IDUG Down Under

Sometimes I think that Db2 is one of the most widely used but least known databases. Db2 has been adopted all over the world and that scope is evident when the International Db2 User Group (IDUG) holds a technical conference on at least three different continents each year. I’ve traveled and spoken in North America and Europe but now I get to cross IDUG Australia off my bucket list.

From what I understand, this is the smaller of the conferences but still manages to pack a big punch. With a smaller and more intimate setting you have the chance to get up close and personal with Db2 experts and let’s not forget to mention that the networking opportunities in a smaller venue will be insane.

Let me give you a quick preview of what is to come.

One of the benefits of the European and Australian conferences is the free certification seminars. These are all day “crammer” courses to help you prepare for one of the free certification exams offered during the week. These seminars will be offered from 9:00am – 5:00pm on Tuesday, September 11th. Free certification exams will be offered Wed and Thursday until 5:00pm. If you can, please try to create a Person Vue account at least 3 days before taking your exam. As for the certification seminars, seating is limited and filled on a first come, first serve basis.

One of my favorite events is the interactive DB2 panel where the audience can fire any question at a group of experts. A joint Db2 panel will be held on Thursday, September 13th at 8:30am. It’s a more relaxed and open discussion from leading experts covering anything from the very technical to possible product roadmaps. Rumor is Paul Bird, George Baklarz, and Les King will represent the Hybrid/LUW area while John Campbell, Terry Purcell, Maryela Weihruach and Florence Dubios will represent Z. The panel list is always fluid up to the actual event so take this information with a grain of salt.

IDUG conferences are built for networking and the intimate nature of the smaller Australia conference provides a lot of opportunity to know your fellow attendees. Every conference has some sort of party or networking event. Some events are large and formal, some informal, and many are ad hoc. For this conference, make sure to keep your dance card open for the evening of Wed, September 12th. There is going to be a joint vendor function between IBM, BMC, and CA. Make sure to visit vendor booths and get the details.

Australia doesn’t use a mobile application like North America or Europe, but you can get a session overview via the downloadable PDF grid. The PDF grid is where I start to plan my day then I look at the conference agenda online to read various abstracts for any session I am interested in.

Speaking of sessions, I will be giving two talks this year. The first will be “(H6) 10 Minute Triage: Troubleshooting Production issues 101” on Thursday, September 13th at 9:45 am in Room 1.15. This session was inspired by a white paper published by IBMer Steve Reeves. I combined a lot of Steve’s troubleshooting techniques, with performance analysis techniques that are the brainchild of Scott Hayes, while adding a dash of my own experience and poof out popped the 10 Minute Triage idea.

Speaking of Scott Hayes, look for the next session in his “Sage Advice” series at 1:45pm on Wed, September 12th in room 1.15. The man can make indexes stand up and do tricks, but this session looks to be about finding those lazy indexes that just sit around the house and eat your food. People rarely think to look for indexes that don’t contribute, they look for those that need to be added. Sometimes you just don’t realize the drag a bad (or unused) index can cause on your performance. Scott is always entertaining and you always get something out of his presentations. Make sure to check him out.

My second session is the “(H9) DBA Crash Course” also on September 13th at 4:00pm in Room 1.15. This course is for a developer, new DBA, or someone cross training from another database discipline. Inspired by a discussion with newer DBA’s, this basics course should have a few interesting tidbits that interest more established Db2 DBA’s as well.

Finally, unlike North America and European conferences, sessions will not be hosted in a huge conference center but in the smaller premium Karsten’s Center located at Level 1, 111 Harrington St in Sydney. Opening remarks by the Australia conference chair will start at 8:45am followed by Keynote Speaker Vikas Sinha at 9:00am on Wed, September 12th. (Hopefully I will see you at the “crammer” courses the day before).

I’m really excited to experience what this conference will be like first hand. If you make it to this side of the world, seek me out and introduce yourself, I’m looking to make a few friends while I am here.

Michael Krafick
Michael Krafick

Michael Krafick is an aspiring Zamboni driver and well known twig-eater. During the day he is a Sr. Database Engineer for a Fortune 500 company. He is a frequent contributor to, an IBM champion, member of the DB2 Technical Advisory Board, and IDUG speaker Hall of Fame inductee. With over 18 years experience in DB2 for LUW, Mike works hard to educate and mentor others.

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