June eBulletin: It's Personal

Dear IDUG Membership,

I knew when I became president of IDUG, I would write a short message to you each month, but I planned to remove the photo we use for the eBulletin. As an introvert, one of the last things I wanted was to have my photo going out each month. I suspect that is something that I have in common with most of you. IT has a huge proportion of people who are introverts. (There is a quick test to find out.)

So, why is it still there? While attending the IDUG DB2 Tech Conference in Orlando, the trait that came across most strongly about IDUG is that it is personal. Of course I attend for the training and updates on the latest in DB2, but I also go to see Joe, Anna, Terry, Sheryl, Bonnie, Curt, etc. I go to catch up with the people I have come to know over the years and I meet a few new friends each time.

In Orlando, I had the opportunity to talk to a gentleman I first met on a plane leaving an IDUG conference five years ago and had not seen since. We recognized each other and then had that awkward glance at the badge to get each others name. He had a first time attendee with him this year, and I gave the new attendee the same advice I had given his associate those years ago. The best take away from the conference is not a book or handout, or even your notes, it is the connection you make with the speakers and other attendees. Having someone you know who is doing the same job, and may have already solved the problem you just ran into, is invaluable.

For those who have not had the opportunity to attend a recent IDUG DB2 Tech Conference, IDUG has been hosting the DB2-L Forum for years. This is a place for all members to ask question and solicit other members’ input in solving them. Members who include people working at the IBM labs, Gold Consultants, several of the software vendors and other on the ground DBAs who may have already had your problem and may offer a solution. The solution may already be in the forum archives, just waiting for you.

How does this differ from other ‘social media’? Simple – DB2-L Forum is a moderated discussion group – which means that you can ask your question and get reasonable, professional responses. Members of the forum have their name, and in a lot of cases their photos, associated with their responses. The anonymity of the Web makes it far too easy for people to engage in flaming and asinine comments. That is something that simply is not tolerated and ensures that when you get a response you know who sent it. You may not be able to get to an IDUG DB2 Tech Conference to ask a tough SQL question or why the DB2 optimizer chose a ‘bad’ access path, but that question in the forum very well may get a response from Terry Purcell or Pat Bossman from the optimizer lab. 

It is that person-to-person connection that makes IDUG strong, and why we do want people to know who they are working with and that they stand behind what they say. DB2 users helping other users is a cornerstone of the organization. Over the next few months I will focus on different aspects of what being an IDUG member means and how best to take advantage of belonging to the largest DB2 user community in the world. 

As an IDUG member, you have access to educational content that you can use to help further your career. Make sure to bookmark the following pages:

The theme of this eBulletin is DB2 Security – a crucial subject for all of us. Kurt Stuyf from our IDUG Content Committee has put together an excellent piece for this month titled Data Security: What Does it Mean to You, to Your Customer, to Your Auditor and to DB2? Kurt does a great job outlining the importance of security in today’s world.

IDUG looks to provide you with articles that are applicable to your day-to-day job responsibilities. If you have a suggested topic you’d like to hear more about, please let us know. All of IDUG’s committees and the Board of Directors are here to support you and your organization by providing the highest quality education and services designed to promote the effective utilization of DB2.

With Best Regards,

Mark Labby
IDUG President


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