Quite a few people have already plugged this event (Charles Hooper, Jonathan Lewis, Tanel Poder, Doug Burns, Christian Antognini, Randolf Geist, etc) – but I want to chime in anyway. It’s so closeby and the price goes up in two days!
The Thursday and Friday before OpenWorld (September 16-17), some kind folks in Michigan are bringing many of the best and brightest minds (see them here and here) to the Midwest to share their experience. It’s like attending the best sessions from San Francisco – for less than a third of the cost. The event is being called the Michigan OakTable Symposium or MOTS.
If anyone lives around the midwest and won’t be at OpenWorld, then I think this would be especially good. It’s only a two day event! But of course I’m sure there’ll also be folks who go to the Michigan Symposium and still catch a last-minute flight to San Francisco…
I’ve always been very enthusiastic about local user groups and independent talent, so this is really my kind of event. I’m pretty sure that any enthusiasm you hear will be based solely on proven real-world usefulness – with no influence from sales commissions (direct or indirect). It’ll probably be just as much relational as it is technical. You can bring an especially hard problem that you can’t solve – maybe someone will have a useful tip or new approach. But taking home an “answer” is insignificant compared with taking home a better problem-solving process. If I were you, I’d come to these sessions looking for that.
Anyone in Illinois who is heading over for this? I think it would be worth the drive (only 4 hours from Chicago). Maybe we could even arrange for Illinois folks to hang out together at some point.
Reminder – seating is limited and prices go up Sunday. If you are interested, then you might want to try for management sign-off and event registration by tomorrow.