As I wrote before, I was both nervous and excited going to my first conference ever. I had a long list of things I wanted to achieve, that obviously did not fit in 3,5 days of conference.
The four articles of each day will be the outline of my visit describing everything outside of the sessions and with links leading to more detailed articles on my retrospectives of all sessions I went to. Don’t expect any of those in this article, it’s all about the arrival on Sunday.
Being part of the Twitter-side of the CDT-community for 2,5 years, I was excited to meet so many of the folks I know from tweets and discussions on Twitter and blogs, articles, videos, and more. But I was nervous how that would feel, if you go up to a person saying, “Hi, I’m Patrick and I follow you on twitter.” So I tried to avoid that term and go with “Hi, I’m Patrick”. Having badges around your neck with your twitter handle on it is doing the rest for others to recognize you or not.
The plan until Sunday morning was to share a cab with Helena and Aleksander from Arlanda to Runö. The plan changed frequently on Sunday morning when more folks joined in. So in the end I shared my cab with Aleksander and Iain McCowatt. With Iain I had a good chat at the airport waiting for Aleksander. The conference already had a good start for me with that.
Arriving in Runö, at this wonderful place where the conference would be held the next 3 days, fulfilled all expectations. That place is perfect to host an event of that size. After checking in and shaking a couple of hands, I had my first encounter with Henke, a wonderfully open and happy person. You can’t but smile when you talk with Henke. Well, Johan’s daughter thought other, but I really don’t know why.
After returning from my nice room, with everything I need for the next three nights – a bed and a shower – Aleksander showed me around the main building. Thank you, Aleksander. We found Ru, Martin, and Alexandra setting up the test lab. I felt like home – well home in the office – when I spotted the heuristic print outs on the wall, the same that are right next to my desk as well.
Back in the reception area I met Ben Simo and had a nice chat with him. I was really looking forward to his opening keynote. I shook several more hands, and I got my first hug from Meike, who did not realize at that time who I was.
The fun thing for me was, that there were people walking by, that I only know from their Twitter profile pics, but I recognized them immediately. And even more stunning for me was, that I got recognized as well.
Waiting for dinner I finally met Helena. She’s such a wonderful and open person. I really enjoyed the short conversations with her over the next couple of days. And I can’t even remember with how many other folks I talked in the reception area. Sorry, everyone whom I don’t name explicitly. It is not on purpose, it was pleasure to meet you all.
At dinner – a nice kick-off to a wonderful few days of great food – I joined the table with Ben, Erik and Megan. Erik is a really nice guy to have around and Megan is a wonderful person, with a lovely humor. It turned out that we have many things in common. Dinner with Megan became my only constant over the next days which was really great, because we were rarely in the same sessions, so I could get an idea of what else was going on.
After finishing dinner, Meike was looking for me via Twitter and finally found me. So there was more hugging and a good conversation about her background, that I only knew partially so far, and I was able to fill in some voids. Leo joined us, and I am sorry that I had no other chance to speak with him. He joined a really long list, because the 3 days went by like nothing.
After a short hike outside I went to the bar area and after shaking a few more hands I ended up at the game table, playing Fluxx for the first time. Tired but full of joy about the experiences of the first day I went to bed at 0130. And yes, I was prepared for long evenings and short nights, but did not realize until then how easy that is to accomplish.
Read more about Day 1 of Let’s Test 2015.