IDUG NA Virtual Conference: Day One Complete!

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The IDUG Virtual conference kicked off today, and I thought I’d share my excitement and a few observations.

Content

Today

Today was mostly the opening keynote and the spotlight sessions. Recordings of Monday’s sessions will be available on-demand for conference attendees later in the week, so if you haven’t even registered yet, do so and replay them.

Today’s spotlight was especially good, highlighting new features in 11.5.4 (there are many!) and talking about some future possible features as well. As seems to always be true of the IDUG spotlight sessions, there were far more questions than there was time to answer. If your question didn’t get answered, I recommend submitting it to the panel. The panel will be on Tuesday, August 11. I’m betting there will be a way to submit questions ahead of time, and when I find out what it is, I’ll update this article and tweet about it.

This Week

There are more sessions tomorrow, and still more on Thursday. Here’s what I’ll be tuning in for this week:

  • Tuesday, 11 AM ET: HTAP: Db2 as a Document Store presented by Kent Collins. Kent always has interesting perspectives on using Db2 at scale.
  • Tuesday, 1:15 PM ET: Db2 Container: A Cloud-Native Experience presented by Aruna De Siva. I’m already running traditional Db2 in containers, and I’m always excited to hear more about the direction IBM is going here.
  • Thursday 10:45 AM ET – Closing Comments and the closing keynote Women in Technology Panel: The Ever-Changing Landscape of Technology. I wish they had included some of the women with their feet more in the Db2 on LUW side of the house, but happy to see this topic at a conference that traditionally sees men for about 80% of its attendees and 90% of its LUW speakers.
  • Thursday, 1PM ET – The inside scoop on Db2 external tables presented by James Soieski
  • Thursday, 2:15 PM ET – Best practices: Step by step instructions to configure a secure database system presented by Greg Stager. There isn’t anyone in the world more knowledgable about Db2 security than Greg.

The Next THREE Weeks

20 pre-recorded sessions will be released each of the next three Mondays, along with some special workshops. The full agenda is available on the idug website.

Format/Delivery

My biggest mistake was in not blocking the time out on my calendar ahead of time. I found emails and IMs at work quite distracting. Normally, you’re in another city and it’s easier to be away from work. That’s something I have to work on for myself for the rest of the week and the things in future weeks.

It is oddly fun to chat with friends while watching the presentations – talking about technical details or about typos or odd things in the presentations. That’s something you can’t (kindly) do while at a conference.

I personally had no problem with the Adobe tool being used to deliver the sessions. I discovered that if you click on the hamburger menu (three horizontal parallel lines) on the upper right of the chat, you can select any other attendee to chat with. Feel free to chat with me!

Socializing and Networking

When you go to conferences like this regularly, you tend to have a group of friends that is like a second family, and a larger group of people you chat with when you run into them. That’s largely missing in this format. I actually love the Expo hall at most conferences, because I spend time walking from group to group of people and talking to people. The Expo hall is still there in the “Virtual Exhibit Hall” link all over the place. You can visit vendor booths and sign up for the passport to prizes drawings. But the random conversations that happen between booths are missing. There has to be a way of doing this online, though I imagine it’s challenging.

I also find the evening at home feels a bit empty. Usually at a conference, I’m finding a group of friends to play Cards Against Humanity with or to explore whatever city or to find a good restaurant and sit and eat. I miss that. Maybe we should do a virtual dine-around where everyone makes their own lunch/dinner/whatever and we get together in small groups to chat while eating? A meal together on Zoom might be interesting.

I am guessing that the feeling of community isn’t there for first-time attendees. There should certainly be a chat room for them with some of us more experienced attendees dropping in to answer questions and help them get into the community. It sure feels like a dedicated conference slack or discord is a missed opportunity here.

I love that I’m seeing people attending from around the world, and seeing people who haven’t had the opportunity to attend an IDUG before. I love that I don’t have to choose between sessions because of conflicting timing. I hope you’re joining us and seeing the value in the content that IDUG provides!

Lead Database Administrator
Ember is always curious and thrives on change. Working in IT provides a lot of that change, but after 18 years developing a top-level expertise on Db2 for mid-range servers and more than 7 years blogging about it, Ember is hungry for new challenges and looks to expand her skill set to the Data Engineering role for Data Science. With in-depth SQL and RDBMS knowledge, Ember shares both posts about her core skill set and her journey into Data Science. Ember lives in Denver and work from home

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