An ants journey in a planet called IBM

Most of us would have attended many conferences and seminars, with an agenda a topic too and yes indeed lunch and back home, but it was a year back when i read the mail which said , "Come, join this innovative unconference session anchored by IBM developerWorks. Because You Matter. ", it was called Unconference!

Wondering what an Unconference is i asked Mr.Google who had then returned an IBM link to the same event!
But today there are many links, wikis and many other social networking updates on the same, the same is making it clear what impact does an Unconference can have.

My first experience was in 2009 September 15 @ Dayanand Sagar College, i was just out of my college then and had been there to talk about a topic called "Open minds, Open source", was more of software philoshopy than technical speech, which i thought could be categorized in others, as there were 5 categories "Smart work", "Dynamic Infra structure", "New Intelligence", "Green IT" and "Others".

With all excitement i reached and at the registration a fair lady asked me, "Sir, where do you work?", i said i'm a free software activist i work for myself [ /me with young blood then ], thought she would laugh at me and good that didn't happen!
As i went in thirty mins early the Unconference was yet to start, a lady in formals approached me and said "Hi I'm Bharati Muthu, so where do you work for and what is your topic", i said i am a fresher just out of college, quite exclaimed she said good, we will announce your name on the stage you may bring your laptop, i said sorry i have no laptop, it was ok with her as she said she would be lending her laptop and when she asked for a softcopy i said sorry i have not brought any as i had mailed earlier [ sounds like Hemanth's blooper series aint?], but lucky was i as she handed me her laptop and download the ppt JIT, i was the second speaker, and the middle of my speech i showed RMS's photo and asked can anyone guess who this is? From the front row a person who definitely knew the answer gave me a taunt saying it's you after five years :) i said i would be very happy if that happens, the person was Kunal from IBM, i spoke over time and we had tea break after that built a good network won few goodies and was back home calling up all my friends and sharing my experience.

Few months later there was the second Unconference happening, it was in "Royal Orchid Hotel", as before made my entry earlier and was happy that Bharati and Kunal recognised and greeted me, i said to Bharati i am working in a startup now, o really she said, remembering my previous notation of working for myself [ yes had grown old by then ;) ].

I had not registered and was not aware of free slots, when i approached for registration it was late and free slots were also filled up i was totally disappointed and started tormenting whom ever i could and specially Bharati as i knew she could manage to push me in and indeed that happened [ even though there was a flight for her in an hour and was very pleased to talk as the last speaker] another blooper happened here as i had a laptop with GNU/Linux on it and failed to recognise the projector as sharing is the philosophy of free software, laptop was shared from IBM's team [ it was loaded with one of the OS, which is famous for its blue screen of death ;) ] i spoke on "Continuous integration with hudson", again it was a great expression as i build my network more, meeting many IBM geeks and open source lovers! was happy to return with IBM bag along with my two bags [ was looking more like a bag seller ].

Then it was IBM Develothon 2010 Creating History ... this time i was bit late and met Kunal first and he said, "run run the sessions have already begun" [ it was "Royal Orchide Hotel", this time the route was pretty familar ]. I noticed that the audience intensity was almost 3 times the first Unconfernce, could feel the energy straight away, there were many speaker entries way beyond the time slot allotted hence the real unconference power was exhibited by asking the people to vote and select the speaker based on the gravity of there topics who could make it to the stage, i was lucky to be the fourth one to make it to the stage, as i spoke about my true idea of "Ants and Algorithms", it was real fun as the crowd responded very well, one of them which amazed my own spontaneous reaction for saying, "ants manage their network very well because there are no managers!" [ apologies to all the managers, but its true in the ant world! ]. Then the voting happened, on the stage were all the speakers in a row, Bharathi started telling the votes of each speaker and deliberately skipped my name and said at the last the "Top speaker of the day with 129 votes is Hemanth", i was very happy to receive the trophy from James Corgel.

Well this was my journey this now in IBM, hoping to see lot more. And at the EOD i learnt how to learn, share and connect hopefuly will also learn to become a leader. Waiting for your comments and suggestions, an ant called Hemanth ;).

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