Tech conferences are both energizing and exhausting at the same time. For five days at PSU 2016 MacAdmins Conference, I got to spend time with friends from here in the Twin Cities area, visit with long-distance friends (some I hadn’t seen in 2-3 years), eat lots of food, let someone else make the bed in the morning and absorb much smartness.
My favorite takeaway from this year, though, was getting to present a session about administering Office 2016 for Mac with Paul Bowden, a developer with Microsoft. He’s become a good friend over the past eight months since I first met him and has fit into the Mac admin community so well I’ve heard more than once, “He’s one of us.”
Paul’s time at the conference was brief. He arrived late Wednesday in State College, Pa., and then left shortly after our presentation Thursday morning to take his wife Laura on an Amish buggy ride before flying home to Washington that evening. It was their 2-day getaway spent mostly traveling.
Just a few minutes after Paul arrived, I waved over some folks I knew wanted to meet him. Before long, he had a small crowd that was anxious to meet and thank him for all his work and guidance. Even better, they all got to see the personality behind the avatar in the #microsoft-office channel in Slack. The next day about 150 attendees in our presentation got to see him and be the first to hear about some brand new features he’s developing for Office. I love how someone thought about getting Paul to sign his flip chart drawing!
Jonathan Leung, a program manager for OneDrive at Microsoft, also attended the conference. We connected at the Tuesday evening event and I remarked that as a non Mac admin he probably didn’t get much of what he was seeing. He agreed and said something to the effect, “I’ve learned that munki and AutoPkg are important and Greg Neagle is a pretty big deal here.” During my presentation with Paul, I asked Jonathan to stand up. I think folks really appreciated how Microsoft is involving itself with the Mac admin community when they saw him too.
Below are links to the PDF as well as the original Keynote file for our presentation, which include notes and talking points.
The conference organizers recorded most of the sessions and will post them in a few weeks. I’ll add an update here letting folks know when they’re ready.
2017’s conference is scheduled for July 11-14. Full text…