TLCC2016 and Me

by Brittany Martin

I finally get it. My co-workers at the Trust have been insisting that the Tessitura Learning and Community conference is the highlight of the year. Having just arrived home from Washington D.C., I'm already counting the days until we head to San Diego for TLCC 2017. 

What is Tessitura, you say? The Tessitura Network is a company formed by the initial users of Tessitura Software, the API and client that fuels our website and box offices. Their goal was to set up an open model, nonprofit technology and services company that avoided the pitfalls, disappointments, diversions and high fees experienced with traditional for-profit software companies (cough cough Ticketmaster).

The conference (TLCC) is an annual event where hundreds of arts and culture organizations come together to learn from one another and listen to what Tessitura HQ is working on in their next release. It's more loving than a highschool reunion. The TLCC staff makes sure that your trip is personalized and optimized for making connections. TLCC's special events (5k, First Timers lunch) and sessions (Open Space, you choose the topic) that fostered these moments.

Right after my co-worker and friend, Danielle, gave an excellent talk on our website refresh 

Right after my co-worker and friend, Danielle, gave an excellent talk on our website refresh 

This is the first year that the conference had a track for the developers that either work within their hosted solution (TNEW) or develop custom websites plugged into their SOAP API (like us, at the Trust). Leading up to the conference, the Trust web team met each day about a feature we are eager to implement so we arrived with a laundry list of features we wanted to get opinions about.

Without further ado, these were my favorite parts of the conference: 

Web Developers Forum: All Things HTTP(S)://

We joined the members of the Tessitura web team for an intense roundtable discussion on all things technical. This was my first session of the conference and it was a great way to put out our wish list of goals and to meet our fellow developers. It got a bit heated but that was needed in order to break the ice. I earned my induction into the community Bitbucket organization and Slack channel. 

Hands-On Developer Workshops

The next big developer feature is Tessitura's new REST API. For the first time, there was hands-on workshop to implement and test the REST API in a mock web app. While the workshop was conducted in Visual Studio, I was able to follow along in Ruby. If I was stuck, it was easy to flag down a Network developer. 

6am start on Tuesday 

6am start on Tuesday 

Tessitura 5K Fun Run 

It was a blast joining my Tessitura colleagues for this walk/run along the Potomac River. I came in 37th place, 8th placed female. Not bad for just starting my (challenging) career as a budding runner. 

Tessitura's Innovator Series Live at TLCC

The Innovator Series is a spotlight on the insights and innovation in the business of arts and culture. This was a presentation shared between three different organizations but Opera Philadelphia really stuck with me. 

Opera Philadelphia has been garnering attention as a high-energy producer and fervent proponent of opera as an exciting and relevant art form, capable of meeting a wide range of audiences wherever they are – from the opera hall to some of the most unexpected places. In her talk, Annie shared how Opera Philadelphia consistently creates the opportunity for imaginative and inspired work to happen by being what she calls “a partnership ninja,” equally deft at co-commissioning with another opera company as co-creating with a group of talented and passionate high school students. OP depicts how much creativity matters when keeping a non-profit relevant and thriving. 



Tessitura Hackathon

Experienced developers were able to get more hands-on experience with the REST and SOAP APIs, while collaborating with fellow community developers around a shared project or problem. I ended up bringing a coding problem (I'm learning Javascript at the moment) that I paired with Danielle on. Definitely not a traditional hackathon so I got to leave the ninja-rockstar pressure at home. 

Tour of Ford's Theatre

After the conference wrapped up, we traveled to Ford’s Theatre, a working professional theatre that just integrated with Tessitura (and ditched Ticketmaster!). In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth while attending a performance of “Our American Cousin” at the theatre. Lincoln died the next morning in the Petersen House, a boarding house located across the street. During our visit to Ford’s Theatre, we explored the museum, which details Lincoln’s presidency and the events of the assassination, walked through the Theatre, entered the Petersen House where Lincoln died, and explored exhibits addressing the aftermath of the assassination and the evolution of the Lincoln legacy.

That's a wrap on TLCC2016. Spending more time with not only my Trust co-workers but District employees I haven't gotten to bond with was a highlight. I am incredibly proud of my District co-workers who spoke, moderated and guru'd sessions. My goal is to join you all next year!