Wrapping it up, the IDUG EMEA 2013 DB2 Tech Conference

I admit it, that "Day 3" entry wasn't really written on the 3th day of our conference. Not even on the 4th. There are simply too much things going on at the conference to get that done in real time.

This time I'm not even going to pretend it's the last conference day. You wouldn't believe me anyway. Let's just call it the closing article for this year's fantastic edition. A wrap-up post.

Let's start off classically with Thursday's content. Before the keynote, there were still three sessions in each track with a generous amount of user and consultant sessions. The keynote - Big Data; Old News or BIG Hype? by Marcel den Hartog - was well received. In his inimitable, characteristic style he gave his view on the big data hype, toning down some expectations and insuring the attendants that the current platforms we use will stay relevant for a long time.

He strayed off this path for his last slide. He urged the attendees to make sure that the people back home understand the amazing educational value the IDUG conferences offer. Among his suggestions were organizing educational sessions for your colleagues who couldn't attend, making sure that any improvements you make for your company based on the knowledge you gained here is attributed to the conference, ... Sharing that knowledge and attributing it are vital to the IDUG conferences and in helping support the DB2 community in general.

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One week has passed since the IDUG EMEA 2013 conference has ended. What did you do in the meantime to make this known?

In the closing session, 2013 Conference Chair Mirna Kos recognized these attendants for their special contributions:

  • Thomas Baumann: Top User Speaker and Top Overall Speaker
  • Ulf Heinrich: Moderator of the Year (12 sessions)
  • Ludovic Janssens: Perfect certification test score

and presented the next Conference Chair, Cristian Molaro, who will be leading the effort to make the IDUG EMEA Tech Conference 2014 in Prague a big success as Barcelona was.

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For those who couldn't get enough, Thursday afternoon held free complementary workshops offered by IBM, the IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator Deep Dive Workshop and DB2 10.5 for LUW Immersion Workshop. Those were well attended, maybe mostly by people who stayed another day anyway to take advantage of the Educational Seminars on Friday?

This year, we got Julian Stuhler, Bonnie Baker and Susan Lawson going each very deep into a specific subject - memory, tuning and indexing respectively - for the z/OS platform. On LUW side, we hosted the DB2 Problem Determination and Troubleshooting Workshop (Pavel Sustr & Samir Kapoor) that's apparently a classic at the North America conferences. Dan Luksetich - you might remember him from the coffee - closed off the list with a cross-platform session on advanced SQL coding.

That combination of complementary workshops and educational seminars is very strong one, I can only recommend considering it for your next conference attendance.

Anyway, what would a wrap-up article be without numbers? These give you a pretty good idea of what happened:

  • 137 hours of technical sessions included in the standard registration
  • 5 Educational seminars on Friday
  • 16 vendors displaying their products in the Solutions Center
  • 400 IDUG 25th anniversary cakes during the Solutions Center opening
  • 450 ducks for the opening keynote attendees
  • 1000 balloons during the Solutions Center opening speech balloon drop
  • 479 attendees (of which 79 thus didn't get a birthday cake and 29 didn't get a duck...)
  • 33 different countries present
  • 74 attendees for the Sunday Pre-certification Workshops
  • 83 attendees for the Thursday Complimentary Workshops
  • 220 certification tests taken
  • 154 certification tests passed (congratulations!)
  • 58 tests taken for the most popular test (DB2 10.1 Fundamentals)
  • 54% pass rate for the most difficult popular test (DB2 11 DBA for z/OS, that's pre-GA!)
  • 100%: highest score for a certification test
  • 3 nice networking events (thanks Triton/DBI, CA Technologies and IBM)
  • 29 first-time attendees through the Mentor Program

I did start writing this article right after the conference, though, at Barcelona Airport. Koen de Backer, trainer at ABIS and first-time presenter this year was waiting at the same gate. He told me how he appreciated the enthusiasm of the participants in sharing how they used the product. His favorite sessions were Melanie Stopfer's RCAC and David Kalmuk's WLM sessions, which allowed him to get up-to-date on the latest features very fast. You won't be surprised that I was glad to hear that.

If you want to share similar experiences or comments, please fill in the online feedback form on the IDUG web site: simply log in to the IDUG website, visit the 2013 Conference home page and click on the "My Conference" button. Underneath the "My Evaluations" tab you'll find the different surveys you can respond to (attendee and optionally speaker). One participant will receive a complimentary registration to the 2014 IDUG DB2 Tech Conference in Prague! You've got until November 11th to fill it out.

If you'd like to share some pictures or comments, you're always welcome to do so below or at the IDUG Facebook page. The pictures that were taken during the conference are available at Google Photos and as a Facebook album. Happy tagging!

A last advantage of writing this blog entry after the conference is that I can now point you to the latest version of the conference proceedings. These contain not only the latest versions of each presented session, but you'll also find the keynotes, the DB2 Demo program, the log of Matthias Nicola's BLU Live session and especially the alternate sessions that were held back to use in case of problems. There are some great sessions in there, be sure to check them out. The latest proceedings are available here.

We've got some ideas for adding post-conference blog entries. You'll probably hear more from us, but this entry ends this series. The statistics tell me many of you have been reading it throughout the conference and the days after. I hope you enjoyed it.

I'd like to thank all presenters, sponsors, volunteers and attendees for turning this year's event into yet another very successful edition and all friends who were there, especially the members of the CPC, for turning this into special week and an exciting year for me.

See you in Prague!


Frederik Engelen

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