Last week I went to a very prestigious HP-sponsored technology conference called Techcon. You have to earn your way there by writing a paper that is judged against more than a thousand other papers written by the best technologists in the company. There are only about 120 papers accepted and so we were very honored to get an invitation to present our paper at the conference. The topic of our paper was related to the new HP MediaSmart Servers recently announced at the CES that are expected to ship this fall. There was a lot of interest in our product because it was something that just about everyone needs at home so it was a pleasure to get to talk about it with other technology enthusiasts.
There were a lot of other interesting papers presented at the conference but it was confidential so I can’t discuss it here. In addition to the authors of the papers, there are a number of other people who attended the conference including HP’s CEO and CTO, HP Fellows, and some who had volunteered to review the papers.
One of the chief benefits of the conference is the chance to meet and network with HP engineers from around the company and to talk with leading experts in a number of important fields. It seemed that every time I turned around, I met someone with an impressive background. Even on the overbooked plane ride to the conference, I had a middle seat, but as a result that I got to meet and chat with experts in both image processing and mobile devices who were sitting on either side of me. On the way back, we were delayed for several hours in the San Antonio airport and as a result of that “misfortune” we had dinner with five HP technologists who we would not have had the chance to meet otherwise.
I like conferences with an “immersive” feel where you get to experience something from early in the morning until late in the evening, and Techncon’s schedule is jam packed with activities. I find Airventure to be that way as well as Entconnect, two other conferences which I regularly attend. Only part of the feeling is a result of the activities and presentations. Most of it comes from interacting with like-minded individuals who are enthusiastic about the subject of the conference.