Volume 19, Number 28 -- August 9, 2010

RPG World Turns to Chicago Training Facility

Published: August 9, 2010

by Dan Burger

Motivated students can learn in almost any environment. I mean, if you want to take RPG, its multiple database connectivity, and the IBM Power Systems hardware running the i operating system to a level that's on par with any other business computing system, you could probably do that in a cave. But that would be so Neanderthal. Facilities do have a bearing on learning. And that's why Bob Cozzi has scheduled his next RPG World conference at the Q Center in suburban Chicago.

This is a first-class facility. It's specifically set up for training--a high tech, distraction-free environment. Cozzi describes it as a college campus for business executives.

For a quick glimpse at this state of the art facility, click this tour of the training center link. You'll be impressed. And contrary to what you might guess, Cozzi says this facility makes RPG World more affordable. Staging an educational conference for approximately 150 people at a hotel is very costly.

The registration for the three-day conference is $1,295. Three meals per day are included in the registration; on-site lodging expenses begin at $134 per night including taxes and fees. Cozzi considers this "affordable" compared to other training options and the costs incurred by companies that do not invest in their own employees.

"I think that whether a person gets training and education depends more on attitude than on the cost or the time away from work," Cozzi says.

"IT is not looked at today as highly as it was in its heyday. In the last eight years, it has gone down hill as outsourcing became dominant. It became a cost-cutting center. What is often not realized is that it costs more to outsource because the companies providing outsourcing services are producing crap for results. The results are always bad and they always cost a company more money than if they handled IT internally," says the well-known and seldom reticent trainer who strongly believes "the false promise of what outsourcing saves businesses is preventing the training of existing employees."

Based on past RPG World conferences, Cozzi estimates about 90 percent of RPG World attendees have expenses paid by their employers. The attendee profile runs the gamut from one-person consulting shops and small businesses to large enterprises sending a dozen or more programmers.

One of the special aspects of this event, in Cozzi's view, is that speakers and attendees are very interactive.

"There are no kings and queens," he says. "It's very relaxed. It's like a brain-storming session. And no one treats anyone badly . . . as if they are dumb. That's what online forums are for," he says while chuckling about some of the online banter that becomes testy at times.

The instructors at RPG World include subject matter experts such as Greg Veal, Bruce Hoffman, and Schadd Gray, who have been affiliated with this event for several years. But it also includes new blood such Aaron Bartell, Mike Pavlak, and Pete Massiello.

Cozzi is one of the most recognizable names in the RPG business. He's been on the scene since 1981 and has a large and loyal following that has become familiar with him as an instructor, an author, and a producer of events and multi-media presentations.

A detailed session list for RPG World is not yet available. Instructor abstracts are still being acquired. But the basic topics are in place. They include PHP, RPG for the Web, subprocedures, modernizing RPG applications, SQL database and embedded SQL, CL, and using HTML as a Web browser. "These are the things people need to know today to make applications contemporary and stay competitive," Cozzi says.

About 90 percent of the sessions are new, according to Cozzi, who notes that the Q Center facility will allow ad hoc sessions to be presented based on requests by the attendees. A vendor expo area, which in past years has been capped at 10 participants, is being expanded. Vendors will also be presenting at least one session, with additional sessions also possible if demand warrants.

RPG World is scheduled for September 20 through 22. For more information or to register for the event, go to the conference Web site via this link.

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