In addition to being a mother, wife, prolific reader and force of nature, I am also an IT professional. Every November I attend the Gartner ITExpo Symposium in Cannes, France. Some of you might think this is just a jolly good excuse to get out of the office. But those in the know, know this is an exhausting and demanding experience.
I come every year to update my skills and my knowledge of the industry. I spend 4 days (and nights) learning about the trends in the industry which are going to shape the future of my work next year and indeed the trajectory of my career.
During the days of week I've learned a lot about MDM, Sourcing, Collaboration, SOA, EA M&As, Methodologies. I've learned so much that right now I feel like my brain might explode.
The evenings have brought numerous opportunities to network with other IT porfessionals facing the same challenges as myself as well as Gartner specialists who have provided key direction to help me approach these challenges.
I've twittered every step of the way. I've met some clever people. I've picked up real nuggets of insight. I'vve been disappointed by the number of women in attendance. I've been frustrated at the lack of thought leadership shown by the attendees. I've been angered by a man complaining about my typing during a session whilst ignoring the man snoring next to him.
I've been soaked in a downpour and nearly blown over in the wind. I wish I had enough time to have gotten sun kissed but find I am pale from spending 90% of my day in windowless, overheated rooms.
I've dropped my engagement ring down the bathroom sink in the hotel but didn't miss a session as the hotel pulled out all the stops to get a plumber to me within 30 minutes who lovingly recovered this prized possession. I've drank far too much coffee (and wine). I've worried about my son at home ill with swine flu without a mummy's loving embrace.
I engaged in philosophical debates about the gap in the IT haves and have nots and the value of Twitter. I debated the impact of out sourcing on the economies of emerging nations.
Am now ready to go home, hug my children, kiss my husband, and put everything I've learned to the test.