- The opening banquet - This is the reception and dinner Friday night to officially kick off the conference. There were speakers from hosts and from the sponsor of the dinner, Cisco's Clean Access. The sponsor of the dinner happened to be sitting right next to me at the next table and, directly after her speech, the scholarship winners were introduced and it was made very obvious to everyone that I was presenting later in the conference about all the wonderful things we've done with Clean Access' primary competitor, Bradford Campus Manager. I got a small smile from the spokesperson from Cisco. I sheepishly smiled back. I was afraid I was going to get kicked out of the dinner. My boss thought it would be funny while introducing me to the 300+ people in attendance to let them know I'm job hunting for the next year and that they should hire me. Only one job offer so far.
- Our presentation - First thing in the morning, I printed out the slides I made in May to look at them before our 1:30 presentation Saturday afternoon. There were about 40 people in attendance with varying levels of interest and knowledge about Campus Manager. Some didn't even have the system installed, and were trying to find out what cool things they could do with it beyond what Bradford touts. Quite a few seemed very interested in what we had to say and were excited that we brought CDs with all our files we have created to hand out. I didn't get a lot of feedback, but TR said everything he heard back from the listeners was good. I hope so.
- Techie females - At every conference I've been to, mostly consisting of peers, I'd get particularly annoyed with the girls at the conference who would priss and primp and get up exceptionally early so they can have their hair just so for the rest of the day for, in my eyes, no particular reason. One thing I noticed here was that none of the females are like that. All the women are laid back and not stressing over appearance and, in my opinion, very intelligent, confident, and respectable. For the first time, I've not felt out of place in a group of women- I'm surrounded by women who have the same attitude as I do toward fashion and looks, on one hand, and technology on the other. It has been fun talking to them-- mainly because they are so easy to talk to, with similar interests and communication styles and spheres of knowledge. I can talk to another female without 'dumbing down' the technology I'm discussing. And nothing they say is over my head. I love it. The guys are great too, I suppose.
- People from the coasts - Although I know there must be people here from the South and Midwest, I have consistently been talking primarily to people from one of the coasts- mainly New York or California. Oh, and it's a bit intimidating (but kind of cool) to have people who work at Stanford and Yale walk up to me and shake my hand and know my name. Kinda weird.
- Family & friends - Very happily, my visit to Atlanta has been more then just the conference. While I was somewhat disappointed I missed out on the big event in Atlanta for the weekend (note the SARCASM), I got to have dinner last night & lunch today with my aunt & uncle in Lilburn, and Ashley came and had coffee with me last night as well. I was up WAY too late after that coffee :) I was so delighted to spend time with friends & family I hadn't seen in a while, so it was very worth it. I had forgotten how much I love Atlanta.
- The rest of the conference - The symposium concludes late tomorrow with a couple more sessions, a vendor fair, t-shirt exchange, and closing banquet. It has been a good trip. I'm glad I'm here. The presentations I've listened to have fascinated me (I may save them for later blogs) Things have been good. I've decided I enjoy IT more than software development. I return to software development, however, on Wednesday.
Here I am again, still in Atlanta, still at the ResNet conference, still having a great time. Here are some highlights of the trip so far: