Two Fall Conferences Are Must-See IT
October 3, 2016 Dan Burger
In just a few weeks, the COMMON user group has two conferences offering IBM i education. It’s good to know there are still companies and individuals that value the development of IT expertise, innovation, and industry best practices. The evolution of IBM i skills has never been more important than it is today, but overall the attendance at technical conferences has remained at about the same level for the past five years.
COMMON has its Fall Conference scheduled for October 24-26 in Columbus, Ohio, and BeNeLux Power 2016–hosted by COMMON organizations in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg is set for October 19 and 20 in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Both conferences feature technical sessions, workshops, certifications, networking opportunities, and vendor expos. Although they are predominately focused on IBM i topics, there are sessions pertaining to the other Power Systems platforms–AIX and Linux–as well. The selection of subject matter experts presenting educational sessions are top notch at both events.
The format at the Ohio event includes pre-conference workshops on Sunday, October 23 and then three days of tech sessions for a total of 120 sessions. The sessions are divided into seven educational roadmaps. Attendees can follow the roadmaps for in-depth education on specific topics or hop-scotch among a variety of topics of interest. As usual, there is an emphasis on topics such as RPG, SQL and systems management, but there are some new areas of growing interest to be found as well. Look for an increased emphasis on leadership and management, business skills, virtualization, security, and open source languages–especially Node.js, Ruby, and PHP.
Because application modernization continues to be high on the priority list of many IBM i shops, there will be several vendors presenting sessions on how to solve a specific modernization issue. The reality-based scenario will be assigned by COMMON and each vendor will explain its methodology for solving the problem. The sessions will be presented back-to-back on October 24.
“Modernization is a hot topic,” Manzoor Siddiqui, executive director of COMMON, notes. “So we’ve integrated a track into our session agenda that’s set up for attendees to see tools available for modernization. I think the dynamic in the industry is changing and the vendors have become an integral part of the solutions. The participating vendors will include BCD, Fresche, LANSA, OpenLegacy, Profound Logic, and Surround Technologies.”
Another highlight of the Fall COMMON Conference is the growing student participation. The COMMON Education Foundation is chiefly responsible for this with assistance from COMMON and the IBM Power Systems Academic Initiative. The number of participating students has grown to more than 30 and the number of schools participating has expanded as well. The schools sending students are: Arkansas Tech, Cincinnati State, Gateway Technical College, Lambton College, Moraine Valley Community College, Muskegon Community College, and Pennsylvania College of Technology.
For IBM i shops looking to hire recent college graduates, this is a good list to start with. And if you want to help fund the CEF’s effort to bring more students to COMMON and introduce them to the IBM i community, there’s a $40 for 40 Students fundraising campaign that could use your help.
For additional details and registration information, follow this link to the COMMON Fall Conference.
“Advance my career–no stress, just education” is the theme of the Benelux Power 2016 conference, which puts practical tips and techniques–knowledge that is immediately implementable–at the forefront of its educational sessions. Here, too, is a conference with in-depth workshops, technical sessions, keynote addresses, and a vendor expo that combines to deliver an open air market environment for obtaining IT information specific to IBM i.
Topics for the pre-conference workshops include IBM i Navigator, Access Client Solutions, DB2 for i, open source tools, SQL, Java, IBM i 7.2 and 7.3 system upgrades, virtualization, system administration, and security.
Keynote session topics include: IBM i trends and directions, involving non-IT management in IT decisions, and IT preparedness for modern business challenges.
IT Jungle‘s good friend Ranga Deshpande, vice president and events organizer for COMMON Belgium, noted in an email that the Benelux Power event will honor three companies for excellence in implementing IBM i solutions. The winners and the finalists will present sessions to explain how they accomplished their innovative solutions. The excellence awards will be a showcase for IBM i innovative solutions that can benefit the entire IBM i community, Deshpande says.
This is the fourth year for the Benelux event, which is expected to draw around 200 attendees.
For additional details and registration information, follow this link to BeNeLux Power.