IBM Champion for DB2 Bjarne Nelson has trained DB2 users around the globe, from his home in Switzerland to multiple Korean engagements. Regardless of location, though, Bjarne bonds with students who really want to learn how to get more out of DB2.
Since 1985, Bjarne has consulted in multiple industries, becoming an IBM Gold Consultant in 1996 and working closely with IBM Labs. He also serves on the IDUG Board of Directors and has chaired the European Conference.
Many know Bjarne by his nickname, Kermit. Of course, we had to ask the origin of the moniker. Bjarne explained that he once had long hair, a “very green car,” and did a spot-on impression of Kermit the Frog as he introduced his rock band to crowds.
The name stuck, as has the role of mainframes. Bjarne disagrees that mainframes are going the way of the dinosaur. He explains, “Of course there are huge changes in technology, but the mainframe is capable of still surviving. It’s probably the longest living platform that we have in IT…that continues to maintain its virtue of stability, performance, high scalability. And at the same time, you can still build modern programming paradigm applications,” while letting the data reside safely on a “good old mainframe.”
Even while mainframes persist, organizations face evolving compliance and security needs that require new software and solutions. Bjarne has found DB2 10’s new features very helpful for meeting these needs, though new software means migrations.
“We all have to go through migrations,” Bjarne noted, explaining that conference and web sessions dealing with migration topics and best practices tend to stand the test of time long after their original presentation. Such migrations – which may lag several years after a release – make it more important than ever to collaborate throughout the year.
A migration is an educational experience, Bjarne said, and afterwards, many “are proud of what they know” and want to share their insights. Hence, Bjarne has worked with IDUG to assemble a content committee that shares information between conferences. The resulting IDUG DB2 Tech Channel on BrightTalk has proved very popular, with more than 1200 technical webcasts ready for viewing.
But that doesn’t mean conferences are going away. Face-to-face conversations and the opportunity to ask questions are very valuable. Bjarne explained, “If you go to an IDUG conference and pick up 3 or 5 good things you can go home and implement…that’s enough to pay for a conference because quite often, it’s the issues you’d otherwise spend hours and hours trying to solve yourself.”
In his spare time, Bjarne is an avid SCUBA diver, particularly in the Red Sea, and has an impressive music collection that he uses to bridge the generation gap with his children and granddaughter, Naia, when she gets old enough to choose her own music.
Watch Bjarne on a YouTube video as he talks about new initiatives and work underway in the DB2 community and IDUG organization.