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Phils 2011 Prague Musings

The IDUG EMEA Tech Conference 2011 will be held in Prague, Czech Republic, and I’ll be posting a weekly note to DB2-L (and elsewhere) on the various interesting things to do and the experiences not to be missed together with some suggestions on how to get the most benefit from your time at IDUG EMEA

Please read on, and learn what the IDUG Tech Conference in Prague has to offer for you


That's all folks!

After all the planning and hard work, it’s hard to believe that the IDUG Tech Conference, EMEA is over again for another year

There will no doubt be some final messages from the IDUG organisation themselves, but I wanted to finish this years musings with some personal thoughts

Firstly, thank you to everyone who expressed their appreciation for these musings. I am glad they are useful, but I think I need to start earlier in 2012. This year the time seemed to get away from me somewhat

Hopefully most of the attendees came away from IDUG with the same thoughts that I did. Not only was it a fantastic grid, but the facilities provided by the hotel were top notch (without the usual top-notch prices!). IDUG certainly has its work cut out to match the facilities and environment for any future conference. Some things, like the complimentary high speed internet access EVERYWHERE might be difficult to repeat, but were well received by the delegates (AND the speakers!)

If you attended IDUG in Prague, I hope you found the time to do some sightseeing. Unfortunately, I only had a couple of opportunities, but with the Metro literally underneath the hotel, it made travelling around simplicity itself

So now we start looking forwards again, to IDUG EMEA Tech Conference 2012 in Berlin (November 4th – 9th at the Estrel Hotel and Conference Centre) – for more details, please check the IDUG website
 


Almost there

This week we’re almost there – IDUG starts on Sunday (with the CA Day and the Pre-Cert Crammer classes)

SO, I thought I’d finish off with some of the “personal gains” that are available at IDUG (apart from wall to wall education and complimentary certification tests, of course)

If you are planning to attend one of the Vendor Sponsored sessions, please don’t forget to fill in your evaluation form. Most of the vendors will be participating in the VSP Lottery, and you may well win something valuable to take home

Also, don’t forget the Passport to Prizes in the expo hall. Visit each of the participating vendors, get your passport stamped and see if you win in the Passport to Prizes draw. SOMEONE has to win, why can’t it be YOU (and at the last two conferences I have attended, it was demonstrated that it IS possible for a single person to win more than once!)

Lastly, don’t forget that the exhibitors themselves may also have giveaways and prizes of their own – so don’t miss the opportunity to chat them up

Looking forward to meeting those of you who are attending – I’ll either be wearing the Conference Planning Committee green polo shirt, or the Cogito blue one (“THINK PERFORMANCE”) so I should be fairly easy to spot. Please say Hello, and don’t be shy

So that’s it for the pre-IDUG musings. If I get chance I’ll post an after-IDUG summary next Friday (in between teaching my DB2 10 class

If you missed it, the IDUG attendee eMail is here


Around about the hotel

I think I have mentioned it before, but the Clarion Congress Hotel is part of a complex that includes the Vysocanska subway station and the Galerie Fenix shopping centre (their website is here – unfortunately it’s only available in Czech, but Google Chrome does a decent job of translating).  As well as a few local type shops, they also have a large supermarket (where you can stock up on late-night snacks) as well as a food court with 8 or 9 fast food outlets/restaurants and the I’m Fit fitness club (website here)

For travelling further afield, you will probably be using either the subway or a tram. Both are very efficient, good value for money, and easy for tourists to navigate. The DPP website has a lot of information (with translations) and a very useful tram/subway map. Following on from last week, there is also information on how to use public transport to/from the airport here

Most often tourists use the 90 minute ticket, which I think is CZK32 (approx EUR1.30) – note that the Czech Republic does NOT use the Euro!

The Prague Public Transport Company has prepared for its passengers a unique project. They can now download into their Apple iPhone the electronic version of the book 33 Prague Trips.

This electronic version offers the most interesting tips for trips both in the city centre and in its immediate vicinity.

Visitors to Prague may easily use their Apple iPhone to go through any trip, which contains a map, available transport links offered by Prague’s public transport and GPS coordinates. The application is functional both for online and offline use. More information is here, and the app costs around EUR5.00 (depending on your country)

Lastly, apart from shopping for Czech crystal (of which you will see A LOT!), there are plenty of other things to see and do in Prague. Why not take a look at the Prague Experience website for more ideas

Unfortunately, we’ll be too early for Christmas Markets this year – the first one opens in Prague on November 26th

If there are any questions, most of the answers are at http://www.idug.org/emea or you can email me directly


Getting there is half the fun

This week, I thought I’d concentrate on how to get to IDUG, and as most of you will be flying I’ll concentrate on the transfer from the airport to the hotel

By Taxi: Transport from Ruzyně Airport to the hotel by taxi takes about 30-45 min. ( 19,5 km/ 12 miles). The city taxi outside of the airport is the cheapest. To save a little on the cost, why not co-ordinate your taxi journey with other IDUG attendees. If you are subscribed to the IDUG Public Forums “IDUG EMEA”, that would be a great place to advertise your arrival/departure details to see if you can link up with anyone else

Alternatively, the hotel can offer a hotel taxi at the rate of CZK 950 (USD 55 or EUR 40). For reservation please contact the hotel concierge (concierge.cchp@clarion-hotels.cz, + 420 211 131 137), or reservation department (reservation.cchp@clarion-hotels.cz, + 420 211 131 119).

Public Transportation: Take airport Bus to Zlicin Station. Then take the Underground B line (also known as the yellow line) to Vysocanska Station. The hotel is attached to Vysocanska Station (it’s actually on top of the station!). You will see signs as soon as you get off the train. The complete trip takes about 1 hour.


Why attend IDUG?

Perhaps it would be good to start with a summary of all the good things that will be happening and that will be available to you as an IDUG attendee

Of course there are the technical sessions – over 100 of the best DB2 presentations you will find anywhere, delivered both by your peers and by a veritable crowd of DB2 experts. Mixed in with these, are special interest groups where you can come and discuss your problems and find new and innovative solutions. We also have an experts panel, staffed with some of the best DB2 brains we could find (and me) – bring your questions and be educated and entertained all in one go.

I mustn’t forget the additional educational opportunities of the full day educational seminars on Friday November 18th. These are a chargeable extra to your IDUG week, but give you in-depth education at a fraction of the cost of trying to get the same level elsewhere

To balance things, there are some free events happening on Sunday November 13th – CA technologies have their traditional “day before IDUG” DB2 day and IDUG are also providing two crammer classes for those wishing to take certification tests during the week (and remember, the crammer classes AND the tests are all free, courtesy of IBM and IDUG)

Then there is the Products and Services Exhibition – a  chance to meet vendors, consultants and IBM, and to mingle with the speakers and other attendees. This exhibition is the place to be, not least of which is the fact that this is where the prize drawings will be held for the various valuable gifts that will be given away during the week. Don’t miss the Passport to Prizes and the VSP Lottery, as well as any other raffles that the vendors themselves may be arranging

For more details on all of these, please visit the IDUG EMEA website at www.idug.org/emea

This years EMEA IDUG Tech Conference is looking to be something extra special. Not only have we found a fantastic location in Prague, but the Clarion Congress Hotel is one of the best value properties I have encountered anywhere – and if the plans work out, IDUG will be taking over the entire hotel. So, apart from the staff, EVERYONE you will meet will be connected to IDUG somehow – grab every opportunity to “talk DB2”. Your room rate not only includes breakfast but IDUG have also negotiated complimentary wired internet access in every room. For the more mobile, wireless access will also be available at an extra charge

As well as the eating and drinking(!) opportunities there are in the hotel, in the Gallerie Felix centre adjacent to the hotel you will find even more food & drink outlets (and a supermarket if, like me, you like to have snacks handy in your room)

Lastly, I have heard some murmurings about the fact that the hotel is outside Prague city centre and whilst this is technically true, the hotel sits on top of a subway station (it’s just down 4 or 5 flights of stairs from the hotel reception) from which 10 minute or so journey will take you right to the heart of Prague city. Of course the trains run frequently, they are clean AND they are cheap

If you haven’t registered yet, there is still plenty of time – on-line registration is still open at the IDUG web site. Although it’s too late to take advantage of the Earlybird Discount, there are still other ways to save money on your registration. The multi attendee discount gives a discount to the 4th attendee where 4 people attend from the same company. Also, the mentor discount gives a whopping 80% of a NEW attendees registration if they are mentored by someone who has attended 3 (or more) IDUG conferences OR who is an IBM Champion

 

Precertification and Migration Workshop Information

IDUG, in partnership with IBM, works to provide you with the opportunities to get ahead.

Sign up today for the Free IBM Pre-Conference DB2 Certification Preparation Seminars or the Free DB2 10 for z/OS Migration Planning Workshop being held at the IDUG DB2 Tech Conference EMEA 2011 in Prague.

Free IBM Pre-Conference DB2 Certification Preparation Seminars

IBM Certified Database Administrator - DB2 10 DBA for z/OS certification Preparation Seminar with Susan Lawson

Susan is an internationally recognized consultant and lecturer with a background in system and database administration and works with several large clients to help develop, implement and tune some of the worlds’ largest and most complex DB2 databases and applications. She is an IBM GOLD Consultant for DB2 and z/Series, and an IBM Champion and has authored the IBM ‘DB2 for z/OS V8 DBA Certification Guide’ and the IBM ‘DB2 for z/OS V7 Application Programming Certification Guide’.

DB2 UDB V9.7 for LUW Advanced Database Administration certification Preparation Seminar with Guy Przytula

Guy has more than 30 years experience with DB2. He worked for IBM as hardware engineer and later in the software support center and software services department.  He is a leading expert on DB2 for VM/VSE (SQL/DS)  and DB2 for LUW, with which he started when it was still called common server. He teaches many courses related to DB2 LUW.

Both preparation seminars will be held on Sunday 13th November 2011 between 9:30 AM and 5:00 PM

These Certification Preparation Seminars are sponsored by IBM and are complimentary to all IDUG EMEA 2011 conference delegates. At IDUG EMEA 2011, more than 50 IBM certification exams are available throughout the week at no cost (EUR 89 value per exam).  Testing is available to attendees each day during the conference, and there is no cost regardless if you take one exam or the maximum of three per attendee (not including SWG exams).

Online registration is now available at http://bit.ly/IDUGEMEAMP


Additionally, there will be a free DB2 10 for z/OS Migration Planning Workshop - also held on Sunday 13th November 2011 from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM

DB2 10 for z/OS continues to extend on DB2’s leadership in the areas of availability, scalability, and performance; while delivering several complimentary, extensible features. DB2 10 introduces new design choices to meet your enterprise application and governance needs. IBM are running a DB2 10 for z/OS Migration Planning Workshop to assist customers in the planning and executing of the migration to DB2 10, from either DB2 v8 or DB2 9, and to exploit the new  features to help deliver increased value to their businesses.

Online registration for the migration workshop is at http://bit.ly/MPWIDUG


If you have any questions regarding the information presented on this page, please contact Surekha Parekh
 

On-Line Registration is OPEN!

Register for the IDUG DB2 Tech Conference in Prague, Czech Republic, the premiere European event for DB2 professionals, taking place 13-18 November 2011, at the Clarion Congress Hotel Prague. This event will feature the latest in DB2 technologies, networking opportunities and the technical content you need to be efficient in your day-to-day activities.

Plan to attend 13 November and enjoy a day devoted to IBM certification training, DB2 migration workshops and sessions for CA customers. These optional events are free to conference attendees, and are a great way to prepare for the full conference opening on the 14 November.

View the full list of technical sessions here.

Cost Saving Opportunities

Attend the IDUG DB2 Tech Conference in Prague, Czech Republic and experience the best in DB2 education at a great value. Take advantage of the following discounts:

  • Early Bird Discount
    Register on or before 17 October 2011 and receive a discount of EUR 275 on your conference registration.
  • Multiple Delegate Discount
    For every three individuals who register from the same organisation, a fourth may attend at the discounted rate of EUR 730. To take advantage of this discount, all individual registration forms and payment(s) must be submitted together.
  • Mentor Program
    If you have attended three previous IDUG DB2 Conferences, you are eligible to bring a first-time colleague to Prague for an 80% discount off the full registration fee. More details on this opportunity will be forthcoming in the next few weeks.
  • One-Day Educational Seminars
    These seminars will be held Friday, 18 November 2011. This full day experience includes breakfast, lunch and course materials. Registration for paid full conference delegates is EUR 450 and the one-day seminar only cost is EUR 495. Select from the following session topics:
    - DB2 10 for z/OS - In Depth, Phil Grainger, Cogito/GdbS
    - DB2 Intermediate and Advanced SQL, Daniel Luksetich, Yevich Lawson & Assoc Inc.
    - I Didn't Know DB2 did THAT!, Bonnie Baker, Bonnie Baker Corporation
    -
    Optimising DB2 for z/OS System Performance Using DB2 Statistics Trace, John Campbell, IBM Corporation
    - Rocket Science: DB2 for LUW Performance Analysis and Tuning Workshop, Scott Hayes, DBI
  • *All registration fees are subject to Czech Republic VAT at 20%.

Register Today!

The Conference Planning Weekend

Each year, the IDUG conference planning committee gets together to plan the next IDUG Tech Conference, and I have just returned from this years meeting (don’t forget, if you would like to be part of the group that brings you the IDUG Tech Conference each year, IDUG is always looking for new volunteers. Take a look here for more details).

This year, we think we have put together an exciting range of presentations

As well as 6 parallel tracks totalling some 140 sessions across almost 4 days, we have also included 5 Special Interest Group sessions, an opportunity for regional user group members to get together, up to 12 vendor presentation opportunities and, of course, the Products and Services exhibition where you can see the latest in DB2 software & tools as well as talk with vendors, consultants and your peers

Immediately before IDUG starts, on Sunday November 13th, IDUG will be providing pre-certification “crammer classes” so you can be prepared to take those certification exams that are provided free of charge by IBM at IDUG. At the same time, CA will be hosting their traditional Customer Day (for more details, please contact CA technologies directly)

Remember, registration IS already open, and if you are able to make your plans early, there are some great value air fares on offer. Don’t forget the IDUG Mentor program - if you have attended THREE IDUG conferences you are eligible to apply for a mentor discount voucher which will enable you to bring a colleague to Prague, taking advantage of up to 80% discount on their registration.

With the great hotel rates on offer, this is shaping up to be one of the best value IDUG conferences for some time

All in all, we are very excited to bring this conference to life - the accepted speakers will be hearing the good news over the next couple of weeks - and we are all looking forward to welcoming you all to Prague in November
 

 

IDUG EMEA Tech Conference 2011 - The Journey Begins

Although there are around 8 months to go before the 2011 IDUG EMEA Teach Conference, I wanted to just share some thoughts as a “one off” musing before my weekly musings start later in the year

As you probably know, IDUG EMEA is being held in Prague, in the Czech Republic between 14th and 18th November 2011. This year IDUG have chosen not only a great location but also a great hotel. The Clarion Congress Hotel is a really good value hotel and has a Metro station underneath it, so the centre of Prague is a mere 15 minutes train ride away. Not only that, but there is a shopping centre and food court right below the hotel!

IDUG have negotiated the following room rates for attendees staying at the Clarion Congress Hotel. Breakfast and VAT are included with a hotel reservation, as is wired Internet access in all rooms.

    €100 Single
    €110 Double
    €130 Executive Single
    €140 Executive Double.

Rooms are limited at these rates, so book early to be sure

The call for presentations is currently open (until March 14th) so to have your presentation ideas considered (and possibly receive a complimentary registration to the Tech Conference), take a look at the call for presentations page. This year, to encourage more first-time speakers, the planning committee are intending to provide mentor support to first timers - to help with the logistics of preparing and submitting your presentation.

Lastly, for now, registration for the conference is also already open. Visit the IDUG registration page for more information on the conference rates and details of the on-line registration process – especially if you still have training budget to spend before the end of the financial year!

 

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