I was playing around with livemocha.com which is a free language learning website I came across this weekend… I really like the concept where people with an interest in learning a language, or an interest in helping others learn a language, can come together in an environment where they are provided with the tools to help them satisfy their interest. I even boosted my own score spending a little time correcting the English lessons completed by others… this also made me feel pretty good and I hope the comments were helpful; now I just need to try out the learning part myself which requires more discipline than I have been able to muster to date!!
This experience is something I enjoy every year with SDL though and we do it in a variety of ways… but none are as enjoyable as the ones where we get face to face with our customers. These are the ones I like the most and are probably something we should rebrand… maybe not as SDLmocha but I like the thought!
We talk about the events we attend a lot, in the community, on twitter (follow @sdltrados or me), and of course with plenty of email campaigns and information on the SDL website but it’s still surprising how many people are not aware of all these language community events we run ourselves, never mind the ones we attend that are organised by others. It’s always worth checking out the timetables for these events because there just may be something going on near you, and the benefits of free face to face time on any subject you like can’t be underestimated. SDL have experts attending these events from the product teams that include business consultants, developers, product managers, technical support and more. The Autumn roadshows are kicking off soon so make sure you register your interest now… they are popular events and are limited to the space available.
In addition to these regular events we sometimes sneak in some new ideas such as the SDL Hackathon and technical training for developers that was successfully ran at SDL Innovate for the first time this year in San Francisco. That event was so cool, and successful, it’s being repeated in Europe and capping off another idea which is to invite our users for a little SDLmocha… well actually it’s called the SDL Open House. The idea is that the SDL doors are open for a series of formal and non-formal events from Monday 14th September through to Saturday 19th September. This week covers events for all of our customers, so this means many more products than just the language related ones. I’m mostly interested in the language, and if you’re reading this it’s probably a safe bet that you are too, so here’s what’s on offer in Amsterdam that week for you.
The Open House – 14/15 September
This is exactly what it says on the tin… you just turn up any time you like on either of these days, bring your laptop (not essential though) and come armed with questions. We’ll be there ready to tackle anything you like. The main focus will be on the productivity tools so this means mainly SDL Trados Studio, MultiTerm etc., but if you have questions on other products and you’d like to spend time with an expert then register for the event through the Open House link and let us know what product you’d like to cover so we can ensure we have the right people there. Try not to do this the day before just in case, but we should be good for most products. We’ll also be covering developer related topics too, so Romulus Crisan, will be there for the week and that’s an opportunity too good to miss!
We’ll be there for group sessions where appropriate, and we can provide some training for anyone coming along to just learn a bit more. If we don’t get inundated with people turning up then we’re happy to provide one to one time too. You might even want to spend time learning a little about regular expressions or xpath… we can do that too! Don’t miss this opportunity, it really is an informal Open House and we’re looking forward to seeing you there!
SDL Community Open Hackathon – 18/19 September
I’m leaving the part of this article I previously wrote here, but the Hackathon has been cancelled as we didn’t have enough interested people. Why not? If you’re interested to know why take a look at this thread, and if you disagree it would be great to hear why?
In addition to the opportunities available for developers who would like to attend the various sessions being run, or just want to spend time with an experienced developer to help get started, or learn the best way to tackle the development of some ground breaking idea, there is a Hackathon at the end of the week. This is really cool and is an opportunity to work with others, or on your own, to develop something in 36-hrs and compete for cash prizes. This event was really good the first time it was run in San Francisco and the developers who particpated all got a lot from it… in addition to producing the code for some really useful and innovative ideas that could easily be turned into production tools.
All of that week in Amsterdam is like an SDLmocha with opportunities to learn from the experts and share your knowledge with others, all in a relaxed and informal environment. We haven’t done anything like this before, and I’m looking forward to it… so if you can make it to Amsterdam please do. We’re there all week, and even if you can only make it after work don’t let that put you off… drop a note when you register and myself and Romulus are easily tempted to spend the evening working in a bar or restaurant 😉
See you there!