For the third year in a row, I have just spent a week in Las Vegas at IBM's Software University. As the name implies, this is where IBMers go at the beginning of the year to get educated on our software portfolio, strategies and even do a bit of personal development. I really can't make my mind up about Vegas. On the one hand there are things that really make me laugh like having slot machines in the airport just next to the gates in the airport.
On the other hand there are so many things that drive me nuts. Not least being in the middle of a desert. It is rather annoying having people (always short for some reason) flicking prostitutes cards in your face every time you walk down The Strip. I get sick of the sea of neon within seconds and there is incredible peer pressure to party too hard. It isn't the most conducive venue for learning but amazingly the play hard, work hard rule seems to kick in. I did have a couple of therapeutic ales during the course of the week but I also attended loads of great sessions. Unfortunately I cannot share the great news about what is happening to Lotus Notes over the next year or what is in the awesome new version of Lotus Sametime 7.5 because we are announcing them at Lotusphere 2006 next week and I would be in deep trouble if I were to spill the beans early.
So whilst the Jury is still out on Vegas, this year is the first one where I had the Sunday free so myself and a few frollegues got a JetCopter (yes - no mere Helicopter for us) out over the Hoover Damn and then out to the Grand Canyon where we landed to sip some chilled champagne. Expensive, Decadent and totally worth it. The Canyon was unbelievable and the JetCopter was pretty cool too.
So I have just arrived in Orlando for the afore mentioned Lotusphere after 14 hours travelling so I'm a bit travelled out but looking forward to a further week of education and hopefully a few laughs. Loads of great announcements about Lotus Software and there will be 1000 more delegates than last year so it shows that the Lotus community is thriving and expanding.