August 30, 2011

PCG11 Prologue

Pentaho usage is growing rapidly, and thus those who have Pentaho skills are very busy. As a consequence, the organization of the annual Pentaho Community Gathering has been 'a bit slow' this year. And while Pentaho employees normally aren't allowed to stick their nose in community business, somehow the organization of this years venue ended up on my task list. (Thanks Doug!)

So there I was, mid August, 40 days to go, nothing set. I asked my wife to call some hotels and by August 22nd answers arrived. After some comparison of offers a decision was made on order of preference. To finalize the selection process and in order to make sure the community would get the very best location on this side of the planet, I decided to go and have a look on the spot.

I jumped in my car and started driving, whilst punching the address of the first hotel into the GPS. Only 1576km and I could be there by the next morning 7AM. I've done BI projects that lasted a lot longer, so piece of cake. Here's the dashboard (sorry Pedro, not done with Ctools):

Unfortunately, weather conditions weren't that good. While driving through France heavy rain showers hit me. It slowed me down seriously and even obliged me to stop over in Switserland, waiting for things to clear up. And if that wasn't enough, when I started the journey again, the next day, a sudden temperature drop made things even worse.

Here's the dashboard (because we love them so much) showing the situation (again Pedro, sorry no Ctools):

Yes, if you look carefully the dashboard says zero degrees. And for those who think you can prove anything with numbers and dashboards, here's the pictures of the road situation at that time.

But a Community Gathering had to be booked. And I needed to move on. Once I passed the alps weather cleared up seriously, and I started trying to catch up the time I lost. Just after lunch temperatures started to be more acceptable (33 degrees) and I had found a nice cruise speed to make it to Frascati in a reasonable hour.

And around 15h30, I finally reached Frascati. I visited some of the locations, I finally opted for Hotel Flora, as you can read by now on the PCM11 wiki pages.

Why do I want to share this silly story? Basically, I'd like to express my great appreciation for all the people who volunteered to set up the Pentaho Community Gatherings in the past. Organizing such an event does take time, and it is amazing that Pentaho Community members have always picked this up, notwithstanding busy agenda's and thousands of more interesting things to do :-). So, to who picked this up in the past, and to who'll pick this up in the future: a great thanks.