I'm soaking up sunshine on the terrace outside the annual TDWI World Conference in San Diego. Pelicans are diving into the harbor just a few yards away. Must remember to add tube of expensive French sunblock to expense report. This is a great town for a conference. Sales Veep Mark Budzinski and I walked to the Gaslamp district for dinner last night and it was hopping. Restaurants and bars full of people and a big private party with a live band that took up a whole street. Note to Michael: I've got the details if we want to do something similar for next year's conference. Maybe we can book Flight of the Conchords.
The exhibition hall has been mobbed and Mark, Raphael and I are talking non-stop to people who want to know about RED. The new booth is really drawing them with the bright graphics and hard-to-ignore message: save TIME and MONEY. With budgets tight, folks are really interested in what RED can do for them.
There's also a growing buzz here about using Agile (or RAD) development methodologies for data warehouse development. Agile methods are old hat, of course, to Wherescape and our community of RED fanatics. Six months and a zillion dollars to gather user requirements that will be outdated before the first draft is even written? No thanks, mister multi-national tasseled-loafer consulting company. How about we just GET IT DONE using RED? Develop right alongside the users so they can show us exactly what they want and so we can respond quickly as the business evolves.
This idea is catching on throughout the DW/BI community and several folks came up to talk about RED as enabling technology for Agile projects. Stay tuned for more developments around Agile methodologies, including a White Paper and ultra-secret Project X.
It's not all sunshine and carrot cake here in San Diego, though. We get a little punchy after a couple of hours of talking about data warehousing. Here's a conversation that took place late yesterday afternoon between me and Raphael Klebanov, Wherescape's main technical brain in Denver. Raphael is originally from Russia, so you have to apply the correct accent to his lines:
Raphael: I am sorry, Vince, I have maybe stupid question.
Vince: There are no stupid questions, Raphael. How can I help you?
Raphael: It is "TDWI". I have figured out that "DWI" stands for "Data Warehouse Institute". But what does "T" stand for?
Vince: You were right before. That is a stupid question. It stands for "The".
Raphael: The what?
Vince: The Data Warehouse Institute. TDWI.
Raphael: I have that already. This is Data Warehouse Institute. But what does "T" stand for?
Raphael: The what? This is what I want to know. If it stands for something I would like to know what it is.
Vince: It stands for THE. Just that word.
Raphael: What word?
Vince: The word THE! THE DATA WAREHOUSE INSTITUTE! TDWI! That's what it stands for!
Raphael: Yes, I know it stands for that. But the "T" I don't understand.
Vince: [turning to address the waiter who was clearing our coffee cups] Sir, could I tell you about how Wherescape RED can save you time and money on your next data warehouse project?
That's it for now, live from TDWI 2008 in San Diego. A big shout-out to our homeboy Sid from Sid Adelman and Associates; Larissa Moss from Method Focus; Grace from Tagzfly Solutions in sunny Kingston, Jamaica; the BI crew from P.F. Changs (nice work snapping up all those raffle prizes); and our booth neighbors Pervasive software, who were out the door and on the trolley to Tijuana as soon as the exhibit hall doors closed. Don't bother calling Pervasive tech support tomorrow. Those boys are going to be sportin' major headaches, and maybe even a few new tattoos.