by David Gautney, CTA
It’s a wrap…
Now that Synergy has come and gone, I, like others, am summarizing my experiences. I found it interesting to talk to others, as well as to read what others have had to say prior to sharing my own experiences. What that has shown me is that everyone goes into it with different expectations, and what they get out of it is skewed to that view point–not right or wrong–just different.
I knew I was in for a special event when, after leaving the registration desk, I stepped outside to join in a conversation by @carlwebster, @tkreidl, and @rsrevord, only to have THE @timothymangan join us. My mentor once told me that you never want to be the smartest person in the room, so it is very humbling to be a part of this community.
For me, the conference really couldn’t have started any better than @davidjhenshall meeting with the CTAs and CTPs privately. He asked candid questions and seemed to be very interested in the candor that the group provided to him.
I have heard and read a lot of reactions to the keynote, which are very interesting to me. Maybe I am biased or drinking the Citrix Kool-Aid, but I buy it. While this year’s keynote didn’t have any big announcements, such as a key acquisition or partnership or any of the gimmicks of past keynotes, I was a big fan of getting back to what matters: the end users. The tag line of “The Future of Work” resonated with me throughout the conference. With such an emphasis on the end user experience, I thought they nailed it. I have read many people saying it was all just a push to cloud, but I feel there needs to be some context around it. Yes, there was a lot of conversation around cloud, but this was all prefaced by referencing a study that estimates 95% of data will remain on-prem in five years. I feel the conversation was more about leveraging cloud where it makes sense to better support your workforce. Personally, I am excited to leverage the new Citrix Analytics platform to better support my user base.
It was an extremely busy conference and, when pressed for my favorite session (which was difficult), I came up with one and wrote on it separately. Here is a link to the winner: SYN236: Best practices in multisite scenarios with Shane Klienert and Jarian Gibson.
While I had favorite content from the sessions, to me, the highlights really came down to just a few things. The first was volunteering to help in the Battle Bots competition. This is a competition where 9th graders assemble and program their robots, then prepare them for battle in the dreaded octagon.
I teamed up with @rorymon and two incredibly bright teens on our task. Our group finished 4th overall, so we had a very respectable showing. It was awesome to see their critical thinking skills in action.
Other highlights for me were the conversation and friendship–being able to hang out with such a great group of professionals from all over the globe. I have spoken with many of these same people through Slack or Twitter, but to finally meet in person was a privilege. The community is one big family and the credit for that really is shared–starting with the leadership of the programs led by @pcrampton, @roperjs and @mycugc, as well as the individuals that make up each of those groups.
I couldn’t finish listing my highlights without including my own session, Fireside Chat SYN420: Enhancing experience and productivity. I really enjoyed the format, which is less formal and more interactive. I was able to share my experiences and lessons learned in the field (good, bad and indifferent) to hopefully help others in their respective communities. I also sat in on other Fireside Chats and hope this format is something Citrix keeps at future Synergy events.
In closing, I am one of those who felt this was the best Synergy in years. No, it didn’t have the big splash, but I think Citrix is getting back to basics: the user. I can’t wait to see what next year brings!