Hello from Tech Trek 2019

It’s Wednesday, and already the afternoon of the 2nd-last day of Tech Trek. It’s been a whirlwind, as usual. It sounds like some sort of a vacation, with socialization, golf, catered lunches and other things, but it’s a vacation where you are on the go for (literally) 17 hours per day. It still is fun, but tiring.

My flight to Toronto  on Monday was uneventful, except for the drink service. I asked for a cup of coffee and got it just as we hit a patch of turbulence. I managed to keep the scalding liquid in the cup, but only just. I had an open seat next to me, so that was nice. We had a very long drive to Nottawasaga: the limo driver wanted to avoid traffic and construction on the way, but we ended up getting stopped twice at railway crossings as freight trains rolled by.

Waiting for train #2

The weather has been grey and rainy. I thought that our golf game last night would be cancelled, but the rain dried up long enough that it went ahead. I golfed with Amr, Abdul and Marko. We had fun and maybe did better than we thought we would but that meant we neither won the tournament, nor did we win the “most honest” team.


I dressed well, with my golf shoes, but it still was wet.

Eight inches of damp

Last night in the hospitality suite, it was a musical  evening. Debbie, a PM from Toronto, was there with her guitar and a small group had a sing-along, and I was included. After a while I got  to play her guitar and had a good time. One thing about it: while occupied in that way, I definitely did not imbibe much. I was proud of myself for not overindulging… and then I was awake at 2:30 am with heartburn. What the heck??? Even when I behave I get punished.

This morning was hosting and moderating a session featuring Andrew S. from Esri. It went well. This afternoon is a deep dive into Utility Network. It’s not quite core to what I do, so I am typing and listening. It’s interesting. I would like a nap… 😴

Updated Friday

I’m back home now. Since I wrote the post:

  • I made it through Wednesday afternoon. First, I attended the first half of a “deep dive” on the Utility Network. I was supposed to be in that all afternoon, but it became very clear that this session was not meant for me, with very specific questions about what happens if you do X, and X wasn’t even things I knew about. So I bailed on the second half.
  • I then chose to go to the “Advanced Python” session, but apparently that was a misleading title, because it wasn’t. I picked up a few tips, but only made it an hour before the idea of going back to my room, taking a couple Advil and lying down for 20 minutes overcame me.
  • After dinner (which was steak!) I played in the ball hockey game and had a lot of fun.
  • There was some relative peace and quiet around the bonfire.
  • Thursday happened. It was two back-to-back sessions on high-availability ArcGIS Enterprise configuration and troubleshooting with Peter, which was somewhat depressing. There are so many “gotchas” that I just didn’t know about but I feel I ought to be aware of. It was a valuable session, and will provide fodder for further conversations with Kjetil and Harold on how to position and train the Solution Architect team.
  • The bus ride to the airport was completely uneventful, which was welcome. Last year, the buses were late and our bus took the wrong exit on the highway.
  • There were a fair number of people taking the 7 pm flight to Calgary so we had a nice group sitting at Corso in the airport, having dinner together.

And then there was the forest fire smoke when we landed.

L-R: Abdul, Usama, Mike, Matt, Brandon, Simon, Adam, Rahul, Mahfuz, Dan