Part of being a CTP is giving feedback to Citrix.  That sounds pretty simple.  In reality, they lock us in a room for two days twice a year, stuff us full of coffee and doughnuts and subject us to a never-ending parade of product managers.  Ok, it’s not QUITE that bad.  The food is pretty good.  Most of the PMs know they need to send their techies, otherwise we sharpen our fangs and they leave the room bleeding.  That’s right, we’re not locked in the room with them, they’re locked in the room with US.

In all seriousness, it is pretty fun to be part of the development process.  It’s especially gratifying to see suggestions that we make show up in the products, and to take some pride into making them better.  Now, they don’t always listen to us… *cough* *StoreFront* *cough* …but they usually do.  We get fed well for two days, and they get some solid feedback on their product roadmaps with a real-world experience twist on it. It’s always been a great use of my time to participate.

This year, at Citrix Synergy 2014 in Los Angeles, we’d like to try something different.  Attendees are used to the CTPs standing up in front of them, and sharing our experiences.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s something we LOVE doing, and if the attendee feedback is any indication, it’s well-received.  Awesome, let’s keep that going.  However, as the title of the session says: “Geek Speak.  Yes! YOU Speak.” We want some interaction from the community at large as well.

Now, doing our normal format of 50 people in a room talking to PMs is bad enough, let alone cranking that up to the 400 (hopefully) people in a Geek Speak session.  So what we are going to do is split up the room.  We have a 45 minute session, and we’ll ask the attendees to sit in three groups: Mobility, Desktop/Apps, and Networking.  Each group will have a CTP mentor, and we’ll take 20 minutes to get feedback and put together thoughts and ideas on the subject.  Then each group will select a representative (NOT the CTP) to stand up and give a 5-minute TED-style talk on the conclusions.  We’ll then use the remaining 5-10 minutes for wrap up and questions.  We’re hoping that attendees, CTPs, and Citrites as well all enjoy a feedback session.  We’re hoping some really good ideas come out of it, and we expand the idea next year.

So we hope to see you there.  Come armed with an opinion and a voice to express it.  Pick your topic and volunteer to get up on stage for 5 minutes.  Get involved and get noticed.  That’s what the CTP program is about: community.  You’re already a member.  Now is your time to shine.

With 16 years of IT consulting experience at NASA, GSA and many other government agencies, Chris Rogers has expertise and knowledge spanning the IT spectrum. After being introduced to virtualization technology in 2005, he established close working relationships with XenSource and its founders. When Citrix acquired XenSource, he came along as a Gold Citrix Solution Advisor. Chris is currently a Citrix Technology Professional for XenServer and continues his close relationship with the XenServer team. Follow him on Twitter: @citrixjedi.

Steve Greenberg is the founder of Thin Client Computing, a leading provider of advanced Citrix virtualization solutions. A pioneer and innovator in advanced deployments of Citrix technologies, he has been active in remoting and virtualization since 1992.  Mr. Greenberg is a popular public speaker who has presented at Synergy, Geek Speak Live! and BriForum. He has published white papers, research studies and informational articles and has received both the Microsoft MVP and Citrix CTP awards. Follow him on Twitter: @stevegreenberg.

Warren Simondson is managing director and founder of Ctrl-Alt-Del IT Consultancy, an Australian firm established in 2002 and a Gold Citrix Solution Advisor. The company is known for the CAD Freeware Util Pack, a collection of 30 freeware utilities developed by Warren to extend the functionality and management of Terminal Server and Citrix environments. Warren has worked in the information technology field for 15 years and is a Citrix Certified Integration Architect, Citrix Certified Enterprise Engineer and Citrix Certified Administrator. Follow him on Twitter: @Caditc.

Citrix invited the author of this blog post to present at Citrix Synergy 2014 and to participate in a related contest.  The author received an entry into the contest for submitting this Blog.