Wednesday @ WSTC

The first slot of the day was one of those rare occasions where I wasn’t quite sure what to attend. In the end I opted for Alex Polozoff’s "Large Topology Tactics and Tradeoffs" presentation as I have great respect for his opinions. The emphasis here was not so much on the technology but the processes and the people. Most of it seemed common sense (at least to me) but the presentation should be a useful resource for anyone embarking on large scale WebSphere topologies.

Next up I sat the IBM WebSphere Process Server V6.0, System Administration certification test. This was a bit of a gamble as, despite being a specialist with WebSphere ESB (for which there is no certification test), I haven’t knowingly opened the admin console for Process Server. With some educated guessing I scraped through – particularly pleasing as, when combined with previous tests, it means I can now claim to be both an IBM Certified Administrator for SOA Solutions – WebSphere Process Server V6.0 and IBM Certified Deployment Professional – WebSphere Process Server V6.0.

After lunch it was another lab: "EJB 3 and Open JPA with RAD 7.5". This was my first hands on experience with the EJB 3 feature pack and with the tooling it really was a pleasure to use. Whilst I’m happy to see unnecessary interfaces removed in EJB3 I’m still skeptical about the use of annotations for ORM and hope many customers will still see the importance of separating the deployment specifics from the application code. The lab was also a chance to finally meet Kevin Sutter face to face – a guy who I’ve worked with closely in the past when he owned the WebSphere JCA component and I the JMS resource adapter but never met in person.

Finishing the lab early gave me a chance to sit another test and add to IBM Certified Advanced System Administrator – WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment V6.1 to my list of titles. I’m glad to say my pass mark was considerably higher than for Process Server. I did, however, have to restrain myself on several occasions from answering "none of the above – the question is badly worded".

Went to see Alasdair Nottingham present his latest updates to the Service Integration Bus Security presentation that we jointly own. Despite having reviewed the changes it was still good to hear Alasdair present it from his perspective.

Actually managed a run before dinner although at that time of day it wasn’t a particularly pleasant experience. I probably would have been better of spending some time by the pool! We had our team meal out at the Ellis Island Casino & Brewery which seemed to have been chosen largely for the price of the beer ($1). At least, it can’t have been for the quality of the food. Stopped off at Nine Fine Irishmen in New York-New York until the early hours.

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