Friday, May 14, 2010

What I did on my trip to COMMON

While there are probably several examples of great educational opportunities in the IBM i space, COMMON has to be the most popular. If you did not make it to COMMON you missed a great show and I’m going to take a few minutes to discuss what you missed. I have to say that I have been to several COMMON conferences and that this one was laid out really well. Reno was so spread out I got plenty of exercise walking form session to session. The fact that I gave 10 talks with one of the being a repeat means I really had my skates on in Orlando. But in all cases we were able to concentrate on a single area of the hotel where we had access to all of the session rooms. This was a really nice feature! The Expo and main event rooms were also very conveniently located.

Big speaker?
I wish I could tell you that I was the most popular presenter at the event. While the numbers are still being tabulated I must say I did OK but Scott Klement blew out nearly every room in which he appeared! In one case, the COMMON and Hotel staff opened an air-wall to make room for folks who were sitting on the floor and standing in the aisles to hear him speak. If I wasn’t so darn busy I would have probably checked him out myself! Check out his videos at you tube.

What about the expo?
The expo is what I look forward to the most. As a vendor, I had “booth duty”. This includes things like setup, working the booth, meeting people and breakdown. Obviously meeting the people there is the highlight of my trip and I met lots of folks who are doing all kinds of exciting things with PHP on IBM i. We even had a special visit from the PHP Elephpant who was making his debut appearance at COMMON 2010!

And the nightlife?
Then there were the evening events. The first night we had the power down, “Ask the Experts” session. I have always enjoyed this session as a customer because I had virtually unbridled access to IBM and community experts for many topics. I was working the Open System table with abunch of folks from around the world