A few short weeks ago, several experts from around the world began a whirlwind-tour across New Zealand and Australia, to share their Excel and modeling knowledge. I must say, it was one helluva’n experience which I was blessed to be a part of. Often I take knowing these experts for granted, because I’ve known them for some time now. People like Jon Peltier, Liam Bastick, Ken Puls, Charles Williams, Ingeborg Hawighorst, Bill Jelen, and Felienne Hermans among others. Not only were independent Excel experts from all over the world, but representatives from the Microsoft Excel team, Program Manager’s Ben Rampson and Carlos Otero attended, presented, and fielded questions.
Overall the Summit went extremely well and was received fantastically. So much in fact there was call for another one, which I certainly hope to see!
The Important Stuff
Of course, of any trip the most important stuff is the people. This Summit was no exception, and I had the privilege to meet some truly extraordinary people.
In New Zealand, the one crazy bastard which sticks out in my mind is this guy, Jeff Weir.
He even made a blog post about why he was going to the Summit.
Should I take offense to being called a “cliche tourist”, or that he misspelled my last name (FYI, it’s “Barresse”)? Would I stoop to that level? No, of course I wouldn’t. In fact, I found out Jeff is actually pretty cool, contrary to popular belief. We even had some fun. (This is my Jeff-face, which Ken was supposed to do also, but he couldn’t stop laughing. Silly Canadian.)
As a big fan of J.R.R. Tolkien, I was looking forward to seeing the visions of Peter Jackson come to life as I traveled down under. I had my sights set on Hobbiton. Let me tell you, those Hobbits are small fries indeed. My son and I were giants at their homes. I was a little disappointed to learn that everyone in Hobbiton isn’t actually a Hobbit. In fact, it was totally devoid of Hobbits altogether. Note to self: read the fine print.
We even managed some time to see the beautiful sights. Australia was amazing, and Manly Beach was an awesome sight to see. Apparently all the beautiful people in the world are trapped there. Below (left-to-right), Tim Heng (of Sumproduct.com), Jon Peltier, Bill Jelen, Ken Puls, myself, and Ben Rampson (of Microsoft), enjoy a day at the beach and surfing tournament.
Of course it wouldn’t truly be a Summit without some proper beer. Hophaus in Melbourne provided ample opportunity for us to make that happen. Myself, Jon Peltier, Ken Puls, and Charles Williams.
And more beer drinking. (L-R) Myself, Jon Peltier, Anne Kilmartin (online moniker: geekgirlau), and Ken Puls.
Definitely worth it for me. Not only was I honored to be able to stand with such esteemed experts, but just damn nice people. There was a ton of great information shared, and I picked up several pieces of great information (ALT+BACKSPACE, another Undo keyboard shortcut, thanks Bill!).