Learn Great Stuff From IBM i Champions At COMMON
March 14, 2016 Alex Woodie
There are three things that go into making IBM i a great business platform: bullet-proof hardware, reliable software, and exceptional people. If your organization invests in its people (and don’t laugh, because not every company does), it will be hard to miss this year’s annual COMMON Annual Meeting and Expo, where a group of freshly minted Champions for Power will present some compelling sessions on the platform’s latest technology.
The big annual COMMON show is still nine weeks off, but the schedule is already set. Judging by the session descriptions posted to commons16.sched.org/, you can expect to fill your brain to the brim with all things IBM i, courtesy of a number of 2016 IBM Champions for Power who were recently given the honor.
At the COMMON conference in New Orleans, which runs from May 15 through 18, you will find IBM i evangelist extraordinaire Trevor Perry–one of the original class of 2011 Power Systems Champions–presenting real-world lessons on building mobile applications that run on IBM i. You’ll hear from director of IBM i innovation at Krengel Tech Aaron Bartell–a member of the class of 2012–about the incredible Web development power of Ruby on Rails, the importance of open source frameworks to IBM i, and of course squirrel rashes (a.k.a. “Intro to Git”).
Do you have questions about the HMC, storage performance, or how to upgrade to IBM i 7.2? iTech Solutions Group president Pete Massiello (class of 2012) is your man. If you’re interested in hearing about Linux on Power, then check out the sessions from class of 2012 Power Systems Champion Ron Gordon, who has 42 years of experience in IBM server offerings and is currently a director of Power Systems at Mainline Information Systems.
Two newly crowned IBM Champion for Power for 2016–Mike Pavlak, a solutions director from Zend Technologies and executive vice president of technical services Tom Huntington from HelpSystems–are also slated to present IBM i-related sessions at COMMON.
Among the sessions Pavlak will present, the one titled Maria Is the New MySQL for IBM i will be a must-attend class for anybody doing PHP development on the platform. Huntington, meanwhile, will present a session about HelpSystems’ latest IBM i Marketplace Survey results, as well as one titled Who’s Afraid of Linux on Power, AIX, and VIOS? Not i. Steve Pitcher, who also became a Power Systems champion this year, is presenting a COMMON webcast later this month about IBM i security.
All told, the COMMON conference will feature more than 350 sessions by nearly 100 speakers from the IBM i community’s best and brightest. That includes non-IBMers RPG guru Scott Klement, a former Power Systems champion; Carol Woodbury, former OS/400 security architect for IBM; IBM i developer Charles Guarino; IBM i encryption expert Bob Luebbe; DR expert Richard Dolewski; IBM i Web pros John Valence and Alan Sieden; Frankeni mad scientist Larry Bolhuis; and of course Four Hundred Guru editor Ted Holt.
A bunch of high-level IBMers (who can’t be champions) will be there, including IBM i chief architect Steve Will, who will be presenting on the latest IBM i announcements; RPG compiler developer Barbara Morris; IBM director of IBM i security development Jeff Uehling; IBM i product offering manager Alison Butterill; Tim Rowe, architect for IBM’s application development and system administration tools; senior technical staff member Dawn May; and DB2 for i business architect Scott Forstie.
With the IBM i Next announcements expected to occur prior to COMMON, the conference is lining up to be a can’t miss event for anybody interested in hearing about IBM i version 7.3 (or whatever it might be called). It’s not too late to register for the conference, which is being held at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel. Folks who sign up before April 14 can get $200 off registration.
In the meantime, the IBM i community is still basking in the glow of the recently named IBM Champion for Power for 2016. IBM resurrected the program after a temporary hiatus, and changed the name of it too (note: they’re not Power Systems Champions anymore, and technically they’re not IBM i Champions, either, although that does have a nice ring to it).
According to IBM, the IBM Champion program “recognizes innovative thought leaders in the technical community–and rewards these contributors by amplifying their voice and increasing their sphere of influence. An IBM Champion is an IT professional, business leader, developer, or educator who influences and mentors others to help them make best use of IBM software, solutions, and services.”
Of the 34 men and women named a Champion for Power for 2016, there were 17 new champions to go along with 17 existing champions. Here’s the full list (note the asterisk indicates an existing champion):
For more information on the IBM Champions for Power, head over to the IBM developerWorks site.