IDUG (International Db2 Users Group) held its premier North America Db2 Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on April 29 – May 3, 2018. The customer base was split across the Db2 family, about 65% z/OS and 35% LUW. Attendees not only included North American customers, but also several European customers.

On Sunday, before the conference officially started, the Technical Advisory Board (TAB) had its annual meeting with IBM hosting. We walked Gold Star Consultants and IBM Champions through a snapshot of our future plans and releases, as well as deeper technical dives into new features. This session was a great opportunity to get in front of customers and listen to their concerns. From a Content Design side, we had the opportunity to talk to customers about the Db2 Knowledge Center and give them a sneak peek at the new Db2 Content Hub.

The networking opportunities were also noteworthy as there were several social occasions that allowed us to engage customers. I was surprised and impressed by the passion shown by our customers and a genuine desire to improve the Db2 product. The expo area was also a great place to meet customers who were hovering around the IBM marketing booth. The setting was casual and provided a great opportunity to listen to their issues and suggestions.

The Monday to Thursday schedule offered education sessions and seminars, half- and full-day workshops and demos, as well as free Db2 certification testing. From a Content Design point-of-view, customers told us that they heavily depended on the Db2 Knowledge Center, especially now that the search functionality has improved. They were quite pleased with the return of the PDF documentation for Db2 v11; there was at least one request to even start printing the physical books again!

The request I had most often was for more solid content. Db2 documentation is very functional and covers things quite well from a reference perspective. What was missing was more contextual, conceptual documentation. For example, a command might have all of its parameters listed and explained, but information how or when to use the command or parameters was lacking.

With hundreds of IBMers converging on Philadelphia it was also a good chance for us to get together and in some cases meet face-to-face for the first time. I was able to meet with several of my extended teammates on the Communities side of things and set up a foundation that we can build on going forward.

With the conference behind us, there’s a lot of work ahead, but we know the direction we’re going into and we have customers we can reach out to as we push improvements forward.

Links to Bookmark:
>> Db2 Knowledge Center
>> Db2 Guided Walkthrough | Deep Dive – DB2 Digital Technical Engagement

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