Continuation of "2022 Outlook" by Laura Ubelhor as published in Eye on the i, December 2021.
COMMON is an especially important part of the IBM i community. COVID hit COMMON and many other organizations hard with making it unsafe and not possible to provide onsite offerings. COMMON has adapted by providing many virtual options. We are so truly fortunate to have COMMON and all of the education based and community offerings. Virtual offerings have provided a way for COMMON to continue to provide much needed education. We can all agree it is not the same, but we can also agree it has improved and will continue to be a big part of COMMON’s offerings. Yes, there is a lot more offered online than there was at one time, but no one places focus on IBM i like COMMON does. We are living. very exciting times within the IT community. It is hard to keep up with the change and offerings. COMMON helps make the task of learning much easier by focus on the platform and hot new education areas. Over the years COMMON has had to change by necessity. COVID likely has been one of the more difficult challenges. Looking back think of all the technology education and community connections made through COMMON. We must be grateful. Learning is a big part of what is offered but also connections, community, students, schools, sharing and much more has been provided and with our support will continue to be available. Virtual is great but does not always translate. Many bright minds continue to work on improving the virtual experience and will continue to do so. It does not always play out the same as face to face. I do certainly hope as many do that we can once again meet face to face. Sure, wish we had a crystal ball but alas we do not. I do hope when the time comes and hope it is the upcoming Spring event in New Orleans or at worst the fall event in St. Louis that COMMON can provide a face-to-face event, and many will attend. If you have not recently investigated the offerings provided through COMMON take the time to do so by visiting www.COMMON.org. Anyone in IT should know and understand there is one constant in IT and that is change. COMMON has and will continue to assist us in the journey to change. Embrace what COMMON offers. My prediction for 2022 is that we will have a face to face COMMON. I do hope there is great attendance, and we are able to have the much-needed face to face connection with so many friends and community members that we have all been craving.