SoCal Gears Up for OCEAN Tech Con 23
July 17, 2023 Alex Woodie
Southern California’s IBM i community is getting ready for the biggest event on its calendar: OCEAN Tech Con 23. The three-day, in-person event kicks off next week with a full slate of speakers and presenters who will discuss the latest advances in the platform.
The OCEAN user group’s annual summer soiree starts the morning of Thursday, July 27, with a one-hour keynote by IBM’s IBM i chief technology officer, chief architect, and distinguished engineer Steve Will. The title of the address, “IBM i @ 35: integrate + innovate,” gives you an idea what Will will talk about.
The educational component of Tech Con 23 starts after Will’s keynote, with a block of two, one-hour sessions led by Alan Seiden, Liam Allan, Mike Pavlak, and Simon Hutchinson. Allan will discuss RPG and DevOps topics, while Hutchinson will dive into SQL and spool file tricks, and Pavlak will discuss Python and IBM i open source. Seiden’s sessions actually are part of the CIO Summit and Roundtable that he has periodically hosted in conjunction with IBM i events.
After lunch on Thursday, Charles Guarino will lead a one-hour panel discussion on the present and future of software development featuring Will, Allan, Pavlak, Seiden, and Dawn May. Judging by the participants, that’s a session that you won’t want to miss.
All told, there are about 40 sessions scheduled for July 27 and July 28 across the four tracks, led by the aforementioned individuals in addition to Margaret Fenlon, Susanne Moore, Joseph Right, and Jeff Swartz. Many of the sessions are technical in nature, and cover topics such as application development and modernization, IBM i administration, recent RPG and CL enhancements, IBM i data protection, performance optimization, IFS security, automation, and remote management.
But there will also be some sessions focusing on non-technical topics, such as a talk on IBM i Champion program at 11:15 a.m. Friday led by IBM’s Brandon Pederson; a conversation about the advantages of working with the New to IBM i (N2i) group led by N2i co-founder Ann Marrah at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, and a pair of sessions on leadership and management topics starting at 10 a.m. Friday led by Lawrence Behr. (All times are PST.)
Several sessions will led by representatives from IBM i software vendors, including Fresche Solutions, CNX Corp., and Kisco Systems, among others. Tech Con 23 will feature a vendor expo area that includes those vendors in addition to Eradani, Midrange Dynamics North America, New Generation Software, ProData, SMRTR, and Zend. Additional vendors sponsoring Tech Con 23 (but not exhibiting) include IBM, ARCAD Software, Central Park Data Systems, Cloud First, and Seiden Group. COMMON and TechChannel will be sponsors, as well as IT Jungle.
There will be a half-day of hands-on training the morning of Saturday, July 29. Allan and Pavlak will lead their respective workshops on VS Code and open source/Copilot AI respectively.
OCEAN, which stands for Orange County Educational Advancement Network, has been hosting its annual tech conference during the summer for many years. It reliably attracts hundreds of attendees and arguably is the biggest IBM i event west of the Rocky Mountains.
The early bird registration fee for Tech Con 23 has already passed. OCEAN members who register before July 21 can register for $375, which jumps to $425 after that. Non-members who register before July 21 will pay $475, which jumps to $525 up until the show. Of course, since OCEAN membership only costs $80 per person ($250 for a corporate membership), few people should be paying full price.
You can find more information and register at www.oceanusergroup.org.