COMMON Launches Focus, A Live Educational Series
December 9, 2020 Alex Woodie
COMMON yesterday kicked off the latest virtual event during this social distanced year of COVID-19. Focus is a series of half-day workshops on IBM i topics that is taking place through December 17. It’s a live event, which is good, but best of all, it’s free — as long as you are a current COMMON member.
Focus consists of 18 half-day sessions across eight topic areas that are taking place this week (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday) and the same days next week. The sessions, which kick off each day at 1 p.m. CT, are presented live by real live IBM i experts from IBM, like Kent Milligan and Jesse Gorzinski, as well as IBM i experts outside of Big Blue, like Carol Woodbury and Vern Hamburg. The recordings will be accessible for the next 30 days.
There’s something for everyone with Focus, which COMMON is targeting at newbies and experienced pros alike.
For example, in the Basics for Admins track, attendees can learn about things like issuing commands and starting backups by Pete Massiello and his colleagues at iTech Solutions Group. Folks who are new to Access Client Solutions (ACS) can hear about basic concepts from the IBM architects themselves, including Scott Forstie and Tim Rowe.
Those interested in exploring the world of native IBM i web services may be interested in Scott Klement’s “REST APIs and RPG” session, which takes place December 10. And Rational Developer for IBM i (RDi) expert Charles Guarino promises to tell you “All You Need to Know About RDi in Four Hours.”
Other topics include open source, security, SQL, database engineering, career growth, and ACS. There are 26 speakers scheduled to lead classes, and the event is sponsored by 10 midrange vendors.
Online events have proliferated this year thanks to the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has decimated in-person learning across the United States. COMMON, which is celebrating its 60th birthday this year, cancelled two physical conferences, including the original POWERUp 2020 conference scheduled for April in Georgia and a rescheduled version of that event in September in Florida. It also has held several virtual events, most notably the Virtual POWERUp 2020 in September and its COMMON iNSIGHT event in May.
Gordon Leary, the new president of COMMON, says the Focus event provides a unique opportunity for IBM i professionals to take a deep dive into eight important skills that will be important as we get into 2021.
“We recognized that it has been a crazy year for our members and want to do what we can to help support the COMMON community by delivering even more membership benefits,” Leary tells IT Jungle via email. “I think everyone is starting to look at 2021, and the great possibilities it holds as we, hopefully, return to some normalcy. So, we made the decision to offer this great content and event exclusively free to our 2021 members so that they can be ready for the opportunities that lie ahead in 2021 and beyond.”
Leary added: “Of course, this event would not be possible if not for the support of our industry expert speakers and our vendor partners. Their continued contributions to COMMON have helped move us and our members forward during this challenging year.”
Individual membership to COMMON start at $219. Only members that are current into 2021 can access the Focus event. For more information, see the event’s website at https://www.common.org/2020focusdays/home/member-2021