London’s Calling 2018 was held on 16th February and Chris and I went along with every intention of attending a full day of sessions. We went to one session then spent the rest of the day networking instead!
So, rather than give you a great big article detailing everything I learnt, I’d like to tell you about some of the most influential and interesting people I met throughout the day.
Simon Peel – Integration Master, Chief Strategy Officer at Jitterbit
I met Simon whilst talking to the folks on the Jitterbit stand at the expo. Turns out he was previously CMO of CastIron Systems before their acquisition by IBM. We talked a lot about integration approaches, middleware tools and constraints and IBM in general. All in all, a charismatic and knowledgeable man
Doina Popa – London’s First Female CTA, CTO, Salesforce at Capgemini
Wayne’s World moment! I didn’t get enough time to talk properly to Doina (ladies of her calibre are always busy!), but I had enough time to say how I admired her. A certified CTA since 2014, she was on my list of people to meet when I saw this article. I’m looking forward to speaking with her again soon. Also, being ex-Capgemini myself, it was great to talk to the team there and see the work that’s been done to push the Salesforce partnership.
Neil Procter – My First Project Manager, Global Head of CRM, Centrica
Neil has always been someone I admired throughout my career; he was there at the very beginning. We worked on a Sales cloud project with some complex renewal requirements, back in the day when that sort of thing was always a coded solution. He taught me a lot about solution design and he is really into Cloud technologies in general; what I always considered to be a true thought leader. When he told me he has been adding my blog posts to his reading list, I thought “I’ve made it”.
Angela Mahoney – RAD Woman, Salesforce MVP, Co-Founder of RAD Women
Angela presented a session about male allies: why we need them and how they can support women in technology. I met this lady after the keynote when she came up and introduced herself. I’d heard of RAD Women Code, so I was thrilled to meet her in person! This organisation teaches women to code – I’m almost tempted to book a course myself. Angela is so fun, approachable and professional – it’s no wonder she’s also an MVP.
I’ve been speaking to Brad on and off for about 8 years or so; he’s one of a short list of recruiters I trust to help with my career (or the careers of my friends). Brad knows a great deal about the CRM market; over a beer, we discussed the skills shortage, how good employers are competing for great staff and the power of negotiation. What makes Brad a good recruiter is the recognition that he has two customers.
Dr Sue Black OBE – Technology Evangelist, UK Government Advisor
Is there anything this lady can’t do? Dr Black was our keynote speaker at London’s Calling and she told us her story. She overcame some significant obstacles to get an education, started a campaign to preserve the legacy of Bletchley Park when it was under threat and does loads for the STEM movement – focusing on coding. She’s also a fantastic sport, staying and having a drink with everyone afterwards. You could see she got as much from each conversation she had as we all did. Thanks for coming along, Sue. I’ll be buying your book.
Sebastian Wagner – #TheCTACoach, Founder – Flow Republic
Seb found me when I sank into an armchair after a morning on my feet, wandering around the expo and chatting with friends old and new! We talked a few times about the Certified Technical Architect review board, how tough it is, how prepared you need to be and the benefits of doing it. Interesting fact: whilst he is originally from southern Germany, Seb goes where the wind blows him, so he sees a lot of the world.
Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the awesome co-organisers of the London user groups and London’s Calling event. They’re always a team, always fun and always make you feel welcome. Thank you, Kerry, Francis, Todd, Simon, Amanda and Jodi for putting on such a fabulous event for us all to enjoy. I came away from the event feeling more a part of this Ohana, having met many of the people I speak to on Twitter face-to-face at last. Also, having connected with every single expo sponsor, I feel I can take something extra into my day job – a broader knowledge of what’s out there, so I can make stronger recommendations to my customers.