PUG Challenge refers to the annual Progress User Group meetings. This year there are meetings in Westford MA, June 9-12 and Brussels Belgium November 7-8.
These very affordable conferences are put on by their respective user groups and supported by Progress Software. With over 50 break-out sessions and workshops, the conferences feature a wealth of opportunities to take a "deep dive" into technical topics related to OpenEdge. Speakers from the user community and Progress engineering combine to present the very best information on both old and new topics across the OpenEdge universe. This event is a tremendous opportunity for your entire technical team to learn about OpenEdge, network with Progress engineering, get to know your peers from around the world and bring home real-world solutions and new ideas!
Go to both! Or all three -- the EMEA PUG Challenge, in Brussels November 7th & 8th this year, is an excellent conference too!
There is some overlap and both are very valuable, but they have somewhat different focus.
Exchange is Progress' marketing event and you are going to hear a lot about the latest and greatest and what is coming down the road. Lots of future directions. Lots of "where the market is headed". Plenty of technical expositions into the latest release features. Lots of new about complimentary products (Data Direct, Corticon, OE BPM etc.)
PUG Challenge is much more technically focused and you get a lot more "real world" experience with what is out there *now* and how to go about using it. You will hear about futures too -- but probably on a more pragmatic level. More focused on OpenEdge but with some bits about the complimentary products. Plus you'll get to hear it all 5 months sooner.
Program-wise there are differences as well. The Exchange program isn't finalized but, as we understand it, Exchange is going to have a lot of parallel tracks (10 or so?) but only a relatively small number of breakout time slots (7 or 8 I believe). PUG challenge has 5 parallel tracks over 14 time slots. Both will have in-depth workshops -- PUG Challenge on Sunday prior to the main event, Exchange on Wednesday at the end of the main event.
Both are near PSC HQ so there will be lots of Progress employees present for networking and such. However, you will have much less competition for those people's ears at PUG Challenge.
Exchange is going to be at the Boston Convention Center. We urge you to check the hotel website and book your rooms now. It's not going to get any easier between now and then. You don't want a car -- a taxi or Boston's "T" will get you there from the airport. You want to think twice about staying anywhere but at the conference hotel. The commute, even on the subway, might be a lot less fun than you imagine. Many people were surprised by that at Revolution a couple of years ago. Seemingly nearby hotels aren't so "near" as they appear.
PUG Challenge is out in the 'burbs. You will need a car or a shuttle or a ride-share (the organizers can help with that) from the airport. There are several near-by alternative hotels -- but no public transit. Parking is free. If you're staying at the conference hotel you should book your room prior to May 17 when the special $104/night room rate ends.
Exchange is put on by professionals with a healthy budget. They will have a nice web site and professional AV people and stuff like that. PUG Challenge is put on by us users and our budget is "don't lose so much money that you have to explain it to your spouse". Our web site isn't very fancy. But we've got a really good volunteer AV guy and once you arrive we will have lots of volunteer opportunities should you feel so inclined.
PUG Challenge has way better beer. But no loud music at our receptions and evening events.
We haven't announced the details yet because our Progress contact person was out last week, but PUG Challenge attendees will get a "discount code" of some sort from Progress that makes dual attendance very, very attractive.
Update! The deal is finalized: PUG Challenge Attendees will be able to register for Progress Exchange for a flat-rate of $495. That's $1,000 off if you attend both conferences! (This offer is non-transferable, only a paid PUG Challenge attendee can use it.)
Our conclusion is simple -- do both!
Now in it's 3rd year, PUG Challenge Americas is a technically focused event for the entire Progress community. This year there will be four Sunday afternoon workshops and over 50 break-out sessions covering everything from OE-Mobile, the OpenEdge database, programing tips and techniques and a host of other topics presented by experts from both Progress engineering and the user community.
This event is a tremendous opportunity for your entire technical team to learn about OpenEdge, network with Progress engineering, get to know your peers from around the world and bring home real-world solutions and new ideas!
Early registration for just $475 per person ends April 26th. Register at http://pugchallenge.org/register.html The hotel's special $104 room rate offer ends May17th.
Join worldwide Progress OpenEdge ® users and developers at PUG Challenge Americas 2013 June 9-12, 2013 in Westford, MA. PUG Challenge is the ultimate independent face-to-face forum for exchanging ideas, tips and best practices on the Progress suite of technology tools. The conference begins Sunday June 9, with workshops from 1pm to 5pm and an evening Welcome Reception. Breakout sessions start Monday morning and run until Wednesday noon with evening events on Monday and Tuesday nights.
Expert speakers from Progress Software and the community present over 40 technical sessions plus many workshops, info exchanges and commercial sessions, this conference is the destination for guidance on real-world OpenEdge innovations. The conference mixes both the old and the new with practical, technical insight. Browse through last year's sessions, speakers and choices to get a taste for this event!