Last week I attended ITCamp 2011 a premium conference held in Cluj-Napoca and organized by 2 communities: ITSpark and CodeCamp. Now that I have a bit more time off, I decided to write about my experience.
The first thing that comes to mind is finally! While I like small community events with 20-30 participants, a big event like ITCamp was long overdue. I remember the last TechNet session I attended in Cluj was quite a while ago, in 2007.
The conference had 2 tracks, one for ITPro and one for Developers, while the event had over 200 attendees. I managed to attend most of day 1 and only the final 2 sessions on the second day.
The first day started with the keynote opening from Mihai Tătăran and Tudor ‘Tudy’ Damian and I take this opportunity to thank them again for their hard work on making this event happen.
Next Petru Jucovschi and Sebi Vijeu talked about automated testing in a virtual environment. I admit that even the developer side of the presentation was interesting because it would have helped me in my Computer Science courses over the years.
Stephen Forte then talked about Kanban, a Japanese philosophy that says work in progress should be kept at a minimum. Stephen is a great speaker and in the 60 minutes he spent describing Kanban and how to use it, the audience had some really good laughs.
After the lunch-break, Adrian Stoian talked about System Center Configuration Manager 2012. I was really looking forward to this presentation as I like the System Center family of products and Configuration Manager in special. I was really glad Adi had some demos to show us because I have been busy and can’t find any time to install SCCM 2012 and play with it. I am really excited about what SCCM 2012 will bring and plan to make some time in July to test it hands-on.
Tudor Damian’s Private Cloud – the good, the bad and the ugly presentation was a really nice recap on the whole cloud computing idea. Sometimes we let ourselves get caught up on new ideas and Tudy was excellent in pointing both advantages and the disadvantages of the cloud.
My next stop was at the Dev track. I already knew what Windows Intune was about and a colleague from school mentioned Ciprian Jichici was an excellent speaker so I decided to attend his Year 2 – Life after Cloud presentation. Right from the start I was blown away by his expertise. The guy talked for an hour with just 6-8 slides, impressive! As I had recently worked with Windows Azure I had some clues on how to use it, but Ciprian’s presentation managed to answer all outstanding questions I may have had. Excellent speaker, no wonder he is a Microsoft Regional Director!
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend the Open Panel Discussion on Cloud & Windows Azure because I would have liked to hear what the rest of my peers think about the whole concept.
I was able to make up for that loss at the VIP dinner later that day, where I was invited because I helped organized the event. The table I sat had some great people. Besides fellow itsparker Chris and Cristian Lefter which I had already meet, I had the opportunity to talk with Paul Roman from PRAS Consulting and Drago? Mănac from Appnor. I had some really hard questions for each of them as I really wanted to know what “good” decisions they made to get to this point. I consider both of them a very good example of an ITPro turned self entrepreneur.
On the second day of the event I only managed to catch 2 presentations. Mihai Tătăran talked about the migration of an existing application in Windows Azure and the problems his company faced.
Paula Januszkiewicz’s presentation called 10 Deadly Sins of Administrators in regards to Windows Security was a real delight. The presentation was really hands on and Paula showed us how easy it is to hack a network. Ranging from stuff like the ability to write in a folder we don’t have permission, snooping SMB traffic and even replacing explorer.exe. At the end of the presentation I had this strange feeling I need to get home, secure my network, and start using encryption on my laptop .
All in all the conference was a great event both from a technical perspective and because I had the opportunity to network with really smart people from the IT industry.
Congratulations to all of the organizers who made this possible. Looking forward to next year!