Monday, October 27, 2008

The IBM Data Champion program

In my DB2 on Campus tours, I've met amazing people doing incredible work for the DB2 community. Sometimes I felt they were not being recognized for their volunteer work (even though they were not asking for this, but were doing things out of their own passion for the product). I'm happy to let you know that this week, IBM is announcing a new program called "IBM Data Champion". This program has been designed to recognize and reward members of the worldwide data management community who contribute in forums, run Web sites promoting or using data management products, write articles and technical guides, produce videos and podcasts, speak at technical conferences, and teach technical skills. Anyone who is not a current IBM employee is eligible.

For more information about the program, please visit

Cheers, Raul.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

DB2 on Campus in Romania

Romania is one of the newest members of the European Union, and it's growing fast. The DB2 on Campus tour started on October 20th in Bucharest ("The little Paris" of the 30's) and ended on October 24th in Iasi. We visited the University Politechnica of Bucharest, Stefan cel Mare University of Suceava, and Gh. Agachi University of Iasi. Close to 270 students and 20 teachers attended the presentations. I was glad to recruit four volunteers students to translate the "Getting Started with DB2 Express-C" book from English to Romanian. I was also pleasantly surprised to find a DB2 book already written in Romanian (see picture at the top). The book was written for DB2 UDB V8.2, and it was an effort led by Theodor Borangiu (IBM Romania) and a group of teachers from different universities. In Suceava, I met one of the teachers who was part of this book team, and have encouraged her to upgrade the book to DB2 9.5. We are also planning some collaboration work to develop other materials. The picture at the end of this blog is from University Politechnica of Bucharest.


Eye on Poland

Whenever I arrive to a hotel, I normally watch the news on CNN. A few weeks back they were running a special on Poland called "Eye on Poland". I happened to be running the DB2 on Campus tour in this country from Oct 11 - 17, almost at the same time the special was showing. The CNN special was right, Poland is growing very fast. Many changes are happening for the good, and other than traffic, I see a lot of optimism from the people I talked to. On the academic side as well, I see a lot of activity. The IBM Academic Initiative (AI) team in Poland is very active and energetic. The team is supported by the IBM Krakow Lab, as well as the offices in IBM Warsaw, and they are doing a lot of good things. My schedule in Poland was hectic visiting 7 universities in 5 days for a total of 14 presentations. The DB2 on Campus tour started in Krakow, then Gliwice, Wroklaw, Poznan, and Lodz. I was accompanied by nice IBM Poland colleagues like Marcin, Kasha, Jarek, and Mariusz to the student presentations as well as faculty meetings. Overall, we reached about 350 students and 30 faculty members!. Moreover, the International DB2 User Group (IDUG) was running its European conference that week. Though I couldn't attend, a colleague of mine from IBM USA (Paawan) did present on Academic Initiative topics. She also accompanied me on some university visits. Overall, it was a successful tour with a lot of presentations, lots of driving, lots of hotels and very tiring!. Warning: In Poland people drive FAST. The "minimum" speed is 120km =). I also had the chance to pre-announce the "Search for the XML Superstar" contest in the universities I visited in Poland. The official announcement for the contest in Poland was on October 19th.

Cheers, Raul.

P.S: The picture is from the Politechnika Poznanska in Poznan, Poland

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Meeting DB2 Student Ambassadors in Portugal

The DB2 on Campus European tour started late in September in Portugal. IST university (Lisbon) and Univeristy of Minho (Braga), two of the best universities in Portugal, were visited. In both universities there were faculty meetings, 2-hour DB2 on Campus presentations, and a 1-day DB2 workshop. More than 200 students and teachers attended the events (see picture to the right). I also had the chance to meet DB2 Student Ambassadors at U. Minho. These ambassadors were "recruited" by Vitor Rodrigues (IBM USA) on his visit to U. Minho last year. Nuno Job, was one of the DB2 Student Ambassadors who is now hired on a 1-year intership at IBM in New York (See earlier blog about this). Unfortunately, Nuno left for New York a few days prior to my visit, so I could not meet him. I did meet the other ambassadors. See the picture to the right. The order from top left to bottom right: Nuno Lebreiro, me (Raul Chong), Marcelo, Vitor Rodrigues (IBM USA), Joao, Ulisses, Sergio, Ivo. Visit their DB2 User Group web site here! Currently, the group is running a "mini-challenge" to see who in their university downloads the most DB2 Express-C in one month!. Let me know if you'd like to do something like that.


DB2 on Campus in Vietnam keeps going and going!

Late in September and early October, Khiem Nguyen (IBM Vietnam) continued his work to deliver DB2 on Campus presentations at three universities in Vietnam: VNU in HCM city,Can Tho university, and An Giang university. As part of his visits, Academic Initiative scholarships were granted to seven students and "The Search for the XML Superstar" contest was officially announced (See picture). More than 300 students and teachers participated in these events.

Great work Khiem!


Polish version of eBook "Getting Started with DB2 Express-C is now available!


I'm pleased to inform you all that the Polish version of the eBook "Getting Started with DB2 Express-C is now available here! Thanks to all volunteers who helped in the translation!.