The conference is almost over for another year, and again I think it has been a wonderful event. Congratulations to Steve Thomas for his leadership in organizing the event, and best wishes to Iqbal Goralwalla in trying to do even better in 2016. For those who haven't heard (it was the worst kept secret of the week) next year's event is scheduled to be in Brussels from November 13-18, 2016. Call For Presentations and registration is already open. I look forward to seeing you there.
So what were my highlights of this year's conference. Obviously the main reason for coming is for the in depth technical information, and once again we weren't disappointed. My personal favourites were -
- The IBM keynote by Berni Schiefer and John Campbell (with excellent support from John Hornibrook) on Tuesday morning. I've been attending IDUG events since 1998, and I still come away from these keynotes with a buzz about new and exciting features that are coming along.
- David Kalmuk and Melanie Stopfer, two of my favourite presenters, were voted joint Best Speakers based on attendees' session evaluations. Both packed huge amounts of information into their multiple sessions and as usual I learnt a lot.
- Helping and encouraging first time speakers and attendees. We had over 130 first time attendees and a number of first time speakers. I attended sessions from a couple of first time presenters and they really brought fresh viewpoints to topics that I thought I know well.
- My own personal favourite session was D6 : Steve Rees "Zen and the Art of Database Performance". This really was a case of hearing it from the expert.
- The networking opportunities were excellent. Plenty of time to talk DB2 with other users, consultants and top IBM people. Also to experience the "IDUG family" experience that I've not found at any other conference. Meeting old friends, and making new ones, is part of the whole conference process. And getting to know people who you can turn to for help is one of the biggest benefits of attending.
Now some personal words of thanks -
- Firstly, to all the speakers who provided so much of their own time to produce such amazing content. And particularly to those in my Track (D) who faithfully delivered to the timescales and kindly accepted with good grace my comments and suggestions. Particular thanks to Henrik Loeser (D17) who, at my request, produced a second presentation at short notice to cover important security topics.
- Secondly to all the vendors and sponsors, without whose support we would not be able to put on such an amazing program. There was a real buzz in the Expo this year, and I hope many customers found new and interesting solutions to their current issues.
- Next to all the attendees. Without attendees there would be no conference. And without attendees who were willing to share their own experience with others the conference would not really be so good. I learn just as much at coffee breaks and around the dinner table as I do at the presentations themselves. So in many ways every attendee has their own presentation ... and all are valuable.
- Finally to Steve Thomas and all my colleagues on the Conference Planning Committee. Once again you have been amazing to work with and you have all done a wonderful job. Being part of this team has done more to expand my non-technical skills than any amount of training courses could have done.
It's been a great time. I wish everyone a safe journey home, and look forward to seeing you all next year in Brussels D.V.