‘Catch the Wave’ OCEAN Tech Conference Returns to SoCal
June 18, 2007 Dan Burger
One of the largest and most active local user groups in the United States, the OCEAN User Group of Southern California, is hosting its annual “Catch the Wave” technical conference Monday, July 16. The event focuses on the IBM System i, iSeries, and AS/400 platform as well as the i5/OS and OS/400 operating systems.
The one-day event will feature 30 educational sessions, which are divided into six tracks comprised of five sessions. Attendees can choose to remain in one track for the entire five sessions or pick sessions from any number of tracks. The following tracks are on the schedule: i5 Tools/Optimization, Infrastructure, Web Development, New Technology, Hot and New RPG, and i5 Integration. A hands-on lab devoted to .NET for System i developers is also being offered the following day at a separate location. Attendance at this session is limited to the conference attendees. Session abstracts are available on the OCEAN Web site. The sessions begin at 8 a.m. and finish at 5:30 p.m. with three 30-minute breaks and a 75-minute luncheon with a keynote presentation by Bob Tipton, one of the top speakers at System i conferences and local user group meetings.
“Our topics are based on the most popular sessions at COMMON and feedback from our members who still want their core RPG and infrastructure, but realize the need to learn more about the new technology or development tools as well,” says Bob Langieri, OCEAN’s vice president of publicity.
“Typically, the biggest classes are still RPG IV, with Web development and i5 integration almost a tie for second in popularity. We added an infrastructure track about three years ago and that track has been very well received by systems administrators, systems engineers and infrastructure managers,” Langieri says. “Infrastructure people tend to stay in that track throughout the day. Senior developers and application managers tend to attend some of the RPG track sessions, but then vary their tracks or sessions based on subject matter that is relevant to their interests and projects at their companies.”
Attendance at this event is forecasted to top 300, which is on par with last year’s event that set an OCEAN tech conference attendance record of 325. Class size varies between 35 and 60. OCEAN is supported by more than 300 member companies. Langieri says the annual technical conference is successful to some degree because IT managers see it as a way to improve their development and support staff. They also send staff as a reward for their efforts.
“Managers also like our event because they can afford to send just about all of their staff as opposed to something like COMMON where the cost or time out of the office may be prohibitive to send the whole staff,” he says. “I should also say that about 85 percent of our attendees come back every year, with only a few missing it because of conflicts and unfortunately a few not returning because their company is moving to another platform or non-RPG-based ERP software like the JD Edwards EnterpriseOne.”
The conference and expo will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Irvine. The hotel provides a free shuttle service to nearby John Wayne Airport. More than 30 vendors will be exhibiting in the expo area.