I am a firm believer in the power, immediacy and effectiveness of social media and on-line education and interaction. Our team has recently launched DB2University.com to help people acquire or enhance their DB2 skill on their own schedule, budget (or lack of) and from any place in the world. The response has been tremendous with over 1000 people registering for courses in the first 5 days alone. Registration is free as are the courses at this time.

As great as social media is, nothing compares to a face to face interaction with colleagues, thought leaders and experts. For the DB2 community, the best opportunity to do that has been the anual IDUG North America Conference. I have had the honour and the privilege to present at pretty much every one of these annual gatherings since about 1996 and I have come out a better person out each and every one of these experiences. The breadth of technical talent and the networking just can not be beat.

IDUG NA 2011
This year IDUG North America Tech Conference is held in Anaheim, California May 3-6. As in the years past, the agenda is deeply technical as IDUG has a stringent policy against “selling”. Jeff Jonas will keynote this years conference. If you have never heard Jeff Jonas speak you are in for a treat. It does not matter what the subject, he will entertain and inspire you with deep insight, anekdotes and a different perspective on hot issues. Jeff is a founder of SRD, the company that helped Las Vegas casinos catch cheaters and US Federal agencies to combat terrorism .. all by analyzing data. SRD did such an outstanding job of data analysis that IBM acquired the company in 2005.

If you can free up May 3-6 on the calendar, you can get $150 off the full-conference fee if you register before March 18. There are also housing discounts available to shave the cost of hotel accommodation.

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