Networking Field Day 9 in review

Networking Field Day 9 (NFD9) is over and it was exhausting. The week was packed full of presentations, demos, and food. It’s been about a month now and I have time to reflect on the event.

I work for a Cisco partner and therefore I primarily work on Cisco gear and hear only about things Cisco is doing. I rarely get to hear from vendors outside of the Cisco ecosystem (marketing buzzword). I throughly enjoyed hearing from other vendors. I will go into each of them in more detail later. There was one vendor I did have mixed feelings about going into the event due to some things that happened in my previous $dayjob, but in the end I was impressed with their presentation and off camera discussions.

The presenters from each of the vendors did an excellent job. While there was some marketing in the presentations, we had an opportunity to get into the weeds. Each presenter was able to answer technical questions or had the appropriate staff right there to answer those technical questions. Carly (@_vCarly) did an excellent white board session. I have never seen drawings on a whiteboard so perfect.

Of course the staff of Tech Field Day (TFD) did an excellent job of running the event. Stephen (@sfoskett) and Tom (@networkingnerd) had everything well planned out, so much that I only had to make sure I was waiting in the hotel lobby when I was supposed to be there. While Claire was not at NFD9 in person, she had taken care of all the details behind the scenes.

All of the delegates were very professional and welcomed me to the group. The delegates came from several different professional areas; enterprises, vendor partners/integrators, self-employed consultants, and educational institutions. This provided a good variety of different perspectives of the vendor presentations. There were four of us that were brand new to NFD, while the rest either partially or fully attended a previous TFD event.

All of the vendors did give the delegates some sort of swag. With that being the case, no tweet, article, or comment that any of the delegates were provided for us. Well, there was one exception…the suggested tweet. Brocade provided Lindsey Hill a suggested tweet as an inside joke from a previous event. Brocade also provides the best swag of all to everyone involved and that is a free 1 year trial of their virtual Vyatta controller and router. While most of the vendors gave us a t-shirt, I have to make a recommendation to all vendors about shirt swag. If you give me a t-shirt, it will only really be worn around the house and you will not get any advertisement from it. If you give out polos instead, those could be worn to work and there would be public display of the shirt. Also, expand beyond the color black.

In all it was a great event and I was honored to be able to attend. I learned a lot and met many great people. If I get another chance to attend another TFD event, I will be there (my crazy schedule permitting).