I remember way back to the late 1990s when I started working with Essbase. I was a year out of college when I first learned the tool. I was very eager to learn so I'd go home in the evenings and read the Essbase DBA Guide which was a two volume paperback set.
I also had a manager who loved to talk about Essbase. He was a smoker and I was not but I'd still tag along with him on his smoke breaks so we could talk about Essbase. I'd fire question after question at him. I learned a lot quickly.
It was the spring of 1999 and the Hyperion conference was coming up. I asked him if he would take me. He didn't think I was ready to go. So being a brash young developer, I pushed a bit. I said, "If I get my Essbase certification will you take me?" I'm sure he figured this was an easy out so he agreed.
This pushed me to work even harder. I set a date to take the exam on a weekend and didn't tell anyone. I was able to pass the test and got to attend the conference in sunny Orlando, Florida.
It was at this conference that I made so many contacts in the Essbase world including a young Tim Tow just getting his company started. I also made a contact at Hyperion who invited me to participate in the v6 Essbase beta program. That experience got me a trip to Sunnyvale, CA for v6 training. That experience got me a slot giving a presentation at the Hyperion conference the following year in Las Vegas. I could go on and on about the cool people I got to meet and the great experiences that came out of that first conference I attended.
That brings me to my point: there is extreme value for recent graduates and newbies attending conferences like Kscope. The dividends pay off over years rather than days or weeks.
I'll close this posting with some really cool news. ODTUG is offering 50% scholarships to recent college graduates (2013 or later). Hurry up and try to get one of the 50 scholarships available.
I hope to see you in Chicago in June!