Today I made my way up to Sheffield to attend the UK Network Operators’ Forum‘s 13th meeting. UKNOF is something I’ve wanted to attend many times in the past as there has always seemed to be a very interesting set of presentations, but I could never convince my employer to let me do so as my job was never particularly networking-related.
Well, these days I am my employer, so very little convincing was necessary! Despite the presentations having a lack of immediate relevance to my day to day work I still found them on the whole to be of very high quality and of benefit in understanding the wider networking world in which I operate. Not only that but it gave me the opportunity to meet a number of BitFolk‘s customers in person.
The purse strings at BitFolk are necessarily tight at the moment though, so that meant just a day trip for me. I would dearly have loved to travel up on Wednesday night, stay 2 nights and come back tomorrow, but unfortunately finances dictated an eye-watering 4am wake up today for me in order to get the 6.37am train up to Sheffield from London St. Pancras and arrive in good time for the 9.30am start. Again I’d have loved to stay tonight and sink more than the two rushed beers I managed but here I am on the 19.27 back to London.
A London venue would have been easier for me, but that’s just being selfish. Sheffield appears to be a very modern, good looking city, and the people a friendly lot. More time here would have been good, and another visit very welcome.
Electric Works, the actual venue of the conference too was superb — such amazing acoustics in the conference room that I don’t think the microphones would even have been needed were it not for the recordings being made. Speaking of the recordings, it was refreshing to find a (free!) conference that takes logistics seriously. A decent quality wireless network, downloadable slides in advance of the talks, streamed and recorded video and jabber and IRC chat rooms were provided.