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Theo’s last Engage – 2024 Antwerp Recap

So Engage 2024 is finished. The main story from this week is really about Theo (and Hilde!)’s last Engage (as organiser! but I’m sure he will still attend). There were understandably high emotions after Theo’s years of outstanding service. Theo received multiple special gifts and awards including the C3UG  North Star award, and a fellowship from OpenNTF. A special note of thanks for Bill Malchisky and Roberto Boccadoro for organizing the HCL Ambassadors gifts as well.

It’s really hard to understate how jaw dropping the venue selected this year. Pictures don’t really do Handelsbeurs justice. We also got what we have come to expect from Engage, excellent staff on site, impeccable organisation, and a delectable selection of food and drink.

The announcement of the week was probably that Kris de Bisschop and Tom Van Aiken have taken over the role of organisers. I wish them the best of luck and I’m sure they’ll do a brilliant job filling impossible shoes. There is such goodwill there for them to continue Theo’s legacy. Theo also told us about the many new attendees, and multiple new sponsors. The community is growing.

Richard Jefts delivered the Opening General Session and interestingly enough a similar theme on community.

We also learned about HCL integrating HCL Enchanted, “one experience” across multiple platforms and how they will be open sourcing this.

The reason you haven’t seen major very specific release announcements on social on versions is that HCL didn’t make too many or certainly as many as two years ago when we had announcements about the next three releases of Domino. This year we got some details about Notes/Domino next (we didn’t get a version number), just “Rio Grande” will follow “soon”.

But we did get that Notes/Domino “next” first early access program is coming in early summer, and there will likely be 5 code drops. These programs since Domino 12 have been quality and I urge anyone with an interest to take part. What is included in these remains to be seen though but I’m sure it will be impressive. We also got information on companion products continuing on similar release cycles from the last year.

What HCL made absolutely abundantly clear is they want your feedback. I mean they really want your feedback. Every HCL technical session asked for you to give feedback to the aha portal. This was the really strong takeaway message from Engage. They will listen to your feedback. They will triage and be democratic about your feedback. And if you have an idea, gripe about something not working etc. you should go to the aha portal to give feedback.

We did get some very welcome HCL announcements such as Domino will soon be available in AWS as an Amazon Machine Image.

The technical sessions at Engage just never disappoint even on topics you think you know, you’ll likely pick up a couple of nuggets.

Antwerp is an exceptionally beautiful city, this years Engage was a really unique one, what’s not unique I think what I get from this every year is again the community really engergizes enthuasism for the whole portforlio and when you see the investment HCL makes, when you see the number of new sponsors and attendees this year, when you have the conversations over the few days, some technical, some social, you come out of the week invigorated and this was the case again this year. I can’t wait to see what Kris and Tom have in store for us next year, and thank you so much Theo and Hilde for everything you have done.

Cormac McCarthy – Domino People Ltd

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