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37th Annual Spectrum Conference Recap


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The annual International Spectrum Conference for 2018 took place in Destin, Florida from April 23rd to April 26th. This week of professional development and networking for the MultiValue Community is always well received, and attendees returned to work with new ideas and reinforcement of existing ideas.

This year's attendees acquired over thirty classroom hours of professional development in MultiValue database technologies and integration. The conference sessions included topics for beginners, as well as, our advanced topics that include information that was not MultiValue specific. And that's not counting the benefits gained from hallway conversations, side meetings, and the information available in the vendor room.

During the Welcome Address on Monday, Nathan Rector, President of International Spectrum, talked about the modernization of MultiValue systems, and how modernization can't be approached as one monolithic thing, but instead it's a series of little things. He also talked about how every company has different modernization requirements; there is no one-size-fits-all answer.

In conjunction with this talk, Nathan also did a case study on how he took a MultiValue CLI (Command Line Interface) application and modernized a fraction of it to increase user productivity by fifty percent. He also outlined the ongoing plans for modernization for that client.

At lunch, we had Bennett Barouch, an executive from eBay, give a talk about how to handle the retirement of senior developers and what needs to be done to attract new entry and mid-level developers to your business. Bennett offered a deep dive into how company culture is at the core of everything which draws and keeps developers. It's not the technology.

He provided specifics on how to create an inviting culture where companies can keep and foster talent that would advance business systems without the pain associated with turnover and loss of expertise.

Along with the four tracks worth of sessions, there were several evening discussions that were not part of the official schedule, but put on by attendees that were very well received. That included the discussion about MultiValue in the Cloud and the discussion that spilled out of one of the session into an afternoon talked on Standards in the MultiValue Community. We hope to have an article for you in the next issue that provides details on this on-going effort.

These impromptu gatherings are one of the greatest advantages that the conference brings to the MultiValue Community. Lots of experienced individuals talking with newer developers about general topics related to how various MultiValue technologies work, or specific topics related to solving individual's problems. This has been a central feature of the Spectrum Conferences over the years. It has provided a place to reinforce the community of MultiValue Developers and Users. Many companies each year receive hundreds of dollars worth of expert advice for the price of a cup of coffee or a pint of beer.

In addition to all of this, there were many other topics related to cloud and virtualization. With many businesses looking closely at whether to buy new hardware or virtualize their existing systems, these session explored questions of speed, storage, and design. They provided checklists for when and if you plan to virtualize into a private or public cloud.

Security and Encryption was a hot topic as always. Businesses need to understand the threats and need to implement solutions now. Attendees got advice on how to secure corporate data and protect against Identity Theft, Cryptoviruses, and other dangers. There was a lot of good conversation and information.

Following up on modernizing of existing MultiValue Applications, there was a great deal of interest in mobile and web development, as well as using cloud BI (Business Intelligence). These are no longer new technologies to the enterprise but are turning into required technologies that companies need in order to manage and expand.

On Tuesday, the attendees were able to talk to our sponsors about tools and products that would help their business. This year we had a Breakfast with the Sponsors to start the day. This allowed everyone to hear what the sponsors were promoting, and to get a taste of all the interesting things the sponsors were going to be showing that day. At lunchtime, we opened our exhibit hall so the attendees could lunch and talk with our sponsors more in-depth.

As we had in previous years, we also provide a way for attendees to make appointments with speakers and sponsors outside of the session and networking events. These appointments help enhance and organize the networking aspect of the conference.

Wednesday was the final full day of the conference and was packed with sessions, and ended with the traditional Closing Conference party on the beach. We all got to enjoy the excellent food and a little relaxation with our community before having to return to work.

Most of the attendees took advantage of our post-conference downloads and on-demand session videos as well. These downloads and videos are one of the many perks of coming to the yearly conference. They provide attendees a chance to revisit sessions or review information contained in the sessions they didn't get to attend due to scheduling.

If you didn't get a chance to attend this year, and would like to access to the session videos and downloads, you still can. The details are here:

http://www.intl-spectrum.com/conference/show/18/SessionDownloads.aspx.

Now that this year's conference is over, we are already hard at work planning for the 2019 Conference. If you have a topic or session you would like to see at the Spectrum Conference next year, please let me know. I am always looking for new ideas, as well as, presenters.

 

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