I'll admit the truth: I was blogging about our pre-show
activities at our Customer Engineering Conference
and ended up writing notes for my opening
talk, hanging out with our engineers, and going out for dinner
rather than posting it. Consider this an off-by-one error: I
was blogging about CEC day zero but effecting it on day one. Or
else it was a by-product of finding a sign (literally).
6:00 AM. I am probably one of a dozen people who saw the
sun come up after a reasonable night's sleep. Show walk-through and
final schedule check at 6:30 AM.
8:00 AM. Principal Engineer meeting to discuss changes in
our technical career ladders and how we differentiate leadership,
influence and "size of the job" from technical contribution, work product
and engineering excellence. The challenge I raised to this group
of technical experts: think about our user interfaces. This isn't about
programming interfaces or developer contracts; it's about the
social contract for working with other groups of engineers across
Sun, with our customers, our partners and the technical community
at large. At least once a quarter, someone surfaces the notion that
Sun needs a product with consumer cache (I'd call it the i-cache but
the processor guys would object). I'll argue that we have already
have an asset that drives the social and cultural attractiveness
of our company: it's our engineering corps. We just need to make
sure the user interface is attractive, easy to use, and stimulates
more interaction and use.
9:00 AM. Global Sales and Services Management meeting. A
variation of the same talk, but from the other side of the manager's
desk. At last year's CEC, we introduced cepedia, a MediaWiki based community-driven engineering
repository. But there's a huge different between a place to share and
publish vanity content, and leveraging the vanity (in a good way) to
build communities of technical experts. We are going to move away
from the quarter-century old Sun model of having email aliases for
every activity. Our goal: let communities self-form, self-regulate and
drive collaboration at the pace of
Facebook, where (for example) our in-house icon Patrik Elias has
online church as a function of his goal-scoring.
2:00 PM. Brief stop in with the Chief Technologists, the folks
charged with the fan-out of our technical strategy, industry ideas
and community building across the field.
3:00 PM. Ambassador meeting. Ambassadors are the stewards
of the engineering-field relationship, and part of my job is to
provide logistical and editorial content support for them.
4:00 PM. Rehearsal for the main tent opening. w00t. Being the
curious and hyperactive, caffeinated adult that I am, I walked into the
adjoining mass-seating meal room. And lo and behold, there's a Blackbox in the room,
on the trailer, with the tractor attached for the fully mobile data
center effect. I've given tours of the Blackbox before, but I've never
checked out the truck part. So I hopped into the cab, and gave serious thought
to firing up the diesel (I do have a Zamboni driver's license, after
all). Then I realized that without any clue how to handle a 15-forward
speed transmission, the possibility of accidentally driving through
a wall and into the stage set was quite large.
5:00 PM. The Yankees win, or at least get closer. So
much for the power nap. Blog entry was supposed to go here, but
And now back to our live program....