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An MMS 2022 Recap

Two weeks out from the last MMSMOA and the technical overload hangover lingers on...but in a Good Way. This post isn't terribly original, but it's my own highlights/recap/pitch of MMS.

What Exactly is MMS?

Formally and historically, it's stood for Midwest Management Summit. Practically, it's an outstanding conference featuring folks doing and sharing cool things related to the broader enterprise/Windows systems management community. Large enough to be diverse in topics; small enough to foster amazing connections and share experiences.

I've been attending MMS, specifically the MOA iteration, for several years now. While I shouldn't, I still find it difficult to pinpoint exactly what it is about MMS that has been so life-altering to me. However, my friend Kale was featured in one of this year's daily highlight videos and sums it up way better than I can:

Don't be afraid to reach out to people. I think it's a really amazing opportunity to get to meet people and to connect with people and hear what other people are doing. That information sharing stuff is really important when you're doing something that can be very specialized. There aren't a whole lot of people, even within infrastructure, that necessarily understand what we do.

My "Top 10" of MMS 2022

Some of my memorable highlights include (in no ranking order):

  1. Re-connection with old friends
  2. Meeting a few new folks (fellow attendees)
  3. Having great laughs and sharing stories, often around food (and some beer)
  4. An amazing and inclusive (everyone attending was welcome) vendor event by the Patch My PC folks
  5. Seeing the reaction to my MMSMOA Retweet Bot
  6. Meeting a speaker I'd been looking forward to seeing in person, and then at other random opportunities having non-technical conversations with them
  7. Being tagged by someone far more influential than I in a list of folks to meet or follow
  8. Mind-blowing introduction to a community-developed product (OSDCloud) that could seriously help in some one-off situations
  9. More ways to creatively "hack the task sequence" to do impactful things, which is really useful in our multi-user environments
  10. Re-learning how to do some basic cross stitch (after a 30-year hiatus)

Immediate, Actionable Takeaways

In a meeting with my director the other day, I was asked about some takeaways from this year. After rattling off a laundry list of things, some identified above, he summarized with "Excellent, sounds like good stuff that can be implemented in the next six months or so."

I immediately countered with, "Indeed; however, I've already been implementing two takeaways this past week, so it's timely and actionable, too."

What I have come to appreciate deeply about MMS, especially as a returning attendee, is the re-connection with folks...often to share updates or beyond. I can ping these folks with questions, updates, and share my own experiences on implementing (and/or expanding) the ideas they shared in the past. This has helped me iteratively make major changes to existing processes, and provide a better 'product' to our techs and end users. I like to "steal with pride" as is often heard in the hallways and rooms, but I always return the credit (and hopefully provide some return encouragement and excitement).

Looking Forward to the Next Iteration!

As I have in the past, I'm already looking forward to the next MMS...even though it's not until May 2023. This time, though, I'm keeping a bit of a short list of possible pitches for sessions. Who knows, maybe I'll craft up enough relevant material to get over the impostor syndrome long enough to submit my own ideas. Having talked with more speakers this year (in a casual format), I'm really intrigued by the thought of presenting at a future MMS. But before then I have other presentations and "sessions" to prepare like my early June talk related to getting folks familiar with Certbot. That's a topic for a future post, though.

If you haven't been to MMS in the past and are on the edge...definitely take the next step. It is well worth the time, and there can be something for everyone! It's not just beer!

Tto wrap this up, here are the four review/highlight videos from MMS 2022. Interestingly enough I have found myself in all four videos, including a difficult to decipher cameo rounding the corner in a go-kart (the only reason I know that is our heat was when the camera guy was doing his thing):

Headline image via giphy