IBM Power System Technical University

I’m currently at the IBM Power System Technical University conference in Las Vegas.

Originally I wasn’t going … but a scheduling problem with another person in my office came up and I got tagged to pinch hit for him.

So far the conference is going well … although I’m only here for the “Solution Center” expo (no sessions) … I’m enjoying it.

The conference is much more oriented towards hardware and system management people. There are a few application development sessions on the grid, but not that many. I’m pretty sure there are zero sessions on Java & RPG programming. A few on SQL & PHP.

The expo itself had a lot of energy last night, the first night it was open, with people hitting all the booths to get their ‘bingo’ card filled up (not sure what they are drawing for).

A few things I’ve observed right off the bat (keep in mind, my only previous big conference experience has been COMMON) …

  • A lot of IBM’ers. They are collecting stickers for their bingo cards as much as other attendees (which kind of surprised me).
  • A significant number of people from overseas. More than I’ve ever seen at COMMON.
  • Only a handful of IBM i users. Mostly P Series people.
  • The people that stopped by the MKS booth and did more than just get a bingo card sticker & badge scan (for our drawing) seemed genuinely interested in what we had to offer.
  • The 2nd day of the expo (today) had fewer people coming by, but those who did were much more serious about getting good information.
  • IBM is trying to use social media more … they have a designated tweeter and, as it happens, I won a prize for having one of my tweets picked.
  • COMMON seems to have more of a social aspect to it … although I can only judge from my limited observations in the expo and in the halls between sessions.

Even though there aren’t a lot of IBM i people here … I did run into a number of friendly faces … here’s a few of them …

I also ran into Allison Butterill, Dawn May, Sue Baker, & Linda Grigoleit.

There are only few midrange.com subscribers here (maybe some potentials though). Bryan Dietz scored a midrange.com ball cap.

Oddly, it just doesn’t seem like a ‘real’ conference when I’m not running into Scott Klement, Brian May, or Trevor Perry (just to name a few) every 10 minutes. 😉

From a purely logistical perspective … the hotel the conferences is at, the Rio, is OK. Not great, but not that bad.

Wifi in the conference are is reasonably good … although there are some areas with poor coverage.

The hotel isn’t that expensive … I think it’s $139/night. The room is comfortable & big. It’s a bit dated though.

The hotel’s internet is expensive … as usual. $14/day. Although I don’t think I’ll have to pay for it, as my connection had problems and I had to work with the ISP to get it resolved. Ironically if you have a problem with the internet connection you have to call a 800 number … but the hotel charges for 800 number calls (I’ve never understood that). I had to call the managers office to get them to connect me without a charge. I ended up getting my problem escalated to tier 2 support to get it resolved.

The expo is open again this evening and tomorrow around lunch time … so if you’re reading this blog, stop by the MKS booth and say hi.

On a personal note, this is my first time in Vegas … and it probably won’t become a destination for me in the future. Gambling isn’t my thing. That said, I did buy tickets to see the Penn & Teller show tonight.

Comments

  1. Glad it’s going well for you. Sorry to disappoint you by not attending/presenting. Can’t do them all, as much as I would like to. My “real” job likes it when I’m actually at my desk for more than a week or two at a time. 😉

  2. The IBM conferences are generally very well run. The food is generally excellent and they do a great job at seeing that their attendees are well fed.

    The conference demographics will be skewed towards IBM’ers and pSeries(AIX) folks. iSeries attendees will most likely be outnumbered somewhere in the area of 4:1 or 5:1…

    There weren’t any iSeries developer tracks in the previous conference either…evidently IBM thinks that all development should now be done on AIX…go figure…

    I’m not a casino rat either but there are some fun things to do in Vegas…besides eat. And, yes, you’ll want to take your internet wireless port with you unless you’re staying at the Hampton or Hilton and are a Hilton Club member…

    I’ll be there in January for CES…it’s a hugely packed few days and I usually sleep on the plane coming home…

    1. The IBM conf is similar to COMMON in that they give vendors one badge that can get into sessions. Unlike COMMON it’s a named badge and not a corporate badge.

      Regardless, there were few sessions in the grid that interested me as a developer.

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