• United States

Consulting for dummies

May 06, 20033 mins
Enterprise Applications

* How does this technology work? You needn't worry your little head about it

Outside of Jack Messman flirting with Linux (and, hopefully, learning what the penguin symbol means), what other impressions did BrainShare leave on people?

Veteran BrainShare attendees – those with five or more under their belt – are probably aware of the fiasco that was the Alumni Dinner at the Delta Center. Folks, this wasn’t Novell’s fault. Evidently the Delta Center “security” personal were never taught how to check credentials, so those neat “VIP” passes the Alumni wore were never actually used to grant access. This meant that a dinner planned for 600 people ended up being attended by over 1,000. The Delta Center owes Novell big time for that one.

But this next one does get laid at the feet of Novell. Maybe not the BrainShare people – who have to toe the corporate line – but someone at Novell needs to take responsibility for the generally less technical atmosphere. As one attendee told me:

“When I go to BrainShare (this was my sixth year) I go for technical product briefings from real engineers and product managers.  At least two of the sessions I attended this year (which were advertised as technical sessions) were basically one-hour-plus commercials for consulting, the consulting process, and how important consultants are to selling solutions to your CTO or CIO.  I don’t mind if those sessions are offered, but I really resent the fact that they were masquerading as technical sessions.”

Ever since the first BrainShare brought together developers, network managers, consultants and teachers (the CNIs) someone has complained each year that the sessions were “not as technical as they used to be.” Frequently the complaint has been heard that sessions consist of more marketing material than technical know how.

The past couple of years, though, have seen a generally increased level of technical information – especially in sessions identified as having high technical content. So it’s especially sad to see that the “technical” label has been perverted to not only bring in marketing, but marketing of consulting services. It’s as if you’re being told that not only do you not understand how a product works, you aren’t capable of learning it either. Only by importing the consulting demi-god could your enterprise hope to enter the realm of 21st century computing.

But this newsletter is focused on NetWare in particular, so we’ll end today’s edition by listing all the positive news about NetWare that was released during BrainShare:

That’s it! See you next time.