DEC 2008 – This one’s for you, Wook

Photo Credit: Martin Kingsley

Well, the Directory Experts Conference 2008 has come and gone.

This conference always blows my mind. The content is extremely technical. The community is close-knit, and supportive. The conversations in the hall are at least as technically complex as what is presented in the sessions.Peach!

For me, one very enlightening session was the last: an audience full of highly experienced Active Directory experts in the audience, facing a whole stage full of Microsoft staff. The conversation was candid, and there were items discussed that have been standing items for numerous DEC conferences (and likely to be for a few conferences more).

The strongest worry in the room involved IT response time to Mergers and Divestitures, ie forest-level splitting, renaming, and shuffling. One of the audience members simply noted that the pace of change of infrastructure must be able to match the pace of the business. If the stage had been full of Sales Reps, I’m sure that there would have been a lot of head nodding and warm fuzzy noises – but the truth is – it’s a hard problem. It isn’t something the team can just ‘whip up’. I think that the audience got the resource trade-off that would have to happen before their wish list could actually become shippable product, while the dev team had a chance to hear the pure, unadulterated panic in the voices of those airing the issue. You don’t get better communication with a vendor than what I saw at DEC.

I had a great time with my own presentation – I’m pretty sure I learned at least as much from the folks I met and discussed information cards with, as what I imparted to the people in my session — I can’t wait to synthesize my impressions and start a discussion here – I think that my conclusions will surprise some people.

Until then, I will leave you with the results of this year’s Wook Lee Challenge – Wook couldn’t be there this year and wasn’t able to respond remotely (like last year) — so a committee of brave souls dedicated themselves to picking up the torch :) As a result, this year was the First Annual IT Pro-am Wook Lee Memorial Challenge. Here’s hoping next year it won’t be memorial anymore, and Wook can resume his rightful position as challenge responder :) Wook, we cannot replace you, we can only endeavor to live up to your example.

Our challenge was to create a movie trailer about Forest Recovery and involving Joe Richards – creator of Joeware. Aaron Steele provided the artistic genius, and the whole merry band (Sean Deuby, Laura Hunter, Adam Greene, Chris Lowde, Joe Kaplan, Aaron and myself) had a great time coming up with the following cast and characters of “Indiana Joe and the Forest Recovery of Doom”:

  • Joe Richards as “Indiana Joe” (Indiana Jones)
  • Dean Wells as “Outa RAM” (Mola Ram)
  • Stuart Kwan as “Shortly Rounded” (Short Round)
  • Guido and Wook as eeeevil skeletons (since they both didn’t attend, they are ‘dead’ to us, thus the ‘memorial’ in the memorial challenge too, heh)
  • The lovely Princess Jorge as “Willie Boot” (Willie Scott)

You have to open this poster up in large format to truly appreciate all of the little bits – enjoy!

One Response to “DEC 2008 – This one’s for you, Wook”

  1. The “Late” Wook Lee says:

    To quote Samuel Clemens a.k.a. Mark Twain, the rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated. :) I have to admit that I was amused by the results of the first Pro Am challenge, though I am somewhat dismayed to have an eponymously named event while still in the pre- rather than posthumous condition. Ah, Wook Lee, indeed, I knew him well…. LOL!

    To be honest, I think I would have tried to combine the other two elements of this years challenge, namely the airline safety instruction card and the Star Trek control panel for AD along with the movie poster. I was thinking of Star DEC: The Unrecovered Forest or something along those lines. Ah well. It would have been worth it to have had the opportunity to see what “joe” Richards would look like with a Klingon turtleshell forehead.

    Pamela knows full well what happens when I get the proverbial bee in my bonnet from my inimitable muse, Stuart Kwan. I have fond memories of a certain interpretive dance that was performed along with some examples of large-scale origami and a rather extensive butchering of a beloved Dr. Seuss tale. I am fortunate that no video evidence has surfaced on YouTube.

    I’ll have to try extra hard to make the next DEC, but the specter of the dreaded “Day Job” continues to loom large on the horizon. Still, WS08 has lunched and we have Windows 7 (or whatever they are calling it in the bowels of Microsoft these days – whatever happened to Blackcombe?) as the next major landfall. Bon voyage. Smooth sailing remains to be seen, but I’m sure the denizens of activedir.org will do their very best to make the billows smooth and bright.