Different Backgrounds, The Same Language

Happy New Year! In addition to my holiday traditions, I also have a January tradition: lunch at the Pennsylvania Farm Show.  I'm not a farmer or associated with agriculture but it's a nice change of pace. The show comes to Harrisburg, the Pennsylvania state capital one week a year, at the beginning of January when farmers are not as busy.  Right away, I detect similarities in how DBAs must schedule around their workloads. 

I ended up people watching and enjoyed seeing so many people from different backgrounds and interests, mingling and discussing common interests.  The farmers from different parts of the state raise  different crops and livestock, but engaged in serious discussions about topics only they understood.  

The thing that was most striking to me after I took a few minutes and really watched the scene was how very similar it was to one of our IDUG DB2 Tech Conferences.  We have different backgrounds and work on different platforms and tools, yet, when we get together, the conversations are flowing in the hallways because we all have that same basic language – DB2.  

I've been to our conferences on three continents this past year, met with people that spoke several different languages, but the thing that makes an IDUG DB2 Tech Conference unique is that everyone you meet knows and uses DB2.  There is that other huge conference in Las Vegas every year that has some DB2 content, but that is lost in the hundreds of other products the company is selling there and finding the DBAs to talk to is hit or miss.  When at one of our conferences, every conversation between sessions is about DB2 and you hear people with the same, or similar problems that you have. Or, even better, someone has solved the problem and you can get the benefit of their experience. It may be someone who was presenting or it may be another attendee, but the most valuable take home from the events is usually those contacts that you make.

Of course, there is another similarity that I observed at the farm show. It was interesting watching the people who have never been on a farm, or at a show, that think they know how to do it from a book.  Watching the farmers walking among the animals, you pick up on some skills probably not mentioned in any book. Learning those little things to watch out for, can save you time, money and umm your shoes…

Continue to challenge yourself and put professional development at the top of your priority list! We have three exciting events planned for the upcoming year. There will be an abundance of conversation and training that will allow you to stay on top of industry updates and out of the manure. First we have the IDUG DB2 Tech Conference in Phoenix this May followed by the IDUG DB2 Tech Conference in Sydney in September and finally the IDUG DB2 Tech Conference in Prague in November. We hope to see you at one of our events!

To kick off your year with some IDUG thought leadership, be sure to read DB2 11 for z/OS: The Unsung Heroes by our very own Julian Stuhler. 

With Best Regards, 
Mark Labby
IDUG President




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