Miraculously the rain held off for the evening, and everyone made the most of it by stepping out onto the balcony of the Doggetts Coat and Badge pub by Blackfriars Bridge, where they were able to enjoy views of the Thames and
St Paul's Cathedral.
Some people travelled considerable distances to get to Computer Weekly's informal IT industry networking event. Applications developer Royston Waddington and two fellow ITers came all the way from Oxford.
Most had rushed straight from work in central London and by 7.30pm the balcony had nearly 100 IT professionals exchanging views and sipping beer. Some were on a job-hunting mission and quickly tracked down the recruitment consultants from event sponsor TMP Worldwide for a chat.
However, the majority were focusing all their energy on the free bar. The event attracted plenty of new faces, along with hardcore regulars such as IT staff from the Corporation of London. The whole IT community was represented, with Java developers, IT consultants, systems analysts, Citrix contractors, IT managers and software engineers all mingling together.
Lager was the evening's drink of choice. The bar tab shows that Becks, Carlsberg and Stella Artois were the most popular drinks of the night.
But it wasn't all about drink. The Thirst Thursday quiz challenged the intellect of the assembled IT boffins, and some were seen to phone a friend for answers to the toughest questions. It was a struggle to get all the forms in after the allotted 10 minutes and some had to be forcibly wrested from struggling teams.
As usual, quiz master Martin Couzins was in danger of losing his voice as he shouted out the answers to a mixture of groans and cheers. Only a couple of teams were able to recall how many goals England scored in the 1998 France World Cup, with most underestimating the correct total of seven. The contest was won by the Norfolk and Chance team, whose members promptly sprayed their prize bottle of bubbly in a manner worthy of any grand prix winner.
Who paid for the drinks?
Thirst Thursday was sponsored by TMP Worldwide, a new IT recruitment consultancy created by the merger of TMP Worldwide and Apex. The organisation provides specialist local expertise, knowledge across all sectors, global resources and complete IT recruitment solutions. More at http://er.monster.co.uk.