As I traveled back to Detroit at 39,022 feet and 615 mph, it seemed like I was just heading out West looking forward to a week at SHARE San Jose. Where had the past six days gone?

I noticed a tweet asking what was most valuable for you at SHARE? I reflected on that question, and although it may seem difficult to single out ONE thing from such a full week of activity, for me it was easy. The opportunity to interact with Compuware customers, current, past and future was clearly the winner. The conversations happened in the elevator, the hallway, during sessions, at the exhibition booth, at mixer events, over dinner and over popcorn during a break. No matter where they happened, they all provided opportunities to put a face to the name I’d emailed and conferenced-called with for years. As I reviewed my notes from those many sessions and conversations, I realized how much happened in six days.

Evolving Perspectives

Although I’ve attended many SHARE conferences, there is something special about each one. As I attended sessions and presented in the DevOps track I could feel the change in attitude. A year ago DevOps was for someone else. “Why would those working on the mainframe need to do DevOps?” was the prevailing feeling. This time, DevOps was perceived as a necessity and attendees were eager to find out how they could move forward with it. They wanted to hear about the success stories and more importantly, the mistakes, so they didn’t repeat them.

There were also some things that never change. There were hundreds of valuable technical sessions. Many vendors filled the exhibition hall. And hundreds of eager attendees looked forward to meeting new friends or getting re-acquainted with old ones. Then there were new speakers and first-time attendees excited, nervous and confused but ready to take it all in. You heard, “is that really him?” “she’s the one that…” and “I can’t believe I had coffee with them.”

A Full Week of Learning, Engagement

You may be thinking this is what happens at all conferences. However, as I reflected on this SHARE, I realized it has been happening every year for over 60 years, yes, six-zero. I heard the first registered attendee from the Spring of ‘55 conference couldn’t make it because they were overseeing a production roll-out at their shop. But seriously, those who attend regularly don’t want to miss it and even before SHARE ended, first-time attendees were already working on justifying going to the August event. It’s a full week of learning, engaging and being educated. The education isn’t limited to technical topics. There are numerous sessions on career development and personal communication among other topics.

It’s only after I’d left that I realized the magnitude of the opportunity I had to interact with such an amazing group of professionals. Everyone who works with a mainframe or, for that matter, anyone who works in enterprise technology should put SHARE on their list of conferences to attend.

A special thank you to all the customers who took time from their busy weeks to spend time with us from Compuware. Your input, feedback and camaraderie at this SHARE and throughout the years is appreciated more than words can say.

I look forward to SHARE Summer 2017 in Providence, Rhode Island.

Check out the other blogs in our SHARE San Jose series:

Top Six Sessions We Attended at SHARE San Jose

Thoughts about SHARE San Jose from a First-time Attendee

Sharing Compuware’s Two Platform IT Approach at SHARE San Jose

Kicking Off SHARE San Jose and What to Expect After Day One