Creating software people love!

Recap of Common Fall 2016 - We Crushed It

Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Lee Paul / Software Modernization Superhero

What a super group of people to spend a few days with in Columbus!

Lee and Derek in packed room to watch the opening session presentation.Lee and Derek in packed room to watch the opening session presentation.

Hats off to the Common board and staff. They work hard putting these conferences together and do a stellar job. Thanks guys!

We always look forward to the Common Conferences to talk with fellow IBM i Professionals. While there are attendees from all over the world, the smaller fall conference provides a particularly good opportunity to connect with attendees in that region. In this case, Columbus, OH.

This year’s conference appears to have grown a bit over recent past years with more attendees, students, and vendors. If you haven’t been to Common in a while, you really owe it to yourself and your company to attend. No place else can you get access to great educational sessions and networking with like-minded professionals. The 3 days go by very fast and you may leave a bit dazed, but what you walk away with is invaluable.

The Common UI Modernization Challenge

One of this year’s greatest highlights was the all new COMMON UI Challenge educational track. Modernization vendors were given the same set of IBM i programs, files, and 5250 Green-screen UI with the task of using their tools during a 75-minute session to create a modernized system. Attendees were able to see live how each vendor approached the same problem. It was an amazing experience, and inspiring to see how many innovative colleagues we are working with in the IBM i industry.

Derek shows off his modernization superhero powers during the Common UI Modernization Challenge session.Derek shows off his modernization superhero powers during the Common UI Modernization Challenge session.

I know I am biased, but I believe Accelerator was a clear standout. Derek Maciak created a fully-functional desktop and mobile ready Web and Native Windows applications without writing a single line of code. He did it in front of the attendees in less than 15 minutes. The challenge was to just create a modern UI. We went way beyond just that and created the supporting service-oriented, modular, n-tier architecture as well.

All of the attendees we spoke to said the session track was invaluable. Some attended Common just for it. Many of them wished they could see some of them again or share them with others. Others were disappointed they had to miss some of the sessions.

We understand and are providing you another opportunity to see how Surround crushed it at this challenge. So, if you want to see it again, Share it, or missed it, we've got you covered with a second opportunity – register for our Common UI Modernization Challenge Accepted! Second chance session event.

Are you looking to modernize your IBM i Applications? Submit your challenge to us.

Lee and Derek talk with an attendee at the conference expo.Lee and Derek talk with an attendee at the conference expo.

The Expo

The expo boasted a lot of vendors and more than last year. It was sold-out even after Common expanded it. We enjoyed speaking to the attendees, discussing their challenges, and how we can help. It is these conversation that further reinforce that we are on the right track with our offerings. Thank you to everyone that stopped by.


For the fall conference, the Common Education Foundation invites students to the conference on scholarships provided through generous contributions from the Common membership. This year had a big group and it adds a welcome dynamic to the event. It is great to talk with them about their aspirations as well as how their school is providing IBM i-related education. I encourage everyone in the IBM i Community to contribute to this worthy program.

Columbus was a great city

This was my second time to Columbus and, like so many conferences, I only get to see the small segment of the city where the conference is located. The North Market, area nightlife, and good people made this location delightful.

It was also interesting to see that Uber is not only accepted, but embraced here. The Airport has a convenient designated pick up and drop off location and there are plenty of drivers. Our driver from the airport was a bit of a noob, but a minor blip in a fantastic stay.

Looking forward to the Common 2017 Annual Meeting this Spring in Orlando!

Submit your own Modernization Challenge

We love to be tested. If you’re facing a modernization challenge and would like to see how adeptly you too can become a Software Superhero, simply fill in the form below and we’ll show you the way.

Other Related Links

Share This