Around 2000 IT professionals, attending Microsoft's TechEd conference in Canberra today, heard world famed marine scientist Dr Jo MacInnis making the intriguing comparison between deep-sea exploration and the IT industry.
In an opening keynote, Steve Vamos, managing director Microsoft Australia, said the theme this year -- 'visualise yourself fully optimised' -- was not just about the technology but the intellectual power of the IT professional.
To further this theme, deep-sea diver Dr MacInnis discussed the courage and inventiveness of explorers. In an inspirational talk, Dr MacInnis likened the threats of the oceans to the "insurmountable problems" faced by IT professionals.
Accompanied by video footage of underwater scenes, such as the Titanic discovery exploration, MacInnis made analogies to the IT industry.
"The IT universe and our ocean are very alike -- cold, deep, dark and sometimes dangerous and terribly rewarding," he said.
MacInnis, who was part of the team on the famous Titanic and Bismark explorations, said: "The Titanic took three years to build and it took 10 seconds for an iceberg to punch a hole in it. There is an important lesson in that. We still have to learn certain technology, but as important as it is, it is not the answer (to our future). The answer is in our intuition, in our hearts and in our eyes, our thoughts and our ideas."
MacInnis added that his voyages to the ocean's floor would not have happened had it not been for "people like you, coming up with software solutions that allow us to make the dives, and to do the films."
TechEd, Microsoft Australia's biggest annual conference for IT professionals, opened in Canberra with 2000 delegates attending 100 sessions being held over the next three days.
Siobhan Chapman travelled to TechEd as a guest of Microsoft.