Even though I’ve worked over 10 years with Citrix technologies, last year was my first at Citrix Synergy. This event was, for me, very impressive and also a kickstart to do more in the Citrix community, though, I have had my personal blog for 3 years and I try to share some technical knowledge frequently.
Some weeks before Synergy 2015, I stumbled over the application form for the GeekOvation award and filled it out. In a quirk of fate, I was nominated as a GeekOvation Top 3 finalist and at the end, I won this contest. I’m still amazed by this, especially because my two competitors, Shane O’Neil and David Ott, had excellent solutions for technical real-world problems.
I realized how cool the Citrix community really is and what can be possible. This fact motivated me to do more for the community and I decided to help the CUGC as a local leader for Switzerland. In the meantime, I’m also a Citrix CTP, and I will travel again this year to Citrix Synergy (though I’m sure that I will be even busier than last year).
As a CTP, my journey already starts earlier than last year, because there are CTP meetings on Sunday and Monday. I have heard these are two very intensive days … but I’m looking forward to them and happy to have this opportunity.
Here are some pointers about my personal Citrix Synergy preparation:
As an attendee from overseas, reduce jet lag:
Originally, before I knew that I would be traveling as a CTP, I planned to arrive on Saturday to Las Vegas. Because I’m from Switzerland and in the GMT+1 time zone, I have a 9-hour time difference to Vegas. I need to consider this because I want to avoid, or reduce, my jet lag during the conference. It would be a pity if I overslept most of the sessions. So I plan to take some spare free days before the conference.
My other recipe against jetlag sounds easy but it isn’t: Sleep at night, stay awake in the day. When I arrive in Las Vegas at 8:30pm, in Switzerland and in my brain it’s 5am. I will try to stay awake until 11pm. On the next day I will get up at 8am (in Switzerland it’s 5pm) and not earlier (that would be the hard part). During the day I will try to soak up the sun as much as possible to re-adjust my biological clock.
Planning the conference activities:
Like probably every attendee, I make use of the Session Catalog on the website to choose my favorite sessions and then download and import it to my calendar with the *.ics file. What obviously will be a “must-attend” session for me is GeekSpeak Tonight with the GeekOvation award, as I need to pass my crown to the new winner! Honestly, I learned last year that I overcrowded my agenda, but I will do it again and perhaps I may decide to skip a session or two.
On the contrary, if I have spare time, I will attend the Self-paced Learning Labs. I did this last year and it was great. You can work through the instructions at your own speed and have access to very good labs to test this and that. Honestly, I assume this year will not allow much spare time for me. Another good alternative to learn a lot of new things in a short time would be the Instructor-led Learning Labs on Sunday and Monday.
Even though I will be busy, I want to try attending a Citrix certification exam, as I need to renew my 1Y1-401. If you want to attend to an exam, you need to register early, otherwise all slots are gone.
Citrix Synergy is a chance to meet old friends from the community and become acquainted with new people. For me, it will be also a chance to have first time real-life conversations with people I interact with often, but just virtually in Twitter or the forums.
And to reach the complete conference-overdose… of course, I will attend at the E2EVC Las Vegas which is on Friday and Saturday. The E2EVC stands for Expert to Expert Virtualization Conference, a series of worldwide non-commercial virtualization community Events organized by Citrix CTP Alex Cooper. At E2EVC you can meet a lot of Geeks and “virtualization Rockstars.”
If you need more detailed hints how to prepare for Synergy, have a look at Ultimate Synergy Survival Guide from CTP Neil Spellings blog: