Monday, 8 August 2016

OTNTourLA 2016 - Costa Rica

Costa Rica User Group 

This was my third user group event in Costa Rica, first in 2012 and again in 2014, on both those occasions I had the chance to explore the country, which in part made up for the fact that this was a flying visit. Arriving Tuesday afternoon, speaking Wednesday, leaving Thursday morning.

The journey to Costa Rica was quite uneventful, and it wasn’t too long in the taxi to the hotel, which felt almost like home. Both Tim and I had stayed there on previous visits. We arrived just after lunch and had a very lazy, quiet day, which included the hottest ever outdoor jacuzzi I have ever been in, matched only by the coldest pool I have ever felt despite us being in a very warm Costa Rica.

I have started to use my alarm to tell me which country I wake up in, saves that "It's Monday so it must be........." moment.

Adriana my student Helper
The next day we met up with Kamren and after breakfast made our way to the Universidad Cenfotec which hosted the conference. I am not sure of the numbers but there were 6 streams and really good session attendances. It was so well organised, and as in previous years the Costa Rica user group arranged for each speaker to have a student helper, mainly to help us with logistics and language. In the past I didn’t appreciate these enough, and this time we all took time to ensure we included them in the sessions and discussions, and I hope have encouraged them to get involved in communities and presenting to help their own careers.

My first session here was my Digital Disruption and as in Panama we had a great discussion. It was a good ice-breaker because when the audience are not native English speakers it is a big thing to ask questions, and this is a very non technical session and makes it a little easier for them. The students enjoyed this, although I am not sure they believed how basic IT (or TIC as they call it) was in my day.

Next up I gave the PaaS4SaaS again with a live ABCS demo. My audience included EBS, JDE and PeopleSoft users so I was really pleased with that. The JDE users came from Chiquita, the banana people and their concerns are around data security in the cloud so I encouraged them to attend my third session, ‘Cloud around the World'.

The User Group then took us out to dinner; we experienced their Traffic and eventually arrived at the restaurant. Those of you who know me can just imagine how much I enjoyed that, in a city where trains hit cars on the unmanned crossings every day! Not bad enough for my top 10 worst journeys but defiantly a contender for the next 10.

Tim and I had the privilege of sitting for dinner with the University TIC Facility leader and two gentlemen from CAMTIC the national body for people in digital technologies. We had a really good conversation about the importance of technology and opportunities in Costa Rica, and in return they wanted to know all about Brexit!

All too soon our trip to Costa Rica was over, thank you to everyone who made it such a great event, and us all so welcome.

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