Communities or User Groups are a great source of education as well as networking opportunities with experts and your fellow peers, if you are not part of one you should be, here’s an example why.
I attended a User Group meeting organised by i-UG (UK) in February and was treated to some great sessions, one that gave great practical advice and tips on keeping your IT System in a healthy condition, without the advice being technical – just actions that you could do (perhaps should do) on a weekly basis, such as checking your air-con’ unit is working at the right temperature and not over heating your server room! Or check your UPS’ batteries are still working properly, they are like normally batteries as in they do need checking regularly to make sure they are working, you don’t want to find out they don’t work when your power supply goes down to your servers.
Then David Spurway, IBM Power Systems CTO, UK & Ireland, gave the audience an entertaining presentation about POWER Systems, the years they were released and what news items were hitting the headlines in the relevant years, it’s amazing how time fly’s by! Which lead nicely into hearing about which systems are soon coming to their ‘End of Life’, e.g. POWER6 by the 31/3/19 and POWER7 by the 31/9/19 David also informed us that if you want to buy a POWER8 system then you have until the end May to do so.
During lunch and coffee breaks it was nice to see attendees networking together, in many cases giving each other free advice or discussing a project they had undertaken. Where else would this happen?
Communities & User Groups offer their members a place to meet with follow peers, whose needs and day-to-day challenges are the same, its refreshing to also see people wanting to share their experiences with each other and admit that no matter how long they have ‘been in the game’ no body has all the answers, and to quote one new attendee; ‘he will be coming again’ as he found the whole day beneficial and found some new contacts, perhaps we could even say ‘friends’.
Most countries in Europe have a User Group that is COMMON affiliated, so if you are not already a member you should be, find your nearest UG by visiting www.comeur.org