Thank you Carl Tyler, Ed Brill and the lotus community.

So it is mid January 2012, somewhere in Orlando, deep in the Dolphin hotel – Gurupalooza is ON. It was my first ever Lotusphere (and last ironically in name at least) and I have to say I was pretty bored of the whole conference by Thursday morning. I was extremely naive about everything which was going on at the conference over the last 4 days. I had attended many sessions but had not learned a whole lot, I had been in bed by 11pm most nights and honestly it was just not what I had been looking forward to for 14 years!!

So I stood up and asked a question of the Gurus – “Why should I come back to Lotusphere next year? I thought this was a developers conference and I didn’t learn anything I couldn’t have learned by reading OpenNTF. Tell me why I should come back next year!” (That’s me middle on the right)

There were some awkward pauses and some comments about how come I didn’t meet new people and experience the conference – and quite frankly I didn’t “get it” – but also hadn’t put in the effort.

Carl Tyler was really the only person with anything positive to say – he was sat right on the left hand end of the stage nearest me and he said “you’ll be here next year because you will be presenting”. Sarcastic or not (I don’t think it was) that was one of two things which stuck out in the conference for me.

The other thing which stood out was my first experience with Social Media. The work colleagues I was with encouraged me to get on Twitter so that we could communicate with each other and see how sessions were going during the day. Earlier on that final day (I think) I happened to be in the session run by Ed Brill with other IBM product managers on the stage – Ed asked for questions from the room and questions from twitter – so I wrote a question on twitter asking if the new web based plugin to run notes client apps spelled the end of the notes client….and amazingly ed picked it out and read it to the room and then he followed me on twitter….my third follower and 1st real one after my work colleagues.

AAAARGH HOLY CRAP ED BRILL IS FOLLOWING ME ON TWITTER !!!! – which lasted for at least 5 minutes until I realized Ed Brill follows thousands of people on twitter. I had pretty much the same reaction about 10 minutes later when Bruce Elgort started to follow me on twitter – HOLY CRAP HOLY CRAP – Bruce…….Elgort…!!! *faints*

So I came away from the conference with a puzzled determination – I really hadn’t enjoyed the conference – but somehow that last morning had unleashed a fire in my belly – I wrote this article as my first blog entry (oh yeah it made me start blogging a few days later)

And it started – I made a conscientious decision that I was in control of my destiny and I was going to take it back. As much as I hate to admit it – I like writing, it is cathartic and I love sharing, love teaching – I would be a teacher if it paid half decently. I set myself two goals for the year – to better learn XPages and to speak at Lotusphere next year.

Since this time last year I have:

  • Learned XPages (well a decent chunk of it anyway)
  • Changed jobs to now work for one of the most well known XPage consultancies in N.America
  • Written over 60 XPage related blog articles (this post will probably push me over 50,000 hits in 11 months)
  • Presented a session at MWLUG in Pittsburg
  • Done two Notes in 9 videos (and been mentioned on two others)
  • Been on the Taking Notes Podcast (with Bruce and Julian…OMG OMG OMG)  – twice !
    and most importantly
  • >>> I am presenting two sessions at IBMConnect 2013 <<<

So first of all I have to say thank you to Carl Tyler for challenging me to stop whining, get off my ass and do something about my career (paraphrasing of course).

I then have to say thank you to Ed Brill (who I am yet to meet) for following me and making me realize the possibility of  social media.

I also have to say thank you to a multitude of people who have accepted me into the community with open arms and have been nothing but supportive, encouraging and have become really good friends – to name but a few:  Paul, Russ, Dave, Bruce, Declan, Mike, Jesse, Mark , Mark, Mark, Thimo, John, John, Paul, Paul, Roy, Thomas, Tim, Nathan, Jeff, Colin, Andrew, Imran, Wil, Steve, Brad, Per, Niklas, Ryan, Martin, Graham, Toby, Devin, Frank, Kathy, Troy, Serdar and everyone else I have not listed and clearly offended by forgetting.


Thank you – every single one of you. I am presenting at IBM Connect next month – WOW !


26 thoughts on “Thank you Carl Tyler, Ed Brill and the lotus community.

  1. Congratulations! You are truly living the dream of everyone in the community… you’re making an impact! You were a rockstar at MWLUG, and you’re a major player now… enjoy the ride! I will enjoy catching up with you at Connect, and hopefully sitting on at least one of your sessions (even if I won’t understand most of it)! Cheers!

  2. I remember when you kept complaining when I kept pushing you to become a speaker at MWLUG. See, what did I tell you then? I was right, wasn’t I? Now I get to say, OMG Marky Roden is following ME on Twitter !!!!

  3. Mark, that’s a great story and I’m happy for you as well as for the community. This community needs more new members every year to bring in fresh perspective, energy and skills. Give us time, and we’ll turn you into a full member of the old guy treehugger scrum. Ask some of the other old guys to ‘splain the treehugger reference.

  4. Thank you Mark, Paul, Mark, Paul, Mark, Paul and John. I think we need to find a Luke. 🙂

    If I can suggest an edit, you left out Jeremy. 😉

    • I spent a good 10 seconds making sure I had not forgotten anyone….grrrr….you know I could edit the post and make you look stupid 😉

      Sorry Jeremy 😦

  5. For everyone reading this, Mark is sharing with you the public side of this. I wish I could share rock star work he is doing inside PSC. Some of it can be sanitized and will be in his sessions at Connect. You make our team better Mark. Glad you are with us.

  6. Great post (loved the line “… HOLY CRAP HOLY CRAP – Bruce…….Elgort…!!! *faints*…”) and congratulations to you Doctor.
    And nice going on getting two sessions IBMConnect – I’ll probably be stuck in the Dev lab but going to do my best to sneak out to yours (and other XPages ones) – don’t tell anyone 😉


  7. Nice Post Marky! I’m looking forward seeing you again and learning great stuff from your sessions! You’re a tremendous talent and have given a lot to the community this past year. I can’t want to see what you do in 2013!

  8. Great story Mark! It was my first (and last) Lotusphere last January too, but just as you I liked it so much I’m coming back next January. Looking forward to meeting you in person (and I’ll make sure to bring some of that prize money 😉

    • I have been keeping a list of people who said they will buy me beer at Connect – that’s the real reason I am going – free beer 🙂

  9. Wow, I’m sure if I did Klout my Klout score would have just gone up! Sarcastic? Me? No never, never has anyone ever called me sarcastic, also you should know, there are people who now think you’re nuts because you said “the only person with anything positive to say”, that is enough to make most people think you have the wrong person.

    To be serious for a moment though, I remember your question quite vividly. I honestly thought the other folks on the stage were giving you a hard time for no good reason. Here was someone expressing their feelings for the show and I felt they were discounting your opinions, where as I thought, you know what, he’s a fellow Brit, he has to be right. We tend not to get caught up in the cheerleader antics of our host country and say things as we see them.

    I think it’s great news that you’re presenting, you bring to the event your own expectations and your own views of what things should be like, it’s good for fresh blood to make the show their own.

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