April 13, 2017. The first ever Pega Meetup in Toronto. Pega Academy organized/hosted this event. Because it was the first event in Toronto, I thought I would try and describe it for those that couldn’t make it.
Pegasystems has had a strong presence in the financial district in Toronto for some time (in fact, all of the major national Canadian banks use Pega in some for or other).
So with that in mind, I needed to attend to see if a meetup had as much energy and learning as a PegaWorld 2016 event. I had no clue how many people would be there and what to expect. It exceeded all my expectations.
It started with the friendly welcoming smile from Mary Ogonowski. Looking through the name tags you would see many people from different companies. Plenty of different backgrounds but one thing in common – a general interest to talk, learn and mingle with fellow Pega-ites (is that a word?).
Peter Manijak kicked off the meeting by speaking of some the benefits of certification and the ever expanding courses available at the Pega Academy.
Jeff Vande Wege provided an update on the benefits of how the Pega Academy and University Academic Program can benefit companies that are always looking for new Pega skills.
Richard Fay provided some proven methods to improve the success of your projects; through smaller incremental deliverables by using methodologies like Agile/Scrum and processes such as DCO.
There were demos throughout the night on the following: Marketing, Robotics, and Pega Express. No offence to A.R. Qazi because the Pega Express help the business see working code extremely quickly “without any coding” being done, but the hands down winner this time in the demo category was Michael Carothers’ presentations on Robotics and thus re-iterating the already industry known fact, the buzz around Robotics is real. Some of the things that can be done with Robotics are only limited by the creativity of the user.
Meeting new people
The prime benefit of any get together (meetup or PegaWorld) is the “Hallway track”. The difference: a Meetup is the Hallway track. Not enough time to talk to everyone or have long discussions with the ones you did meet. BUT you did exchange contact information to continue the conversations at great lengths later or at PegaWorld!
There was a raffle draw at this event. Was it because this was the first event or was it because it was hosted by Pega Academy? Only time will tell. I won’t say what the winners received but you will need to show up to the next one to see what the next surprise might hold.
The Drake Hotel was a great setting for the first ever event in Toronto. It had the right amount of background music, lighting, drinks and nibbles. This provided a great atmosphere for the event. Although, based on the success of this event, the area used for this event might not be large enough for the next event.
Just when you thought the gift of knowledge and meeting new people was enough, Pega Academy handed out some nice swag to finish off the night!