Training Adventures in Paris

Right after midsummer I had the honor of attending IBM Data & AI technical workshop in Paris as a partner attendee of IBM. The four days there were filled with inspiring talks, hands-on labs and of course networking. 130 participants were coming from 27 different countries, so the overall feeling was indeed very international. There were 15 of us partners, and the rest were IBM’s own experts and employees.

Personally, I found this kind of approach very inspiring: The company invites employees and partners for training, but they are also given a glimpse of new features that are coming. Employees can then use that information when they are selling the tools to customers. We (yes, employees AND partners) were given the opportunity to give feedback on the tools’ features, but also about how the business and marketing works in general. I think that is something many companies could benefit; listen to the employees who see and hear all the things on the field, they have the best insights and usually the best ideas on how to make things better. And what a motivation it gives, to be invited to Paris for training, and having your opinion heard!

I have been working with IBM Watson technology for a while and was really excited when I got invited to this workshop. I really like working with Watson, so the opportunity to learn more about it was truly awesome. And a trip to Paris didn’t hurt either!

I especially liked the hands-on teamwork we did. For example, we got a “customer case” from our trainers, and then we were tasked to do the needed development to meet all the requirements. And in a very rapid speed, I might add! Then we were presented with different kinds of changes, both in specification but also in the team; for example, switching team members in the middle of the assignment. All this was done in good spirits and accompanied with lots of laughter. It was also a good example on how fast working solutions can be built with the IBM Watson tools.

I was accompanied with three Finnish IBM employees, and on our free time we roamed around the city and checked out the most famous sights. Paris is a nice place for work travel, because when you have little time, but want to see the sights, all is conveniently located in a fairly small area. And, probably needless to say; the food there was incredible!

A big Thank You to IBM for inviting me, and the Finnish IBM'ers for the great company and support. Hope to work together with you in future projects!