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Just Back from Technical University

IBM TechU has lectures, hands-on labs and numerous opportunities to meet and talk to the speakers and attendees.

"AIXchange" in white against a purple banner, white chat bubble in righthand corner, with black and green technological texture below.

I haven't written about the IBM Technical University lately, but rest assured, I continue to make time for it as schedules allow.

The most recent event took place in New Orleans two weeks ago. When you look at the list of presenters, there was a lot of technical firepower on hand. The Technical University isn't an exercise in marketing or fluff. It's technical information for technical people: there were lectures, hands-on labs and numerous opportunities to meet and talk to the speakers and attendees.

IBM puts on several of these types of events each year?including Interconnect in March and the IBM Systems Technical University in May. The good thing about this iteration is that, compared to some of the other events, this one did not feel "huge." There was plenty of room in most of the sessions, and, as I said, ample opportunities to interact with speakers, vendors, salespeople and other attendees in the Solution Center, networking center, and hallways.

The Technical University is a worldwide happening. The conference in Prague is coming up in early November, and future events are set for Cairo, Dubai and Florianpolis.

There's nothing like being at a large gathering of your peers, as all of us learn from industry experts and from each other. On a personal note, it's gratifying to have chance real-life meetings with people who've been reading this blog over the years. Plus there's always the possibility of bumping into a fellow IBM Power Champion. (And on that note, nominations for 2018 Power Champions are now open.)

I recognize that it can be tricky to get away from the office, and that some of our employers balk at the idea of paying for training. But events like Technical University are worth it. And training, in general, adds value. It reminds me of an anecdote that I see all the time:

Two managers are talking about training their employees. The first asks, "What if we train them, and they just leave?" The second responds, "What if we don't train them, and they stay?"

Anyway, for those of you who attended the conference, what were your impressions? And for those of you who haven't been to a Technical University event, what has kept you from attending?

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