Thursday, November 30, 2006

Seattle and the SAF06

I'm in Seattle now, listening to an ESB presentation at Microsoft with snow outside and the feel of winter in the air. It's absolutely gorgeous and a nice change from the spring winds of Wellington. But what a journey to get here!

My arrival into Seattle coincided with a "interesting meterological phenonomen" according the pilot: lightening and snow at the same time. Great but as a result we had to stop by Portland for an hour before heading back to land at 10pm in the tailend of the snow storm. Now the roads aren't geared up for snow and ice here so the city was shut down for that night. I didn't get to the hotel till almost 6am in the morning. It was long wait at the airport for a shuttle bus. Fortunately the people sitting near me were wonderful and the seat was heated with blankets. The joys of travel...

Now I'm here because of an invitation from Microsoft to attend the Strategic Architects Forum 06 and my employer has paid my way here (note: very thankful). The conference has 250 attendees and another 100 Microsoft staff. I'm in the financial sector and there are people here from across the world, especially europe it seems to me. The size of their organisations is rather greater than my own but we all share similar problems.

I'm struck by a few points in particular.
  • The difficulty to make change in a bank
  • The lack of standards outside of payment instructions
  • The cost of testing
  • The importance of identifying the commercial value.
I'll have to see how the conference progresses to see if there are any significant lessons I can take away.

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