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Continuing IBM i Education: COMMON Fall Events

I am a big advocate for continuing education. Whether self-study with online materials or attending user group meetings, keeping current with technology is critical for career success. I do online self-study frequently. When I have questions I head straight to the internet. I also make it a point to attend local user group meetings—in my case the New Hampshire Midrange User Group meetings, and others in the local area.

My regular readers might have noticed that I also attend every COMMON event. The sessions presented are always valuable, particularly material outside of my area of deep expertise. The opportunity to meet new people and have casual conversations is the best part about face-to-face events. I learn things at every single event. This is not an exaggeration! I pick up unexpected knowledge at sessions, random hallway discussions, and even during lunch. It is these unexpected connections and conversations that make the face-to-face meetings so valuable. I want everyone to experience these mind-opening moments and a big opportunity is coming up soon.

This fall, COMMON is hosting two simultaneous events in St. Louis, MO from October 3-5.


NAViGATE is the traditional COMMON Fall Event. It is smaller than POWERUp, and features about 100 sessions presented by industry experts. NAViGATE is a hybrid event offering the choice to attend in person or virtually. I understand that many are tired of attending virtual sessions (I certainly am!), but for some, online sessions are a great option, particularly if travel is difficult.

The sessions at NAViGATE cover the broad spectrum of content that you would expect from the fall event, with topics spanning application development, database, systems management, IFS, hardware, high availability, and more.

For those new to i, the N2i committee assembled a great list of session recommendations. With so many sessions to select from, it can be difficult to make a choice, especially when you want to attend two sessions at the same time. The session recommendations are organized by topical area.

NAViGATE also offers an expo, which is the place to learn about products and solutions that are available for your business, or to talk with your provider about any questions you may have.

Conference attendees can also access session handouts on the conference schedule webpage. Since it’s not possible to attend all sessions, attendees have the ability review charts and presentations for missed sessions.

i on Security

New this fall, and separate from NAViGATE, is the i on Security event. Security is a hot topic in IT today, and various surveys, including HelpSystems MarketPlace Survey, identify security as a top concern.

The i on Security event is in-person only and runs parallel to NAViGATE. You must register separately. As expected, the agenda is entirely focused on security topics. The speakers are all top-notch security experts.

However, the i on Security event isn’t just a random mix of security sessions. The event maintains a tight focus on everything you need to know about protecting and securing IBM i from threats. This conference is intended for technical personal responsible for securing data stored in their IBM i.

As president of COMMON, you may think I am biased in my writing about these conferences. However, I have written about how the COMMON organization changed my career for the better for quite some time. I have presented and attended since 2008. Tips and information I picked up over the years have proven invaluable. The professional network is a huge benefit. Each year, I meet new people and have wonderful conversations about unexpected topics. Likewise, I love sharing the knowledge I have gained, and continue to speak in areas of my expertise.

I strongly encourage everyone to take advantage of what COMMON has to offer. As a reminder, COMMON is much more than a couple of conferences as you’ll see in a previous blog post of mine on the Value of a COMMON Membership reviews member benefits—many of which are new in 2022.