IDUG EMEA 2017 in Lisbon

My favorite weeks of the year are IDUG conferences. I was lucky enough to go to my first European IDUG last year, and I am looking forward to IDUG in Lisbon this year!


The IDUG EMEA technical conference is October 1-5 in Lisbon. If you are looking to go for the first time, let me know, and I or someone I know can provide a Mentor discount for more than 50% off the normal admission price.

Sunday consists of a whole day of complementary workshops and certification preparation courses. Monday is the opening of the conference with the opening keynote, technical sessions, and the opening of the vendor expo. Tuesday brings more technical sessions and more Expo time. Wednesday includes more technical sessions and the expert panels. Thursday marks the end of the conference, with technical sessions and the closing keynote in the morning, and complimentary workshops in the afternoon.


I’m excited to visit Lisbon. Despite extensive European travel including 3-4 months in Spain, I’ve never been to mainland Portugal before. I lived the the Azores (Portuguese islands in the Atlantic) for a while, but never mainland Portugal. I’ve been reading guidebooks and I hear Lisbon described as a city bearing some resemblances to San Francisco. A significant portion of the lower city was rebuilt after an earthquake in 1755. I’m looking forward to riding a cable car, visiting the monastery in Belem, spending a few days in Sintra, and eating pastel de nata – the local custard tart delicacy. As a partial vegetarian who eats fish, I’m also looking forward to seafood fresher than anything we get in Denver!

The conference is at the EPIC SANA Lisboa Hotel – Congress Hotel. It looks beautiful:



Free and Low-Cost Certification Exams

IBM is sponsoring one free certification exam for each attendee, and subsequent tests can be taken for just $25. If you plan on taking advantage of this, please be sure that you create a Pearson Vue account at least three days before the exam date. The list of exams available this year is available on the certification page of the IDUG site for the EMEA conference. The certification room is in Laurus on the first floor. Exams are available at the following times:

  • Monday, 2 October: 11:30 – 16:30
  • Tuesday, 3 October: 8:30 – 16:00
  • Wednesday, 4 October: 8:30 – 13:30
  • Thursday, 5 October: 8:30 – 12:30

If you plan to attempt either the z/OS DB2 11 DBA exam or the LUW 11.1 DBA exam, consider registering for the free all-day preparation courses on Sunday, October 1.

Mobile App

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I was impressed last year with the IDUG EMEA mobile app, and it looks great again this year. This is where I’ll be managing my schedule for which sessions to attend. The speaker search is excellent.


I generally get the most excited about a conference when I’m looking through all of the great technical sessions. I already have several time slots where there are two presentations I want to see, and a couple with three. Of course two of my can’t-miss sessions are my own:

  • C12 – SQL Infusion: A Transaction Log Expedition Wednesday, October 4th at 13:40 in Vitis I – I’ll take a look at transaction logs in Db2 from the basic to the complicated. I’ll share all the SQL to investigate the details.
  • F17 – Using Jupyter Notebook for Db2 AdministrationThursday, October 5th at 09:40 in Vitis IV – Learn how to use the same tool used by application developers and data scientists, but use it to administer Db2. I’ll be sharing basic instructions and notebooks for connecting to Db2, and my own snapshot methodology in Jupyter Notebook, emulating the old monitor reset against the newer mon_get* table functions, requiring no object creation in the database being queried! I’m so excited about this one!

When planning my sessions for the week, I start with my favorite speakers and fill in sessions around them. I’ll sorely miss two of my favorites who have retired this year – Melanie Stopfer and Steve Rees. I’m sad that Matt Huras (@db2guy) will not be there this year, but I caught his replacement, Keri Romanufa (@RomanufaKeri), on a recent “Live from the Lab” event, and am looking forward to seeing her present in person. I’ll also be sure to catch Cristian Molaro, Ian Bjorhovde, David Kalmuk, George Baklarz, John Hornibrook, Pavel Sustr, Fred Sobotka, and Henrik Loeser.

My favorite session of every conference is the Expert Panel. This year it’s on Wednesday, October 4th at 14:50 in Morus I – head over there with me after my session!

There is a separate track on Tuesday and Wednesday – the data tech summit – check out the sessions in the mobile app to add in a bit of variety.

Find me in Lisbon

If you see me in Lisbon, I’ve dropped my trademark braids for short hair, but otherwise the picture to the right is me. I’d love to meet any readers, and absolutely love talking to people, so if you see me, feel free to walk up and introduce yourself!

Ember Crooks
Ember Crooks

Ember is always curious and thrives on change. She has built internationally recognized expertise in IBM Db2, spent a year working with high-volume MySQL, and is now learning Snowflake. Ember shares both posts about her core skill sets and her journey learning Snowflake.

Ember lives in Denver and work from home

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  1. Hi EmBer, I’m looking forward to meet you in Lisbon! You didn’t have to drop the capital B(raids) just because IBM understates the ‘b’. 😉

  2. Hi,

    I was in your session C12 today.
    There was a lot of useful information I can take home. Good presentation as well. making it a little more fun using LEGO bricks to explain Logging. 🙂

    • Thank you!!

      I was debating about if the legos were worth it, but it really seemed to wake up the room. I hope it also illustrated the point.

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