Spring Brings Events To IBM i Community, And More
March 13, 2023 Alex Woodie
As the calendar flips over from winter to spring, the IBM i community begins to stir in anticipation of in-person get-togethers. Many of the events continue to be virtual, but some, like COMMON’s POWERUp and WMCPA’s iCON, are expected to draw hundreds of people. And the calendar shows that IBM’s spring Tech Refresh can’t be too far away.
The in-person fun kicks off tomorrow as members of the IBM i community descend on the Lake Lawn Resort in Delavan, Wisconsin, which is playing host to the Wisconsin Midrange Computer Professional Association (WMCPA) and its Spring Conference 2023.
The three-day event, which the group also calls iCON, features eight tracks of sessions and workshops on topics like Db2, RPG, security, and system administration. The conference is attracting more than 30 speakers, including well-known IBMers Tim Rowe, Liam Allan, and Robert Andrews as well as in-demand non-IBMers like Carol Woodbury, Debbie Saugen, and Charlie Guarino, among many others (all great speakers but too many to list).
Registration for the event, which WMCPA bills as “the largest IBM conference in the Midwest,” is still open. WMCPA members can sign up for all three days of education for $650 while non-members are asked to pay $800. Hotel rooms are $104 per night. You can see the schedule and register for the event at wmcpaicon2023.sched.com/.
The next big get-together will occur in cyberspace, as iTech Solutions hosts a two-day virtual conference dubbed iAdmin Spring 2023 on April 12 and 13. The mid-week event will feature more than 20 live sessions by IBM i experts on topics like security, cloud, high availability, and external storage, among others.
As a live event, iAdmin will feature interactive Q&A with speakers. It’s also a free event, with registration open to anyone. iTech Solutions, which was acquired by Service Express last year, says iAdmin could draw more than 1,000 attendees. People who register before March 31 can get an iAdmin kit mailed to them, while the first 150 registrants will receive a “premium” kit. For more information and to register, go to itechsol.com/iadmin/.
But the biggest draw on the IBM i calendar is POWERUp 2023, COMMON’s annual conference, which is being held April 24 through 27 in Denver, Colorado. Upwards of 1,000 members of the IBM i community are expected to attend this event, which is likely to be the largest in-person gathering on the IBM i circuit for 2023.
POWERUp 2023 will feature more than 100 speakers giving more than 300 sessions on just about every IBM i topic imaginable, and then some. IBM will bring its top platform executives to this event, including IBM i CTO Steve Will, product manager Alison Butterill, database guru Scott Forstie, and many more.
One of the great parts of COMMON’s annual conferences is the expo. COMMON bills its POWERUp 2023 Expo as the largest of its kind in the world. So far, 42 IBM i vendors, from headliners like Fresche Solutions and TL Ashford to familiar faces like Fortra (HelpSystems) and Precisely (Vision Solutions) have signed up to exhibit at the expo.
But POWERUp is more than just the best IBM i education money can buy and the biggest collection of IBM i vendors under a single roof. It’s also a chance for members of the community to get together, reminisce, and hang out. Whether it’s daily lunches, the POWER Run/Walk, or the welcome and closing receptions, there will be ample opportunity to catch up with fellow IBM i professionals and do some networking. There will be a Meetings of the Members on the last day, and N2i (New to IBM i) is also hosting a session.
COMMON’s annual conference is being held at the recently remodeled Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, where rooms are going for $199 a night. If you don’t stay at the Sheraton, you will pay an extra fee. Registration for non-COMMON members is $2,395, while registration for COMMON members is $2,095. There are also group rates and rates for single-day passes too. For more information on POWERUp 2023 or to register, go to www.common.org/powerup2023/home.
Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that IBM kicked off its IBM i Guided Tours on March 1. The free online events cover an array of topics, from Merlin and cloud storage to the new authority collection and security (security, security!).
There are two IBM i Guided Tour events in particular that are worth pointing out. The first, on April 12, is titled “April Announcements Overview,” which may give you an idea of what IBM has up its sleeve in terms of the timing of the Spring Tech Refreshes. There is also “IBM i 35th Anniversary” on June 21, which will be a celebration of the AS/400’s launch three-and-a-half decades earlier on the summer solstice in 1988. We will undoubtedly be hearing more about the 35th in the weeks and months to come. You can register for the free IBM i Guided Tours here.
Of course, this is not everything happening in IBM i-land. There are many user group meetings and other virtual sessions taking place on a weekly basis. You can get a full picture of the IBM i calendar by checking out the latest installment of Four Hundred Monitor.