My first IDUG was in Amsterdam in 1998 (I think). I'd been encouraged by Phil Grainger to submit an abstract and was astounded when it got accepted. My first thread chair was Bjarne Nelson (no relative), and my presentation was entitled "Small Town DBA : DB2 for the Rest of Us". I recently found the acetate foils (this was in the days before Powerpoint) in a cupboard and have kept them for old time's sake. Apart from the masses of technical information (which you carried home in two huge ringbinders) my other lasting memory was of some guy called Roger Miller leading the singing in the bus on the way home from the IBM party celebrating 15 years of DB2.
After my performance in Amsterdam, I was even more surprised to be selected for the next North American conference in Dallas. It was only years later that I discovered the true reasons why I was selected : the CPC wanted to know what a company called Scottish Widows did (there was some speculation that it was some sort of dating agency : for those who still don't know it we are a life insurance company : check out our history at http://www.scottishwidows.co.uk !!!). And I had always thought that the presentations were only selected on technical merit ...
Fast forward 15 years, and many IDUG conferences later. I'm writing this with a boarding pass on my cellphone for the next conference in Barcelona starting next week. Along the way I've been involved in producing a lot of content for IDUG, including two white papers and numerous articles as contributor and eventually editor of the IDUG Solutions Journal (ISJ). I managed the transition of the ISJ from a paper-based publication, through an intermediate PDF electronic stage to the current web-based content delivery platform we now use. Who would have thought that when I started down this road that new content from IDUG would be appearing almost every week and would include a library of audio and video material as well as the more traditional presentation materials. I'm still involved in this process both as a conference presenter and as a leader on the Content Committee.
But two things about IDUG haven't changed : the quality and breadth of the technical material and the camaraderie of those involved. There still is no better place to build your DB2 knowledge and make the contacts you need to succeed in your chosen career.
Congratulations to IDUG on reaching its quarter century, and I look forward to the next 25 years D.V.
Phil Nelson, IDUG Speaker and Volunteer, and IBM Champion