PUG Challenge Americas    
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Progress Software

Maximizing Progress OpenEdge

You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy, we must be cautious...

Throw caution to the wind! Immerse yourself in the best Progress conference anywhere: 100% pure, undiluted Progress OpenEdge technology delivered direct to your brain starting Sunday and not ending until Wednesday! Your head will be so full of ideas that you will probably need help getting home!

There is just one month until PUG Challenge Americas -- June 8-11. We have over 50 technical break-out sessions planned plus 5 workshops, the vendor expo, a Partner Track, commercial sessions, "Info Exchanges", an "Offsite Adventure" and endless opportunities to network with your peers and Progress Engineers.

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No Fancy Marketing - Just OpenEdge Technology

PUG Challenge Americas 2014 is June 8-11. We have over 50 technical break-out sessions planned (you can personally attend up to 16 of them and send your teammates to the rest!) plus 5 workshops, the vendor expo, a Partner Track, commercial sessions, "Info Exchanges", an "Offsite Adventure" and endless opportunities to network with your peers and the Progress engineers.

Schedule

We're all about helping you to maximize the OpenEdge technology that you actually have today while preparing you with the knowledge you will need for tomorrow's challenges!

Early Bird registration ends April 19th -- if 100 more people register this week I might even have to stop posting these announcements :)

Register

Why attend PUG Challenge?

Rob Willoughby said:

I was a first time attendee last year. I've also done some of the PUGs remotely. It was 1000% better attending in person. Not only do you get to meet lots of folks from the PEG, but also non-PEGGERS and lots of PROGRESS employees as well.

You sit down for a meal in the hospitality tent, and someone from Progress will plop down next to you and start a conversation.

The Sunday workshops are fantastic - you get hands on training step-by-step, with the both PROGRESS and non-PROGRESS experts to assist you. Later on in the week, there will be sessions discussing what you just learned by people who've been using it in the real world. If this doesn't get you jazzed about how this applies to your own job, then perhaps nothing ever will.

(edit: looks like the workshops are at the beginning AND the end this year, and that's pretty cool)

You roll out of your hotel room, http://pugchallenge.org/hotel.html -- and all the workshops, events, + evening meet n greets are on the other side of the hotel. Reminded me on my first year in college when I had a few classes in my dorm room.

And when we felt like we were cooped up in the hotel - we went on a field trip. Past Red Hat's Massachusetts offices to a beer + outdoor fun event. I mention Red Hat, because I cut my teeth on Red Hat after migrating from Sys/36 and HP-UX previously.

The pricing for this whole trip was very reasonable. I did have to work our execs a bit to get this trip approved last year. But it was well worth it. It was simply the best work-related experience I've ever had, and I'm glad I was talked into it.

I agree with Mike that the event is complicated enough and to add remote services would be difficult, and the acceptable pricing would become unacceptable to many of us. They did a great job last year and worked very hard to keep everything hopping.

And I just see Tom's email - agree there as well of course - for me it took an extra effort to convince my bosses. Even if you only do this once, you should seriously consider going in 2014. OE 11.3 is a great release, and this is a great event.

Rob Fitzpatrick said:

To those who can't *get* budget, I say: *make* budget.

It's under $500 for a ticket and $99 per night, three nights in a hotel. And once you're there you have almost no expenses.

So yes, pay for it yourself, take a three-day vacation, drive to Westford, and immerse yourself in the best Progress conference there is. Soak up all the session goodness. Network your brains out. Personally, I've paid more money on various personal-development expenses (courses, seminars, books, etc.) and got less out of them than I got from attending PUG Challenge.

And when you get back and implement changes at the office that make you more efficient and valuable and save the company money, be very vocal about how you got this knowledge and that you expect the company to foot the bill next year.

Mike Furgal adds:

I'll chime in my $0.02.

I see enough value in this technical conference that I am bring my entire DBA staff (8 people) at Bravepoint to it this year. You can get the session presentations on line sometime after the conference, which is in itself very useful, but seeing the presentations live, hearing the questions and interacting with the OpenEdge community is well worth the low admission price.

I go to many conferences annually, mostly as a speaker. This is not like the Progress conference where there is a "messsge" that Progress wants to convey. There is no opening show and glitz. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy the Progress show and the spectacle and buzz it creates. These PUG Challenges, both US and EMEA, are excellent as it's all technical content without any glitz or sugar coating and there is no "message" other than it's real world discussions from people who live and breath the technology.

From a value perspective, I see enough value that I am sending myself (as a speaker) and my team. Plus the beer is always flowing and it tends good beer.

Thomas Mercer-Hursh Ph.D. opines:

... if I was a developer working in a small company whose management was too shortsighted to understand that sending a person to a conference like this provides more educational bang for the buck than can be obtained anywhere else and I was a person who had any aspirations about growing into a better position in the future, I would take vacation time and go on my own.

PUG Challenge Is:

Are you registered yet? http://pugchallenge.org/register.html

2014 Agenda and Schedule are Posted!

The 2014 PUG Challenge Americas Agenda and Schedule have been posted! There is still work to do, the schedule needs to be tweaked a little here and there and a few more sessions will likely be added over the next few weeks but the bulk of the sessions are now known and PUG Challenge is starting to shape up!

If you have not already done so don't forget to register at: http://pugchallenge.org/register.html

PUG Challenge Americas 2014 Date and Location!

Join worldwide Progress OpenEdge ® users and developers at PUG Challenge Americas 2014 June 8-11, 2014 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 8, 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.

Now in it's 4th year, PUG Challenge Americas is a technically focused event for the entire Progress community. This year there will be Sunday afternoon workshops and over 50 break-out sessions covering programing tips and techniques, the OpenEdge database 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!

Super-Early registration for just $425 per person ends February 28th. Register at http://pugchallenge.org/register.html

PUG Challenge Americas Hotel

PUG Challenge 2013 Wrap-Up

More than 200 attendees mixed, mingled, learned and shared with their peers from around the world for the 3rd straight year at PUG Challenge Americas 2013!

The program featured Sunday workshops, an opening General Session from OpenEdge Business Executive Karen Tegan Padir (where Karen introduced Progress Pacific to the world), 65 breakout sessions, the always-open Vendor Expo, "Q&A With the Old Pharts", a somewhat water-logged but no less fun "Festive Event" and Progress CEO (and OpenEdge Fanatic) Phil Pead's closing comments on the future of OpenEdge!

The Coding Challenge -- "Create a Mobile App to Access the Progress Knowledgebase" was won by Stephen Meyerhofer with second place going to Bernd Hellmann and third to Ricardo Perdigao. Progress Software provided an (unlocked) iPhone 5 and iPad Mini as 1st and 2nd prizes!

Presentations & session recordings are being posted to downloads as they come in. We hope to have them all by the end of next week.

Planning has already begun for PUG Challenge Americas 2014 -- check http://pugchallenge.org frequently for updates!

Should I go to Exchange? Or PUG Challenge?

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.

Lunch under the tent! 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 4 parallel tracks and 16 break-out time slots. Both will have in-depth workshops -- PUG Challenge on Sunday prior to the main event and Wednesday afterwards , Exchange on Wednesday at the end of the main event.

PUG Challenge is very close by Progress HQ so there will be lots of Progress employees present for networking and such. And the generally less crowded and more informal atmosphere means that you will have much less competition for those people's ears at PUG Challenge.

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 16 when the special $99/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.

Our conclusion is simple -- do both!

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Important Dates

May 16    Hotel $99 Room Block Closes
May 31    Standard Registration Closes
June 8-11    Conference!