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Miami Gets Hot with the eMerge Americas Conference

emerge2This week I had the opportunity of delivering a session at the eMerge Americas Conference in Miami Beach. This time, my session wasn’t focused on technical or market analysis topic. Instead, I joined Michael McCord (CEO of Learner Nation) to speak to the audience about the experience of building companies in South Florida and other interesting topics related to the emergent tech startup scene in Miami.

The session at the eMerge Americas Conference was a very important moment for myself and the KidoZen team. Two years ago, my good friend, the legendary founder to Terremark and now Medina Capital Many Medina told me about this crazy idea of organizing a conference that will put the Miami and Latin-American startup scene on the map. Since then, I’ve seen the Medina Capital team and other folks work tirelessly to build what became the eMerge America Conference. The forum brought together a diverse group of personalities from tech visionaries such as Paul Maritz to celebrities like PitBull.  I am certainly very proud that the KidoZen team had the opportunity to contribute to this conference and can’t wait to get involved in the next edition.

In terms of my session, Michael and I explored different topics related to the dynamics, challenges and opportunities of building companies in South Florida. Our moderator did a phenomenal job focusing the discussion on aspects such as access to talent, raising capital, the relationship with Latin-America or comparisons with other startup hubs which are, not only relevant, but also incredibly unique to the Miami startup scene. Even though is always a nice feeling to have a packed room for your session ;). This time was incredibly gratifying to see how engaged and knowledgeable the audience was about the topics we were discussing. These are exciting times for the MIA tech scene.

Here is a picture taken during our session courtesy of my good friend Adriana Cisneros

emerge

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Tech Conferences can be a Waste of Time: Pick the Right Ones

Next week I will be speaking at Oredev about Natural User Interface techniques and I couldn’t be more excited about it. As a conference, Oredev has become one of the most prestigious developer events in the world bringing together a great speaker lineup, focusing on multi-vendor technologies, real world solutions and a contagiously passionate community around the event. Those are some of the ingredients I look for these days in industry conference because, let’s face it: conferences can be a tremendous waste of time from both an attendee as well as a speaker perspective.

Let me try to explain:

Every year, I speak at 9-12 industry events ranging from core developer forums to more executive type events. Over the years, I’ve learned to be very selective and very honest to myself about the events I decide to speak at. While before I used to try to see conferences as a way to grow my professional reputation and network, these days I only try to speak and attend events that I am really passionate about and that, I think, can result on a great experience. This is a very personal position I developed after spending a lot of time speaking at the WRONG TYPE OF CONFERENCES and not feeling I was providing a lot of value to the audience.

I know I can come across as very blunt about this topic so I figure I share some advice about technology conferences.

As a speaker, focus on vendor-agnostic conferences: This is something it took me a while to realize. I spent a lot of years, speaking at vendor-specific conferences that I didn’t enjoy but it helped me nurture a reputation within those tech communities. After a while, I realize that most vendor specific conferences and just big sales shows on which the presentations and topics are ultimately targeted to sell more product licenses instead of delivering true value. More importantly, vendor-specific conferences are constrained by a lot of policies and burochreacy  that prevents them from delivering a great experience. While I still do a few of those conferences every year, I find vendor-agnostic conferences as Oredev, QCon, etc much more open, honest and effective on attracting a great speaker line-up and delivering great value to attendees.

As an attendee, you know more than you think: One of the reasons I am super excited about Oredev is because I always have a blast speaking at conference in the Scandinavian region because you are most certain to encounter a super savy and real tough audience J. As an attendee, realize that there are cheaper and more efficient ways to acquire knowledge than attending industry events. If you are attending a conference, focus on sessions about topics you are passionate about, take the time to get familiar with the topic and challenge the speaker. Good speakers appreciate knowledgeable audiences and it makes an overall productive experience.

As a speaker, It’s Not About You, It’s About Your Audience: A lot of mediocre speakers who are only interested on making a name for themselves spend an awful amount of time marketing themselves or their company while failing on delivering valuable content to their audience. Being a speaker at a major conference comes with the responsibility of delivering a great experience for your audience and help them expand their knowledge on specific topics. When you get on stage, spend the time focusing on helping your audience instead of making the session about yourself.

As an attendee, there are cheaper ways to acquire knowledge: Let’s face it, you rarely learn anything at a conference. These days, most of the content delivered at industry events is available online in some shape or form. In that sense, you don’t really need to attend a conference to get yourself familiar with a specific topic, there are more efficient ways to do that.

As a speaker, please be original: I couldn’t emphasize more about this. A lot of content delivered at technical conferences these days just seems to be copied out of product documentations, internet blog posts or reciting some vendor party line. As a speaker, try to come out with original ideas that will help your audience think outside the box and push the boundaries of specific products and technologies.

As an attendee, focus on real experts-doers and not talkers: As I mentioned before, there are a lot of speakers at industry events that are just there to recite somebody else’s ideas. If you are attending a tech conference, try to focus on sessions delivered by true experts who have build real things in those specific areas. Even if those guys are sometimes not the best speakers, they will most certainly focus on delivering original content based on innovative ideas.

What do you think? Can tech conferences be a waste of time?

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Upcoming Speaking Engagements

This summer, I took a brief break from speaking engagements to focus on shipping our new software in Tellago Studios and not stress my already hectic travel schedule. However, I’ve accepted a few invites to speak at different conferences during the fall and winter. Here is a brief list of the ones that are already confirmed:

Software Architect Conference (London) http://www.software-architect.co.uk

  • NodeJS for the .Net Developer
  • I am a .NET developer but I have an iPhone and an Android

Oredev (Malmö, Sweden): http://oredev.org/

  • Kinect for Windows Deep Dive

Cloud Computing Expo (Santa Clara, CA) http://cloudcomputingexpo.com/

  • Introducing the Enterprise Mobile Platform as a Service

Cloud & Virtualization Live (Orlando, FL): http://virtlive360.com/Events/2012/Home.aspx

  • Using Windows Azure to Build the Next Generation of Mobile Applications
  • Windows Azure in the Real World: From Idea to Production in a Few Months

I plan to add a few more events to the list in the next few weeks. If you are attending any of these conferences feel free to contact me via this blog so that we can sync up.

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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What’s Up NYC? Speaking At The Cloud Computing Expo Next Week

Next week I will be speaking at the Cloud Computing Expo in New York City. I am particularly excited about this event because I will have the unique opportunity to present about the new concept behind our upcoming enterprise mobility platform: the enterprise mobile platform as a service. I will be talking about how the intersection between cloud computing and enterprise mobility offers a unique model to finally DEMOCRATIZE enterprise mobility and has produced a new set of cloud models such as mobile backend as a service (mBaaS). I am also planning on spending some time discussing some of the most common enterprise mobility patterns and how organizations are leveraging the cloud to enable the next generation of enterprise mobile applications.

The Cloud Computing Expo is one of the top cloud computing conferences in the world. With two editions every year, this conference manages to bring some of the top minds in the cloud technology ecosystem and tackle some of the hottest topics in the industry.

If you are in the NYC area next week and are interested to talk about cloud, mobility, big data or technology in general feel free tweet me at https://twitter.com/#!/jrdothoughts or stop by my session and say hi. I promise to keep it fun ;)

 
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Posted by on June 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Latest Speaking Engagements

I’ve been so busy lately with the activities around Moesion that I haven’t had time to blog about a couple of great conferences I had the opportunity to speak at in the last two months.

Software Architect Conference, UK (http://www.software-architect.co.uk/)

This conference is becoming one of my favorite events of the year. As always Nick Payne and his team did a remarkable job lining up an all-star group of speakers that covered some of the hottest topics in today’s software industry.

The first day of the conference I had the opportunity to speak about NOSQL databases from a .NET developer perspective to a very enthusiastic crowd that packed the room and bombarded me with tons of smart questions. You can find the slide deck below.

After that, I presented a session about WCF tips and tricks that covered a lot of the lessons we have learned when working on large SOA solutions with customers as well as during the development of SO-Aware.

Cloud Computing Expo, CA(http://cloudcomputingexpo.com)

The Cloud Computing Expo is slowly becoming the most important cloud computing conference of the year. This edition hosted speakers from the most important cloud computing vendors in the current market. I had the opportunity of presenting a session about one of my favorite topics these days: Enterprise Mobility. Without exaggerating, I can rate this session as one of my best experiences speaking at a conference.

The room was packed and people were literally standing during the entire hour. The audience was completely engaged on the topic and they literally stayed for another 45 mins after the session asking questions and participating in the discussions. I was extremely exhausted that evening after haven’t flown 6 hrs from Miami, presented a Moesion webinar ,  met partners,  customers, etc but the  audience made a complete difference in my experience. I would really like to thank to anybody who attended that session. Below you can find the slide deck of that presentation.

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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