Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Systems 2005

My company was represented on the Systems 2005, a Munich IT exhibition.

It's a nice enough job, manning the booth. You don't have to use your brain all the time, you just have to repeat basically the same thing with varying listeners all day long. At five-thirty, the boss puts a Queen DVD on the big big screen and we break out the beers, feeling like rock stars because our feet hurt and we've been talking for eight hours straight.

You soon pick up the most common phrases, "The first of its kind", "Currently, only we can do this", and it's great getting to know the product portfolio. Especially if you're a developer, like me, and aren't required to know anything. You just ask any of the salesmen when you get stuck.

Sometimes, you get really interesting requests, like the hungarian guy who wanted to know if we could do a 150km fiber optics IP extension without anything in between. No repeaters, on amplifiers. When I asked him where was, he replied "out at sea". Wow. They'll drop a tube on the ocean floor, and pave it over with a foot of concrete, so any accidentally dropped anchors don't rip it up. Amazing.

It's also a grueling job, because most nights you get to go out with a business partner, but still have to crawl out of bed every day in the morning.

But I wouldn't miss it for anything.


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