Sunday, May 19, 2013

Revit Technology Conference 2013- Australasia

My "Calender Sunday" is on its 34th hour, having just crossed the International Date Line on my way back to Dallas following the Revit Technology Conference Australasia, at The Langham Hotel in Auckland, New Zealand. This was a bit of a different trip for me, since it was also a personal vacation that let me bounce around the country of NZ for a few days. 
Culturally and experientially, it was a wonderful experience.  A few days on the south island, including an island wide drive, days of hiking, and meeting a bunch of great people, then heading to Auckland for the conference itself. The country was a phenominal host.  People going out of their way to ask if i knew where i was going (i nav with paper maps while i walk), people recommending things, stopping to talk with me everywhere i went.  Fantastic Country. Finally, i made my way to RTC on Wednesday of this week.
Generally when i attend conferences like RTC, there are three things i absolutely relish during the experience: 
Amazingly Graceful Constraints
The first is the elevated education level that only comes from getting lectures from REAL users who do this stuff day in and day out, and this conference did not disappoint

I wont call out "favorites" because i know *I* get sad when im not on others lists of favorites, but there was some serious classware going on here.  I made sure to sit through (or read handouts from) many Adaptive Components and Repeater Classes (I was distracted by someone doing the repeater...).

Tim Waldock does Repeaters

Tim Waldock (Awesome Repeater Magic!), Alfredo Medina (Repeaters with FT parameters based on Repeater location placement), and Marcello Sgambelluri  (Adaptive Components doing just about everything (very cool, even if it gives me implementation heartburn...;) )) all gave me many things to think about teaching during some lunch and learns.
Its always humbling to be around such great talent.  Its even more humbling to get to teach for them.  Especially when you forget youre in New Zealand, and ask how many people in the audience are using the National CAD Standard graphical standards.  That gets more awkward when you forget where you are and say *Oh thats right, none of you are from around here.*  Uhhhhh... Anyway.
Gala Dinner: Great Talks
The second is finally getting to shake hands and talk (commiserate?) with so many people from our Revit Community, and in THIS the conference excelled... As it always does. 

I got to meet so many people in person for the first time, after talking on Twitter or RFO or Blog Comments for months or years. I got to meet Andy Milburn in person for the first time, and he and i took turns heckling (and #tweckling) Marcello, which was great. =). I also got to meet the entire crew from Christchurch, whom even invited Steve Stafford and myself down early for the #RUGCC, which was an honor! (BTW, i owe you guys some materials, will post them once im home!).  And, while on early vacation, i got to finally have a drink (and lunch, and wasp trapping...) with Phillip Miller, after 4 YEARS of emailing and Instant Messaging.  Awesome! 
Steve Appleby and i at Dinner
I have to be clear though:  It isnt just a meet and great schmooze fest, either.  Thats what i LOVE about RTC. Three nights in a row, i was sitting in the Hotel Lobby Lounge, talking shop with others until 3 in the morning.  Great conversations that always lead to more questions and new answers. I cant say enough about the great talks that were had.  And the "Brothers in Arms" feeling of fighting with hardware and software together (Phil Read, Adam Sheather, Silvia Taurer, Wes Benn, and Steve Stafford)... This event always sends me back to my office ready to take over the world (again) after meeting so many passionate people who fight the same fight i do every day.
The final thing i always enjoy about these events, is the opportunity to Meet and Greet, and share our dreams/passions/war-stories/jokes, with the Software Developers themselves. 

Some of the best conversations ive had with Revit Developers, and Autodesk Staff in general, has been at RTC Events.
Sadly, they werent here.
Obviously its none of my business why, but the disappointment is NOT the type of "im angry at Subaru for not inflating my ego after i already bought their car," but its more like the "Im disappointed my father didnt think it was important enough to play Catch, in the front yard."  Granted, we have already all bought our licenses, so there is little money to be made. But this is an event put on by GREAT people, to "rally the troops" in an industry that isnt always willing to take on what were pushing.  If you work in sales, "selling the software" is the end game.  Thats polar from us, where thats "go time."  This is the Rubber Hits the Road convention, and if Subaru (or Dad...) was there with me, i think we would have a better Race Team (or family).  But i digress.  To be clear: Its not a slam, its more heartbreak than anything else.

One of my favorite RTC memories of *all time* was standing around the Huntington Beach Dinner Venue, talking *shop* with the Autodesk Reviteers, for HOURS.  Anyway, thats a decision well out and way above my head... But you guys were missed.  Maybe we can toss the football around one day soon.  Or maybe not. :-/ (But Daaaaaad....)
One more special Thanks to Wes, and the entire staff at RTC and the committee.

In 2006, when i first submitted my first class to Autodesk University, i had emailed a prominent Revit User on AUGI for advice.  They told me "not to give up, and to keep the passion, because sometimes teaching its thankless." What he meant was, its a LOT of work, and the reward isnt always there. (But teaching at RTC is amazing because everyone is so in to it when its happening, hence im trying to teach at as many as i can!)  But, the entire RTC staff and committee puts this entire event on "for the love of the game," and for us: The Users.  (Tron fights for the users!) And they do a splendid job.  This is their passion, and they share it with us so we can share ourt passion with each other, in a very personal, close knit venue. I also say thank you to any event organizer who will- not only TOLERATE my bullshit antics- but celebrate them, bequeath me presents, have me parade around on stage, and send me home in Colored Toe Socks as a reminder. =)
And in closing:  The Air New Zealand Safety Video.  First, because they are the first airline to actually hold my attention for 4.4 minutes, and second because (as someone with a serious affinity for Accents, i fell in love with Marina Roodt in the same 4.4 minutes.) I dont know what Haere Mai means, but i like it.
By the way, if you read this far, email me for your Gold Star.  If you are interested in seeing pictures from the entire journey, they are in a Public Folder HERE. I didnt seperate my vacation journey from the RTC pics, so they are all together. Hope you enjoy, i know i did!