I had to bug out of the conference early to catch my flight. I was afraid that security at Reagan would be a nightmare, but it was a breeze. My closing thoughts on the conference:
- There were quite a few people there. Tony said 700 registered. There were still some unclaimed badges at the end, but I'd bet that 500 people were there at one time or another.
- There were five parallel tracks going all three days. I found something interesting each hour and sometimes more than that. Tony and I were talking yesterday: there's not as much energy in multiple break-out sessions, but you do get more content. I'd like to see a hybrid with some general sessions in the morning followed by break-out sessions in the afternoon.
- One important reason for introducing open source ideas to Government is the power that OS has to change the culture. You can't start working on a LAMP platform engaging in open source projects without grabbing just a little of what modern IT is about.
- Finally, Tony Stanco (that Tony talking to Whit Diffie in the picture) did a great job along with his entire team. There were three full days of excellent content. There was lots of heated discussion in the sessions I attended and some folks were getting educated.
There are two conferences that State CIOs ought to take notice of: this one and Digital ID World (coming up in Oct). I wish there was a way for NASCIO to do some cross sponsorships with these conferences or something to increase participation by the states. They're always reluctant to do anything, however, that might weaken their nearly exclusive relationship with State CIOs. Its their stock-in-trade and they guard it jealously. Still, State CIOs are busy and trust NASCIO to bring them the content and contact they need. NASCIO should not ignore these two good sources of material for the members they serve.