Recapping COMMON POWERUp 2023

Leah Avner

A week has passed since the Briteskies team returned from COMMON’s POWERUp convention in Denver, Colorado, but we’re still on a high discussing and sharing the things MicrosoftTeams-image (18) we learned with the rest of the team. 

Though we’ve had a presence at the COMMON conference for the past few years, with travel restrictions and complications the number of Briteskies representatives has been modest, often with only one attendee. This year we sent four, each with a different perspective and purpose for the trip.  A decade has passed since Bill Onion attended a COMMON event. Bill is Briteskies’s Managing Director and though he holds his Bachelor of Science in RPG Development, it’s been a minute since Bill has written any code. These days Bill works on finding unique solutions for customers based on the myriad of options in the IBM i metaverse.

The value I gained from COMMON was immeasurable. So many people in one room, so many connections to be made with industry leaders, it was just amazing”.

Bill also presented Are You Coding Efficiently: Microsoft VS vs RDi, “it was really well-received and I was glad to be speaking about tools that can help developers significantly increase their productivity.”  

MicrosoftTeams-image (19)As a Senior Architect at Briteskies, Nathan Giri’s takeaway was similar. “At one point I was on a call with a client and a question came up regarding opening URLs linking to ACS directly from the green screen,” Nathan shared. “I just went downstairs to the expo floor, got introduced to Tim Rowe and discussed the solution with him! The opportunity to easily speak with experts in the field was really valuable.”  

Coming from a business development role, Josh Bander’s experience was similar, but with a different perspective. “It’s useful for me to see what people are talking about and what the pain points are of those in the industry,” Josh explained. “Being able to sit in on sessions and learn more about the platform and see which buzzwords were being used was really informative for me. I use this information when speaking to prospects and customers and showing how we can help them, it's really helpful” And, as an overall social butterfly and real people-person, Josh’s selfie game was strong as he snapped pictures with industry giants like Steve Will, Dawn May, and Liam Allan.

Lastly, our COMMON veteran and repeat speaker Rob Nettgen. Rob is an IBM i System Admin with a niche addition of also having his CISSP. An annual COMMON speaker, this year Rob spoke twice with both presentations focusing on Security on the IBM i and the importance of keeping your IBM i safe. As for sessions attended, Rob focused on the Security and High  Availability sessions the most. “As a handful of Briteskies’s clients are considering QEDD and HA options, I made sure to sit in on related sessions to gather information and start researching the best solutions for them.” 

Overall, the Briteskies takeaway from COMMON POWERUp 2023 can be summed up in one word, YES. From the learning to the networking, if you are working on the IBM i, COMMON’s user groups are one of the best in the biz.  

See you in Ft. Worth, TX for POWERUp 2024!  

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