Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Online Community Action Day: October 1st

In the student presentations at different universities I've talked about the importance of "visibility" as a way to improve your career prospective. Thanks to the internet, one way to gain visibility is to blog!. We are running an initiative this October 1st to encourage as many people in the DB2 Community to participate on an "online community activity". This could be blogging about DB2 or pureXML as explained in my presentations, or other information management related topics. You are not limited to blogging. You can also participate in DB2 forums (for example the DB2 Express-C forum), comment on the free DB2 on Campus videos, and so on. Any online activity would be good!. So don't wait, mark October 1st as a day to take action and gain visibility!


Sunday, September 28, 2008

“Search for the XML Superstar” contest

You may have heard about this contest in my DB2 on Campus presentations in China, ASEAN, and India. The “Search for the XML Superstar” contest is now a reality in Turkey, Lithuania, China, India and ASEAN. In India it is used as the theme of this year's TGMC contest (http://www.tgmc.in/). In ASEAN they have announced the contest recently (asean.xmlsuperstar.com), and in China, the contest is now running for a few months (http://www.dbacontest.net/). But rather than checking out each of these web sites individually, you can log on to xmlchallenge.com and choose the country of your choice. The site will be live this October 1st, when the International DB2 User Group (IDUG) officially announces the “Search for the XML Superstar” contest in the United States.

As I've been saying in my presentations, XML is the foundation for many of the technologies of the present and future. It is shaping the way data is stored, exchanged, analyzed, transferred and processed. Participate in this contest and become the XML superstar!.

Note that the contest has several categories, so even if you are an XML or DB2 novice, you can participate!. The five categories are: XML application programming, ported applications, database gadgets, videos and query challenge. Contestants will participate in a combination of education, exposure to practical applications and “tests” that will validate understanding and ability to program IBM database technologies. Entries will be judged by an independent panel of DB2 professionals.

In terms of prizes, you could receive an all-expense paid trip to an IDUG conference, a Segway i2 personal transport system, a new laptop, an iPod, a Sony PlayStation 3 or a Nintendo Wii system!. For students you may also win opportunities for interviews and IBM lab visits.

Participate and be the XML superstar!


DB2 User Community & KLNCIT DB2 User Group Inauguration

In my previous blog entry, I mentioned I had bad luck and could not attend the inaguration of a DB2 User Group ceremony in Madurai, India. The DB2 community and group were successfully inaugurated on a ceremony held on September 24th, 2008 at the Conference Hall of K.L.N. College of Information Technology. The group now boasts 240+ members and their goal is to recruit more DB2 Student Ambassadors and create more university DB2 User groups in the south of India!. Congratulations to Raghuveer Babu and Pradeep Kumar, the two DB2 Student Ambassadors leading this effort. Pictures of the ceremony are at the top and the main members of the group are shown below.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

DB2 on Campus in India

On Saturday September 13th, I arrived in India for the first time to promote the DB2 on Campus program. Unfortunately, I had some bad luck at the beginning of the tour: The same day I arrived there were some terrorist attacks in New Delhi (but I was in the hotel, so I was safe). Then the following day on Sunday, when I was boarding my plane to Chennai, my IBM India colleague calls me and says that the local government in Madurai had declared Monday a public holiday. This meant the three presentations scheduled for me that day had to be cancelled given that there would not be any public transportation for the students. It was really unfortunate as the K.L.N College of Information Technology had also planned the inaguration of the DB2 User Group, and I was going to be the main guest in the ceremony. Nonetheless, I did get in touch by phone with the DB2 Student Ambassadors in Madurai, and couriered them some t-shirts and DVDs so they could continue promoting DB2. The student ambassadors at K.L.N College of IT (Raghuveer Babu and Pradeep Kumar) are very active and motivated. They are helping me interview other DB2 Student Ambassadors in India.

On Tuesday I visited Anna University in Chennai (picture below) and delivered a 3-hour presentation to almost 150 students. On Thursday I visited Truba university in Bhopal ("The city of lakes"), and there were also more than 150 students and 5 teachers (Picture to the right). I'm receiving several applications from students now who want to become DB2 Student ambassadors. On Friday, I had a very fruitful meeting with IBM India colleagues. IBM India is doing a great job to reach to universities and give them access to IBM software. They started the TGMC (The Great Mind Challenge contest) a few years ago, and now they are running it every year with a huge amount of students participating. This year's main theme for TGMC is to become the "XML superstar" taking advantage of DB2's unique pureXML technology. The DB2 on Campus DVDs containing the free book and videos have been well received in India, and IBM India will reproduce it locally and use it for TGMC.

Though it was a short visit, I do plan to return to India again. I see a "can do" attitude in almost every student I meet in India. This is also the attitude IBM India has, and they are eager to execute a program I presented to them on the Friday's meeting.


Monday, September 15, 2008

German translation of the free DB2 Express-C book is now available!

Hello all,

You may already know that we have a free DB2 Express-C book, and that the DB2 Express-C community has been translating it for a few months now. I'm glad to inform you that in addition to the English, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Portuguese (Brazil) translations -- which were available for a few months already -- a new translation has been added: the German version. Thanks to Mr. Leo E. for his volunteer work for this latest translation!. Click here to get the free book.

Other translations coming soon are: Polish, Italian, Spanish, Thai, Bahasa Indonesia, Russian, and Portuguese (Portugal). All of these translations have been done by the DB2 Community. My sincere thanks to all who have contributed thus far!

Cheers, Raul.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

DB2 on Campus faculty training successfully ends in ASEAN

After 3 intense weeks in Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand, I'm glad to report that 115 teachers and teaching assistants have been trained on DB2 (2-day hands-on workshop). Three sessions were held in Vietnam with teachers from 13 universities. I also had a interesting experience of getting a ride on motorcycle by a teacher to go for lunch!...truly the Vietnamese way of getting around the city! In Indonesia (picture to the right) there was one 2-day session for 2 universities at IBM Indonesia training center. One of the universities participating in the training was Binus university (21 teachers & assistants participated in the class). Binus will be teaching DB2 on a 15-weeks course to 500+ students (8 classes of about 65 people each). The course will include 13 theory sessions and 6 hands-on labs and a final project. The first part of the course will cover DB2 Fundamentals (Based on the Getting Started with DB2 Express-C free book), and those who pass the mid-term with 75% or more will be invited to participate in the DB2 Elite for Academics offering where they can write the IBM DB2 Exam 730 for free. To prepare for the exam, the students are left with homework where they have to complete the DB2 Exam 730 Tutorials available in developerWorks. The second part of the course is on DB2 application development using Java and PHP. The materials for this class will be used to expand the Getting Started with DB2 Express-C book with new chapters covering application development topics. Making slide notes available are also in plan so the material can be used to teach to others. Something I learned while in Indonesia, is that it's the 4th most populated country in the world with 280 million people!. No wonder Binus can teach DB2 to 500+ students in one semester!
In Thailand (picture on the left) I held two sessions to 31 teachers from 10 universities. Several teachers were very interested in the pureXML unit, and planned to incorporate it in his/her courses. Both in Vietnam and Thailand there were sessions held on Saturday and Sunday to fit professor's schedules.

Next stop: India!