International Spectrum 2015 MultiValue Conference Recap
As usual, the International Spectrum Conference provided MultiValue developers, end users, and administrators a place to meet, talk, and network with other professionals in the MultiValue Community. This year it all happened in West Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
Just like last year, we reformulated the offerings to focus more on start-to-finish tracks. Attendees looking for education in MultiValue database technologies and integration were able to walk away with over 20 hours of professional development training. And that was just what they got inside the classrooms. We supplemented those with how-to and design-heavy sessions.
There were many interesting conversations this year. Three topics in particular:
Green Screen To GUI
Nathan Rector, President of International Spectrum, talked about Millennials and how they are changing the business software landscape. This focus was underscored by the many sessions that included tips, topics, and examples that helped attendees adapt their business software to the new workforce demands. One of the core issues is an expectation of flexibility and personalization in business software comparable to what we now find in leisure software. Many of our sessions offered solutions.
Of course, not all changes are driven by workplace turnover. There is a constant push, across many verticals, to replace green screen applications as part of a general refresh of stale business applications. This topic was addressed in the classrooms and on the exhibition floor.
We didn't just talk about changes in how we write software. Testing, specifically Agile Testing, was an important topic this year. This is driven by the habits of .NET and Java developers. They've championed this approach in their application development. Our sessions on Agile Testing talked about the tools and design requirements needed to create an Agile Testing framework that works for MultiValue.
Other sessions covered topics that ran the gamut from the basics of HTML - and best ways to control styling and layout - to efficient ways for pulling your data out of your MultiValue database in real-time (for example, converting MultiValue data into JSON).
Mobile and tablet development continued to be a hot topic. In particular, the differences between a WebApp, NativeApp, and a HybridApp, and how to use them to effectively present business information.
As always, the International Spectrum Conference included sessions on creating desktop applications with .NET. These sessions showed MultiValue developers how to leverage .NET GUI and event processing to create powerful UIs and tools. There were also sessions teaching .NET developers how to access MultiValue databases effectively using event driven programming.
We also had several valuable management-based topics: Project Estimation, MultiValue Source Control with GIT, Talking with SQL Programmers, Big Data in MultiValue Databases, Disaster Recovery Planning, and SQL vs. MultiValue.
With many businesses looking closely at whether to buy new hardware or virtualize their existing systems, the sessions on virtualization answered questions on speed, storage, and design considerations. They also offered checklists for when-and-if you plan to virtualize into a private or public cloud.
Finally, MultiValue Fundamentals hit the spot for many of the newer attendees and novice MultiValue developers. For the last three years there has been an increase in attendees that are new to MultiValue databases. This year's sessions included BASIC programming, dictionaries, and MultiValue file design. We provided attendees with a grounding in the environment, in a format that allowed our more senior attendees a forum for mentoring and answering questions that were not covered specifically in the sessions.
On Tuesday and Wednesday the attendees were able to talk with our sponsors about tools and products that would help their businesses. We kicked that off with our Vendor Speed Dating which is always a blast.
For those that do not know what Vendor Speed Dating is, each sponsor gets five brief minutes to talk to the attendees before the Sneak Peek Party. It gives the attendees an idea of what each exhibitor is offering. If they like the speed date, they can enjoy a more leisurely visit on the show floor. The event is designed to be fun and very informal. We had one sponsor sing a song to the attendees, another gave a dramatic presentation — complete with a cape — and third read an excerpt from his upcoming science fiction book.
In addition to the classes, the hallway conversations, the speed dating, the exhibition floor, and the impromptu demonstrations in the lobby, attendees gathered in various places to network with each other over lunches and dinners. Of course, Thursday's activities ended with our traditional Closing Conference Party. Everyone had one last time to talk, laugh, and network with each other while they enjoyed the food and drinks.
Bringing the experience home, most of the attendees took advantage of our post-conference downloads and session videos as well. Access to these materials is just one of the perks of attending the live conference. It is often helpful to be able to revisit popular sessions through our on-demand recordings, with the downloads provided by the presenters and sponsors.
Now that this year's conference is over, it is time to start planning for the next one. If you have any topics you would like to see at the Spectrum Conference, please let me know. I am always looking for new ideas and new presenters. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
International Spectrum 2016 will be at The Wigwam in Litchfield Park (Phoenix), Arizona on April 11th - 14th, 2016. Don't miss it.