I can still hear “Hoop-La” as the memories of SHARE Sacramento are fresh in my mind. For those of you who attended Sacramento, you know what I mean. For those that didn’t, I’m sorry you missed it! This year’s event was another great one. Attendance was up again and the number of first time attendees was outstanding – maybe even a record.
I had the privilege of meeting many first time attendees at a welcome reception specially intended for them, as well as many other opportunities throughout the week. When I met some of these first time attendees, there was excitement in their voices in anticipation of what they would experience during the week ahead. As I spoke with them, many said a version of, “There are so many good sessions to choose from, I’m having a tough time choosing.” This was a key takeaway for me, and I thought, “What a great problem to have.” At the end of the week, I followed up and asked a few of them for their thoughts on how the week went. Every response was positive and uplifting. In particular, there was one I’ll never forget: “This was the best technical conference I have ever attended. There was so much good information from so many sources that will really help with my job responsibilities.” That is the goal of these events, and I am truly pleased to know the technical knowledge shared at Sacramento will positively impact someone’s day-to-day work.
I also make a habit of talking to some of the long-time attendees to get their thoughts and gauge whether or not SHARE hit the mark on value for attending. Not one comment was negative or “pretty good but it could have had more.” All responses were extremely positive and many mentioned the quality, quantity and diversity of sessions to choose from in Sacramento. I was glad to hear this and felt similarly.
Now we're already on to St. Louis, with planning well under way. Using the large number of session evaluations we received from Sacramento “Hoop-La,” session schedulers will be able to better select which topics should be repeated in St. Louis. It also helps determine what session types or content should be chosen from new submissions for presentations. There are so many interesting things happening in the industry — pervasive encryption, DevOps, data privacy, API’s, cognitive computing and cloud based technologies, just to name a few — and there will be many sessions in St. Louis pertaining to these topics.
We are also expecting a large turnout for Student Career Day in St. Louis. If you have never had the chance to talk to the up-and-coming mainframe professionals, make sure you take some time to engage with them. You will not be disappointed. Student Career Day planning started earlier this year and we truly believe it will be a success.
Mark your calendars for August 12-17 and join us in St. Louis for great sessions, Student Career Day, SHARE Academy and a whole lot of fun at the social activities. Hope to see you there.