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THWACKcamp 2018 Registration Now Open

THWACKcamp 2018 Registration Now Open

When the IT Show Comes to Town

In the past, I’ve compared the logistics of tech conferences, tradeshows, and user groups to moon landings, touring companies, and polar expedition planning. Common to all of these is the anticipation of the journey, of meeting new people, and seeing the world in the service of sharing something really exciting. If you’re a technology geek, and measure the world in units of helpfulness, conferences – especially large events where thousands of like-minded attendees meet in the spirit of learning – can be amazing experiences.

Over the years I’ve had moments sitting in a session room in Las Vegas, A/C blasting, lights dimmed, watching a knockout presenter drop how-to tech awesomeness on the crowd. And when that happens, I’m certain there’s nowhere else I’d rather be. It’s valuable.

I’m also grateful in those moments because I know I’m very fortunate. Most working admins don’t get to travel. They miss the benefits of educational respites that move their careers ahead, and they miss picking up the skills needed to finally solve a bedeviling issue. And it’s the greater IT community’s responsibility to make sure we share with each other, especially as the rate of change accelerates and complexity increases. Because it’s not just technology like containers, distributed applications, or cloud that’s changing, but hard stuff, like business expectations, and IT culture.

THWACKcamp is the annual SolarWinds online learning event, now in its 7th year. Attended live, online, it’s two days of sessions covering everything from how to get the most out of the network monitoring tools you rely on, to industry experts’ recommendations for adapting to new technologies like containers, to optimizing virtualization, automation guides, and thought leadership admins care about, not vendor hype.

Registration opens today, with the live event beginning Wednesday, October 17 at 9 a.m. CT. As always, it’s free and delivered right to your desk. I think one of the best takeaways from last year’s live chat was from an admin who had a chance to go to another tech conference a few weeks prior and chatted with an MVP after a virtual session.

“This was like going to a conference and talking to the speaker after her presentation,” he said. “Only with THWACKcamp, they don’t have to shoo the speakers out of the way to make room for the next session.”

As professionals, we must all continue to find new ways to include all of IT. To share more, to listen more, and to encourage both new and legendary administrators to never stop learning. IT, and technology in general, remain an amazing intersection between cool and challenging, fun and rewarding. Because more than ever, success in IT is more about what you’ve learned and the community you’re a part of, than even the most magical or beloved tools.

I’ll be online at THWACKcamp in October, be sure to say HI when you’re there. Register now >>


Patrick Hubbard is a Head Geek and technical product marketing director at SolarWinds. With over 20 years of IT experience spanning network management, data center, storage networks, VoIP, virtualization, and more, Hubbard's broad knowledge and hands-on expertise affirm his IT generalist authority. Hubbard’s initial interest in technology began with a grade school dive into Assembly on the Apple II, and eventually to a half-decade of technogenesis in skunkworks IT at American Airlines. Since then, Hubbard’s career has involved product management and strategy, technical evangelism, sales engineering and software development, all with a focus on application and service delivery for startups and Fortune 500 companies alike that span high tech, transportation, financial services and telecom industries. Since joining SolarWinds in 2007, Hubbard has combined his technical expertise with his IT customer perspective to develop SolarWinds’ online demo platform, launch the Head Geek program and create helpful content that speaks to fellow networking and systems professionals. He runs SolarWinds’ customer education and training program to empower IT Pros to resolve their IT management problems quickly and easily with SolarWinds software. Hubbard is also a Cisco® NetVet and a regular speaker at technology conferences for Ethernet, IPv6 and SDN.