel 9!)