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    estherbarthelrnd.png by Esther Barthel, CTP, Women In Tech Lead Mentor

    It might be a bit odd to write about my road to Synergy, when the biggest Citrix customer event of the year is going to start in just a few days. But, I guess I've been so busy with all the preparations for this year's activities that I totally forgot to share them with you earlier on. And I know a lot of the community leaders and friends have already shared their thoughts, schedules and expectations for this year's Citrix Synergy with you. So, I thought it would be fun to give you just a little insight into the pre-event excitement I've gone through ever since I became a CTP and got a lot more actively involved in the Synergy activities!

    An early Synergy start

    Let's get back to when the Synergy excitement starts for me each year! Because each year I look forward to that moment when all the Synergy dust seems to have settled and those Q3 product releases are finally there to let you get started with those cool projects to implement the latest and greatest, and get your own hands-on experience with the announced new features in your Citrix infrastructure. Of course, I am talking about that kick-off moment for the next Synergy season: The Call for Topics!

    Call for Topics

    One of the greatest opportunities Citrix offers is the chance to present your adventures, best practices and field experience to the entire Citrix community at Synergy! So, when that Call for Topics is here, I'm eagerly sending in topics for the field experience I've already had and expect to have in the upcoming months. And this year, I decided to team up with some of my fellow CTPs. I ended up sending in more than one session on the automation adventures I've had and the challenges I was about to face with some very promising NetScaler Management and Analytics (MAS) projects that were about to start.

    And now …… we wait

    Those of you who are familiar with the process know that it requires a lot of patience and a lot of waiting before finally those emails come in your mailbox …… telling you whether or not your topic is accepted for Synergy. This year, I felt very lucky again as one of the sessions got accepted. So I feel very honored to be able to share the field experience myself and fellow CTP Carsten Bruns had implementing NetScaler MAS at a large insurance company in Europe, making it the centralized management tool for their NetScalers. This project gave us the chance to use the different management options NetScaler MAS has to offer: Configuration Jobs for those global settings at system level, Stylebooks and Configuration Packs to manage all application configurations, and even more NITRO fun to automate the entire process by using the REST APIs of NetScaler MAS.

    Let's start the Synergy fun!

    And then it quickly turns into a rollercoaster ride, as Synergy is only a couple of months away and the program activities are being scheduled in.

    Being a CTP does have its advantages for Synergy, as the program includes an extra opportunity to meet up with the product managers and engineers to give them some product feedback and talk about what does and doesn't work out in the field. My schedule for pre-Synergy Monday is quickly filled with the CTP meeting.

    And this year, I am also very much looking forward to attending the CUGC Pregame as it does not only offer a chance to meet other community leaders and friends, but will allow me some face-to-face time with the CUGC Women in Technology mentorship program leaders, mentors and mentees. I'm very excited to get to meet my mentees in person for the first time at Synergy as most of our contact has been through email and conference calls.

    Do feel free to track me down at the CUGC Pregame or at the CUGC stand in the Expo hall to learn more about our awesome CUGC Women in Technology mentorship program and how you can sign up for the next class that will start in September. You'll easily recognize us as we got ourselves a really cool t-shirt this year!

    And that is not the only opportunity to geek out with me at Synergy. I'll be joining fellow CTPs Dave Brett and Trond Eirik Haavarstein (aka as Mr. xenappblog.com) at the ControlUp and FSLogix stands to show you how easy and fun it is to build your own automation scripts to deploy and configure the Citrix portfolio in your own data center or the cloud.

    And, as I mentioned at the beginning, if you want to learn more about the management features of NetScaler MAS and how to create custom Stylebooks and automation workflows feel very welcome at the breakout session I have with Carsten Bruns: SYN220 (Thursday May 10th at 1:30PM in ACC, Level 3, Ballroom C). We are still finalizing our slide deck to make sure we can pack those 45 minutes with some pretty cool cool demos to our session.

    And if you feel that is too long a wait, I can share some cool stuff with you on Wednesday as well as I've been invited by Citrites Ken Ross and George McGregor to join their session SYN125 (Wednesday May 9th and Thursday May 10th at 5:30PM in ACC, Level 3, Ballroom A) and share the customer case with you that allowed me to build custom Stylebooks and automate the application configurations with NetScaler MAS.

    So feel free to reach out through social media for a meet-up at Synergy to geek out on automation, NetScaler MAS or just how much fun tech girls have!

    See you at Synergy!

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