Message from SHARE: SHARE Virtual Is Ready For You

By James Vincent, SHARE Director of Conference Operations

An important announcement regarding the SHARE Virtual 2020 event: Due to unforeseen technical difficulties, the SHARE Virtual 2020 event is paused until all issues are resolved. The event will resume in the near future and specific dates and times will be announced in the coming weeks. This article was published prior to the event pause and session/speaker information is subject to change. For more information, please visit the SHARE Virtual FAQ page.

In the last issue of SHARE’d Intelligence, Scott Fagen, SHARE director of industry influence, talked about the decision to move SHARE Boston to a virtual event, or SHARE Virtual 2020, taking place throughout August. The operations team — made up of SHARE staff, myself as director, Rick Barlow as deputy director, and all SHARE program managers — had been planning the full 500+ session Boston event even before SHARE Fort Worth wrapped up. In fact, through all the hard work of the program and project volunteers, we had a completed Boston line-up of sessions slated and ready to go. We all were crossing our fingers that things would get better and we’d all be in Boston.

The Journey to Virtual

We all know now that for a multitude of reasons, the Boston event will not take place as planned. The operations team was engaged through the whole process of shifting gears to make a virtual SHARE event a reality. When the news broke to the SHARE community about the cancellation, we very quickly built a new session grid, agreed on the days and times, and how many session slots everyone would get.

Virtual Is Easy, Right?

Going virtual has not been easy, but it has been challenging in the best way possible. This is the first time SHARE has built a fully virtual event with our usual hot topic tracks, a new milestone in our 65-year history.

Something I learned a while ago about leadership is to surround yourself with good, smart people — and that is what our operations team is made of. SHARE program managers stepped up and took the challenge to put together yet a second event schedule, in a very short amount of time. They worked with their project teams to select what sessions they felt were timely, important and enticing for SHARE attendees. Between the short amount of time, all the different details and aspects of this virtual event, and having to pull everyone and everything together again, the team nailed it.

What SHARE Virtual 2020 Has to Offer

You will see more than 123 technical sessions available at SHARE Virtual 2020! That number includes all the technology topics SHARE excels at providing. It also includes topics in our newest track, Women in IT. That total doesn’t even include all the keynotes, daily event kick-off openings, partner sessions, Technology Exchange and birds-of-a-feather (BOF) sessions.

The overall theme of the event is Open Source on the Mainframe, along with hot topics covering security, mainframe hardware, cloud technology in the enterprise, Zowe, and IBM Z.

Holy smokes, it’s almost like being there with all the choices you will have!

During the planning of SHARE Virtual 2020, we learned from other virtual events’ best practices that pre-recording the sessions were the most efficient and best way to provide consistent delivery. The format of the technical sessions will be 40 minutes of pre-recorded content, and five minutes of live question and answers. A few sessions that are panel-driven or Q&A type sessions will be completely live.

The pre-recorded sessions will also give you the flexibility to come back later to catch anything you missed. Nearly all of the sessions will be recorded and available for you to view at your leisure.

The Schedule

The details can all be found on the SHARE Virtual 2020 website. In general, the days will be from around noon until 5 p.m. Eastern time and on the following days:

  • Tuesday, Aug. 4 – Thursday, Aug. 6
  • Wednesday, Aug. 12
  • Tuesday, Aug. 18 – Thursday, Aug. 20

The start and end times will help accommodate as many attendees’ time zones as possible. Granted, if you are living outside of the United States, it will either be a very late day or an extremely early morning for you. But remember, the sessions are all recorded, so you may watch them at any time.

The shorter days and “split” weeks are to help accommodate those that will still have job and day-to-day life activities that need attention during the event. We know a virtual event is not like being away from home and the office, and there will still be interruptions and job expectations to get done. Hopefully the schedule will give you the flexibility to not only attend all the SHARE sessions you need, but to also have time on those days for other activities.

There is so much more to tell you about the SHARE Virtual 2020 event, but I will leave you to explore the SHARE website, dig into the technical agenda and see everything we will offer. Ask questions, too! Reach out to myself (james.vincent@share.org) or the SHARE staff to find out more about this event.

I hope to “see” each and every one of you at SHARE Virtual 2020 in August!

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