IDUG 2016 Brussels; To attend or NOT attend?

By Mateja Jankovic posted Oct 14, 2016 01:15 PM


Author: Marcel den Hartog

Before you start reading…

Please answer the following questions


If you answered No to 2 of these questions (because we do NOT like to be called “nerd”, right?) and you have not yet signed up for IDUG EMEA 2016 in Brussels, we need to talk….

I know it is not always easy to go to your manager and ask for a handful of euro notes to attend a 4,5 day event. Trust me, I have to go to MY manager every year and ask for a LOT more than you for the same event. But if I tell you how many times I have spoken to attendees during and after IDUG who told me about this one brilliant conversation they had/session they attended. The 30 minutes where they learned something that not only would have taken them days (and lots of try-and-error) to figure out on their own but also saved their employer thousands of Euro’s per month.

But there are more softer, but oh so important other reasons.

As DB2/LUW folks, we sometimes tend to live in an echo room. We say the same things to each other, we complain about the same things and before you know, you actually think that all this is the one and only reality. But it’s not… The world is changing and our jobs are changing. Simply think about the last 4 years in your company, or the effects of IBM’s latest announcements about the continuous delivery of their products instead of 1 release every xx months!

Stepping out of your comfort zone is never easy, and we all know that. But we also know that we need to step out of it to stay on top of things and become better & smarter IT professionals.

So, can you think of a better place to step out of your comfort zone than a conference with close to 500 other people who are/ will be / have been going through the same rough times as you? How much easier is it to hear from another DBA who works in another company how they solved the issues you are facing? Or hear from a vendor that they have already thought about (and solved) some of the problems you thought were specific for you and your company? If anything, this “comfort zone” is something only the EMEA version of IDUG can give you. And believe me, I have seen many others…

Don’t get me wrong, even if you don’t talk to anybody, you’ll learn enough to make your life a lot easier in the coming 12 months, from byte level DBA tricks to programming techniques, from the impact of Agile to the implementation of restful API’s, from DRDA Enhancements to  there is enough for everybody. But if you really want to fly out of Brussels as a better IT Professional, you talk, you network, you are not afraid to ask questions while sharing a beer (or two) with other attendees.

But there is more in life than DB2!! And as you can see on the agenda there is plenty of time to chat, find new friends, meet new people eat some fantastic Belgian food and also have some fun. I will be in Brussels till the very end because I will be delivering the closing keynote. If I promise you that THIS alone is worth your investment in IDUG, promise me that you will give it one last try with your manager to get an approval to come to Brussels…. I am looking forward to see you there.


Marcel den Hartog is a frequent speaker on both internal (customer) and external events like GSE, IDUG and other Industry events where he talks about CA’s mainframe strategy, vision and IT trends. Marcel is a member of CA Council of Technical Excellence, a group of technical leaders throughout the company. In his current role, he is responsible for CA Technologies EMEA Marketing for a variety of (mainframe) solutions. Marcel joined CA in 1986 as a Pre-sales consultant for both mainframe and distributed products. Before this, he worked as a programmer/systems analyst on VSE and MVS systems, starting with CICS DL1/IMS and later with DB2. He never lost touch with the technical aspects of IT and still has hands-on experience with many CA products. He was responsible for managing CA’s pre-sales teams in The Netherlands, Belgium and South Africa for a number of years where he worked on IT project with some of the largest companies in the Benelux, Europe and Africa.