That headline seems particularly apt for this week's blog. Why? Because on Thursday we head for Anaheim and the iBelieve event immediately followed by the COMMON conference.
iBelieve is a new event, focused on the future of the IBM i platform. It's sponsored and organized by looksoftware and is free of charge, so the only barrier to admission is any travel costs you might incur in attending. There's a great lineup of speakers and topics so we encourage you to check it out. So that is the "Future" aspect.
The "Back" part relates to COMMON. This will be our first appearance at a COMMON event for more than two years. During that period both of us have remained members and volunteers with the organization--we just haven't been speaking at the conference. We wrote extensively about why we had made the decision to take a break back in 2009. In the intervening period COMMON has indeed changed--not as much as we had hoped it would, but the changes coupled with an improved financial outlook for our own company make attending this year viable. It will be great to catch up with some old friends again.
But there's also a "Future" aspect to attending the COMMON conference. We've heard from a number of software vendors who are planning to launch new products at (or shortly before) the conference. Since our speaking load is lighter than at past COMMON conferences, we're planning on devoting more time to talking to the application-development tool vendors in the expo and will report back here on our findings. Some of the advance information hints at some really exciting developments. We've already had a sneak preview of one such product and we've tried it out ourselves (hint: on our iPad and iPhone!). We can't say more yet, but we'll fill you in after its announcement next week.
We don't want this to become a product review blog, but this is a critical time in the IBM application-modernization world and since we'll be able to discuss the products with the developers and other IBM i users it seems too good an opportunity to miss.
In addition to speaking and touring the expo we have two other public experiences planned. On Sunday evening we will be at the IBM Systems Magazine booth #404 from 5:30-6:30 for a "Meet the bloggers" appearance. Bit like a book signing but without the books? Then on Tuesday at lunchtime we will be manning the "Expert Bar" on the IBM stand. If you are the conference please drop by and say "Hi." We always enjoy meeting our readers.