Getting ready for .Next 2018 New Orleans

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Getting ready for .Next 2018 New Orleans

I will be attending .Next 2018 New Orleans, it is a first for several reasons :

  • First conference in a while (last one was Microsoft Ignite 2017)
  • First Nutanix .Next conference
  • First conference in the USA in 20+ years

Looking for informations on how to get things ready, I found some nice advices from what to pack, to flying tips and how to rock a conference so here is my personal take on it.

1 - Paperwork

Starting with the obvious : Passport and Visa. As a dual citizen I can choose which passport I want to use (feels like Jason Bourne or James Bond) and it can sometimes make travelling easier. In the case of traveling to the USA, I picked my Australian passport and completed the ESTA. The less obvious is to register traveling details with your bank so that credit card usage overseas doesn’t get flagged as suspicious. It can also help to get automatically registered for Travel insurance.

2 - Pack

It’s only a week and for a business trip so I don’t need much in terms of clothing (no need for spare swimmers, beach towel, light/casual/smart casual shoes). As a result I only packed a carry-on bag with whatever is required for the week.

3 - Tech pack

I’ll take the work laptop (Windows 10 + Dell Latitue E7470). Nothing special but it works … I’m not presenting so I don’t need the various dongles and only need to pack a charger for it (with the associated AU-US power plug). Add a GoPro for long recordings, a power bank, standard iPhone headphones with an iPhone and the tech pack is complete.

4 - Nerd preparation

The above iPhone is not my daily driver. This is actually somekind of a “burner” phone. It’s a repurposed iPhone 5 running ios 10 and loaded with only what will be required for the trip (airline apps, social apps). This way I’m not too worried about potentially losing it and I will only need a data SIM while over there. I’ve also added an OpenVPN server at home running on a Raspberry Pi so that I can connect on public WiFi with some piece of mind. I’ve also changed my blogging setup a bit to make things easier (subject of another blog post)

5 - Agenda preparation

Know the sessions, add them to your calendar, have a plan A and plan B (plenty of interesting sessions so you’ll probably end up being double booked anyway) and get the conference app.

6 - Flights

Considering the 18 hours travel time, some might consider upgrading seats. I’m short (1.68m / 5'6) so it’s not a biggie for me :) Stay hydrated, sync with your destination as soon as you’re in your seat and don’t forget to move every now and then. This combined with new airplanes (A380/787 are noticeably roomier and quieter) should make a relaxing trip

Have a great .Next event and if you can’t make it, you can still catchup on the livestreams !