Steve's IDUG EMEA 2015 Closing Thoughts

The dust has started to settle after a great week at the IDUG EMEA 2015 Technical Conference in Dublin. My CPC colleague Phil Nelson has written a Blog which gives an excellent overview of the high spots but as Conference Chair this year I just wanted to add a few closing thoughts.

The first thing I want to do is to thank everyone who joined us in Dublin. The Conference wouldn’t be what it was without you and I want to take this opportunity to thank you all. We had over 500 attendees for the first time since the Economic slump of the late 90’s, and attendance grew for the 7th year in succession. Thanks to you there was a real buzz and renewed interest in DB2 and related technologies this year. Our dedicated track on Spark was a resounding success with many taking advantage to understand how this is going to impact everyone in the future.

Next I want to thank all our Speakers. I’ve been presenting myself at IDUG Conferences and elsewhere for over 20 years now and know how much work and effort it takes to pull together the material, often in your own spare time given that the jobs that pay our wages are so busy. For those of you who don’t need to regularly speak in public I know it’s a big challenge to stand up there in front of your peers but I hope you agree the results are worth the effort. We really appreciate all your efforts and commitment.

It was wonderful news for me that this year the IDUG Board were able to reinstate a long term tradition and allow me to present our Best User speaker with a great prize. Congratulations to Ute Kleyensteuber from Commerzbank AG who wins travel and accommodation expenses to Austin, Texas, in May next year where she will be presenting her session on lessons learned from upgrading to DB2 11 for z/OS at IDUG North America. I spoke to Ute just before she presented and she was nervous but it just goes to show that this can be a good thing. Well done again Ute.

The best overall Conference Speaker award this year was a tie for the first time I can remember. The joint winners were David Kalmuk and Melanie Stopfer, both from IBM Corporation. David spoke on exploiting Cluster technology in BLU on DashDB, another new and emerging technology, while Melanie provided a Deep Dive on Materialized Query Tables on DB2 for LUW. Congratulations to both of you.

The next group I want to acknowledge are our generous Sponsors and Exhibitors. We certainly couldn’t run the Conference in the way we do without your support which is really appreciated. The Expo area this year was the heart of the Conference.

You can probably tell I’m not a natural Blogger but I know these shouldn’t be too long so I will close with one final and heartfelt Thank You to everyone to helped pull the Conference together this year. The list is long but includes the members of my Conference Planning Committee, our HQ staff, Session Moderators, other IDUG Volunteers and the staff of the Doubletree Hotel. I’d also like to thank the IDUG Board of Directors who gave me the chance to Chair the Conference this year. They may be overused words but it was both an Honour and a Privilege to have done so.

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So now we move onto IDUG EMEA 2016 in Brussels. The team there will be led by Iqbal Goralwalla. I wish him well but the omens are good with new releases of DB2 for both major platforms in the works as well as huge and continuing advances in areas such as Analytics with Spark, databases in the Cloud, and demands from the huge growth in applications driven by the increasing use of mobile technology. I look forward to seeing you all there and hope I only hold the attendance record for a year.

Steve Thomas

Conference Chair, IDUG EMEA 2015, Dublin

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Steve's IDUG EMEA 2015 Closing Thoughts