My kids told me the other day that they can tell it's Fall because my calendar is full of travel for work. The good part about this travel is that there are lots of opportunity to meet with customers as well as other IBMers at two big conferences: IDUG Europe and Information on Demand (IOD).
IDUG Europe is in Rome this year, and the only bad part is that I can't stay in Italy longer! I have to leave Thursday morning so I can attend some Boy Scout leader training Fri-Sun. Hopefully, I can sneak out in the early morning and see some of the cool sights again like the Forum. IOD is in... SURPRISE, Beautiful Las Vegas! OK, I guess that's no surprise. It's interesting to hear the reactions from folks on Las Vegas. It seems like a love or hate relationship. As artificial and overindulgent as Vegas is, I enjoy it. I enjoy the food (ask me for restaurant suggestions), the weather of the Fall there, the safety of walking along The Strip anytime of the day or night, and most of all, the people watching. There's nothing better than getting a good seat with my favorite beverage and watching the crowd parade past.
OK, back to the topic of technical conferences. I have a friend who works as a developer for a DBMS competitor (no need to ask ;-)), and he's always jealous when he hears how much my fellow developers and I get to go and present at these conferences. At his company, they mostly only let product managers present to customers and leave the geeky developers back at the lab. There is very little that can substitute for face to face contact with the people who are working on the products. I'm glad that IBM lets us geeky folks out of our cages for these events. Conferences seem to be suffering from lower attendance (no surprise, considering the economy), but it's really unfortunate when you consider the value than can be gotten. The conference web sites usually have an ROI justification to help with this, and I really think that the focus, the proximity to knowledgeable experts, and the hands on labs really do justify the costs.
I just plotted out the sessions that I plan to attend at IDUG. I always like how IDUG has a high number of customer presentations. I always enjoy listening to those. IOD also has a lot of customer talks this year. Curt mentioned some of them in his blog post.
Well, I hope to see you in Rome or in Vegas. In both places, I have a "new" session called, "Why are DB2 for z/OS DBAs interested in Data Studio and Optim Tooling?" (IDUG Rome: on Monday, Oct 5th, and IOD on Monday, Oct 26th -- as always, check the monitors for last minute gate changes when you arrive at the airport). I felt this tailoring of a session for DB2 for z/OS DBAs was needed because we have a lot of stuff labeled Optim, and not all of it is of interest to a DB2 for z/OS DBA as of today. I also take a no-glitz look at the free Data Studio offering and show exactly what it can be used for on a DB2 for z/OS system. Holger Karn will join me at the IOD session to talk about some performance monitoring futures that I know will get you excited. At IOD, I have another session with Jay Bruce called, "Query Tuning on IBM DB2 for z/OS" that discusses the task and shows tooling that can help you do it.
Hope to see you there!