What does a pair of miner’s boots have to do with a design and technology conference?

boots1-tinyI happened upon these well-worn boots at a coal mine in West Virginia, where I was waiting to test emergency communications gear underground, and they really spoke to me. They form the core of my favorite photo set of all that I’ve taken in my travels.

When I first saw these boots I pondered the stories they could tell and what a different life their owner has from mine. Standing there in my own work boots, with my hard hat and safety gear in the truck, I thought about the miner who had walked in the muck so many times in his and I smiled at how lucky I am. My tech career has taken me a lot of places and introduced me to a huge variety of people whose perspective and experience is vastly different from my own. I realized that it’s one of the reasons I’ll never tire of working in tech. Every day, month and year introduces me to more and more fascinating people with fascinating lives.

Of course, many of the people I encounter spend their days in much more familiar environments, but their days are still vastly different from one another and from mine. Whether I work with coders and techs, or marketers and analysts, with bankers, public safety workers, entrepreneurs or artists, I’m infused with a new way of thinking every day. Tech is a common element we all share, but we approach it in such very different ways.

Just as I’ve learned and been inspired by the miners who venture into danger every day, I’m affected by everyone I encounter and I actively seek opportunities to see the world through a different lens. That’s why I want to attend FITC.

Unlike many niche events I attend, FITC deliberately brings together individuals from many different disciplines to co-mingle and play off one another, allowing worlds to collide and creating opportunities for the special brand of inspiration that results when people whose daily routines are very different come together.

I hope I’ll be able to attend this year, and hope to see you there too. You can register here.