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Think2018, and how I become IBM Champion

I

did not publish a post for quite some time, and apparently few great things happened to me in last months. At the begging of the year, I become an IBM Champion, and had a honor to attend the biggest IBM conference – Think2018. If you are interested about IBM Champion program or the conference, read my post below.

IBM Champion – What is this about and how I achieved that?

At the begging of 2018 I was recognized as IBM Champion, but I bet there is dozen of people who do not know what the title is about (actually I was one of them 1 year ago). First of all, IBM Champion recognition cannot get an IBM employee. The title is given to a person who does not work for IBM, but speak about IBM products. It can be done in various ways, technical blogs, posts, giving education, present solutions which uses IBM technology, assist people on technical forums, give speeches on public events, building a community. In another words, do something what make IBM products visible among the others. Are IBM Champions is doing hidden marketing? Absolutely no! I would be first to reject to do such things.

Do Champions get any financial reward? No, we don’t. All Champions get a salary from its own employer, and follow regular day job. On top of that, we do an extra work which make us visible among the others. The only gratification (beside prestige) which we get is sort of ‘VIP’ treatment at IBM events. I always was allergic for terms such as VIP or red carpet, but the honor which we got at Think2018 to seat in the first row almost touching the stage, having CEO’s seating next to us or getting the ‘stage access’ for concerts was probably the biggest honor which I have ever experienced

Few words about Think2018 in Las Vegas. First about the city – I have never been to Vegas before, so first day was shocking to me. I couldn’t imagine how kitsch this place is, all the buildings, hotels on the main street ( the one which we know from movies) is just horrible. It is in such bad taste that I was speechless. For us people from Europe, see a hotel which pretends to be Venice is just ridiculous. After few days, I understood that this city was build to deliver entertainment and fun but I still think it could be better designed. The other shock was size of the hotels and casinos, it happened few times that I couldn’t find an exit from a hotel. To just give you an idea, MGM Hotel hosts almost 7000 rooms (just one hotel)! As much I hate the visual design of the city center, that much I loved and enjoyed the shows. I was impressed by number of big name artists which you can enjoy in live performance every second day.

The conference itself – it was massive! The event joined about 30ths people. Sometime it was impressive to watch how many people was involved just to support and help visitors. You can easly imagine, doing a logistic for 30 ths people in one place is not an easy job.

As in short summary. It was a great conference, but it wasn’t technical conference as IBM Technical University. it was ‘out of the box’ event. Show what has been done with IBM technologies, what new trends on the market are. It gave me some ideas how to use AI solutions in my existing environment, I hope I’m going to find some time in next future to implement it.

Below, you can find few photos from the event.

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