Community Technology Update 2009 (II) Swinging to the Challenge.
The semi-yearly community event – Community Technology Update (aka CTU) 2009 was held with great gusto at the Microsoft Singapore office on December 19th, reaching out to ~ 97 IT Pros and Developers. In Partnership with Microsoft Singapore, CTU2009 in its 6th incarnation has pushed beyond new boundaries to bring to the community an extravaganza!
Meeting Minds and CTU Buzz
Excited chatter rang through the Microsoft Singapore Office 21st floor reception area as MVPs, community leaders and Microsoft staff gathered on Saturday for the Community Technology Update (CTU) 2009 (II) event. Enthusiastic attendees started streaming in as early as 7.45am in the morning to collect their goodie bag, grab a good seat and relish the opportunity to network with one another. After a heartful morning of networking and mingling, the attendees were adjourned to the Auditorium.
Gracing the event and delivering the welcome keynote speeches was none other than Developer & Platform Evangelism (DPE) Director John Fernandes and Windows Client Business Group Lead Matthew Hardman, all of whom have been long time supporters of CTU! After an engaging and warm opening address by the speakers, the attendees proceeded to their respective sessions and were treated to a full day of content (12 different sessions & 4 slots of Hands-on-Lab), brought to them by the Communities to the Communities. To keep the place abuzz, MS Press was roped in to provide discounted books to the attendees and Xbox 360 loaded with Call of Duty (Modern Warfare II) brought in for the attendees to ‘de-stress’ from the mind boggling technical sessions. At the end of the day, a lucky draw was conducted to bring CTU2009 (II) to a closure and everyone was a happy winner.
CTU Leads the Way with New Blood!
Among the speakers was newly awarded Directory Services MVP Saintha K.E.V. Having relocated from India to Singapore in October and speaking for the first time at CTU, he said, “It was a great event organized where we have a chance to meet diverse minds , understanding their queries and answering those were one of the challenges. Preparation for the event was what was challenging, because we should be prepared for all type of queries on the subject we deliver and to keep the audience trust in these type of events. It was fun, challenging with responsibility added. I would encourage more events in future!”
Agreed Exchange Server MVP Triston Wan who was also a newly awarded MVP and his first exposure to CTU, “ I had a wonderful experience with CTU 2009 as a Speaker. I have realized that CTU is great platform where I was able to connect with vibrant crowd of people who came to share and learn technology on various Microsoft products. Standing side to side with other known speakers and community leaders are worth experience it. The crowd was very much into seeking in-depth technical details and expecting a lot more from the speaker. The passion that people shown is really overwhelming and it motivated me to deliver more through speaking.”
For the community leaders and MVPs who reaped the fruits of their labour after months of hard work and putting the whole event together, CTU2009 was even more emotionally-charged. IT Pro Evangelist/MVP Dennis Chung, spoke of the community’s decision to make this a paid event. He said, “An event is only successful if there are committed participants. In the past, we have 240 registered and only 120 turned up. That leads to a large amount of resources wasted on those who registered, but never turn up. To discourage those who don’t see value and don’t turn up as promised, we decided to make CTU a paid event. However, a small sum of $10 is imposed. They take back more than $10 in value. This shows commitment and people who want to make the connections. I value quality attendees, than quantity.” Indeed well said. This year CTU saw 100 attendees registered and paid, 89 turned up and 8 walk-ins!
Commented Tan Chee, one of the community leader and great supporter who was involved with CTU since it’s inception back in 2007, “To me, every CTU is successful where attendees will walk away with mind loaded with updates on Microsoft solution that interests them. That is achieved through the way CTU is managed – with different tracks for different groups of attendees (IT Pros, Developers and etc…) and not to mention the great team behind organizing the event and the group of ever-friendly speakers! This CTU is different for me as I am involved in setting up the Hands-On Lab on Branch Cache with other SWUG leaders. It is a good experience as it brings SWUG leaders closer to the IT Pros. Through the HOL, we found out how they feel about the new features in Windows 2008 R2 and Windows 7; and understand their present challenges in their working environment. I will always look forward to each CTU even though we, the event organizers, will feel exhausted after the event. Why? To me, I feel great when I see that the attendees enjoys and benefits from the event – especially through the viewfinder of my camera.”
That perhaps aptly sums up the spirit of the driving force behind the CTU Organizing Committee, and the many more CTUs to come!
- “Thanks for the time and effort by those group who organize this event. Probably a 2-day event to go deeper into the topics” – Tan Lay Kiang
- “Very well organized and really appreciate for all the arrangement. Thank you!” – Jason Loh
- “More similar event in near future” – Tan Chun Long
- “Excellent Work! Keep it up” – Suwand Kombilath
Sailing Uncharted Seas with Confidence and Pride. CTU Forever!
These words reflect my sentiments on how our MVPs & Community Leaders have to stay the course in forging a common CTU identity, whether we are sailing in calm waters or in turbulent and uncharted seas. The decision to make CTU a paid event was a new challenge and uncertainty for the community as in the past, CTU was free of charge. It’s wonderful to see how CTU has evolved and how much enthusiasm there is in the community.
In facing uncertainty and managing change, the CTU organizing committee has demonstrated confidence to persevere in overcoming new challenges and a strong sense of pride in CTU that gives us the impetus to achieve our goals. This journey has already begun and will continue to succeed if and only if everyone on deck appreciates where the compass is pointing and work as one to reach our port of call.
CTU – Serving Community, Enriching Lives
To me, there seems no better way of showcasing the Community’s passion, MVP’s volunteerism and Microsoft technology than to provide the audience a glimpse of CTU which has over the past 2 years deepen the sense of community and has helped to identify areas of collaboration between the community, MVPs and Microsoft.
This is said with more than a tinge of pride. And how could I feel less? After all, we carry the DNA of CTU!
/Lilian Quek (SEA MVP Lead)