The GSE UK Region Conference is an annual event which takes place in November for two days, generally in the Midlands. This annual event is organised by the GSE Conference Committee which is comprised of volunteers.
There are several keynote and plenary sessions and a large number of subject streams, each of which covers a specific area of interest. The majority of the streams are aligned to one of the regular working groups and the agenda for the stream is coordinated by the committee of that working group. In addition, there are several non-working group aligned streams and workshops organised by the central conference committee which also coordinates the overall conference agenda.
Where possible ideas and suggestions from participants attending the previous conference are used to form the agenda for the following year’s event. Topics may also be received from the various GSE Working Groups or may be based on announcements from IBM and other vendors.
The conference provides over 100 hours of technical training from IBM, other vendors and most importantly from GSE members themselves. Plenty of time is set aside to allow for networking with speakers, vendors and delegates during breaks and the evening reception and dinner.
Each year there is a large conference exhibition with stands from many companies who build and sell solutions relevant to the membership. The income from this exhibition and associated sponsorship enables GSE to offer five free places plus one trainee place per member company. It also allows GSE to charge very reasonable rates to other delegates attending the conference.
GSE works with educational establishments to encourage students to attend, as everyone is acutely aware of the increasing skills shortage in the z/os industry. Students are offered free places, a number of which include free accommodation. The conference includes a whole stream dedicated to people new to the platform.