User Group UK

About the WebSphere User Group UK

The WebSphere UK User Group was set up at the beginning of 2001 with the objective of sharing user experiences of IBM's WebSphere Application Server software (and related products, e.g. Visual Age for Java, WSAD, etc) in the UK. Since that time both the group and product have matured and the number of users in the UK has expanded considerably, both on the distributed and mainframe platforms.

The group runs two meetings a year (a full day in March and September) at which there are a variety of technical presentations and Master Classes on relevant issues and hot topics. Recently we have introduced separate "Breakout Forums" for developers, architects and administrators during which the different aspects of the technology are dealt with in more depth. Presentations are given by a mixture of IBM technical support experts, vendors and end-users. The presentation content is intended to provide benefit for both new and experienced users of WebSphere. Copies of presentations from recent meetings are available for Download from our website.

We also welcome vendor and service-provider involvement in the group's meetings. We provide facilities for vendors to present and demonstrate their products (for a small fee). Any such parties who may be interested in doing so at future meetings are invited to contact us to discuss.

What could you expect to gain from attending our meetings? Well, we hope it would include one or more of the following:

  • Network with colleagues and experts from different companies to exchanges ideas and information.
  • Learn about future product directions from IBM.
  • Obtain greater knowledge and education about aspects of WebSphere and related technologies.
  • Explore "Best Practices" for WebSphere architecture, development and support.
  • Meet with 3rd party software vendors and service-providers.
  • Hear about case studies and implementations.
  • Obtain discounts for IBM conference fees.

Members (and potential members) are invited to read our policy document and contact any of the committee if you have any further questions. On behalf of the group's committee, I would like to encourage anyone using WebSphere in the UK (in any capacity) to come along and participate in our meetings. We look forward to meeting you.

Rick Smith (outgoing Chairman).

The WebSphere User Group Committee

Acting Chairman - Bryan Prosser - IBM

Bryan is part of the technical sales team at IBM focusing on WebSphere Application Server and other application platform technologies. He has been part of the organising team for the WUG since 2014, and has recently stepped in as acting chairman.

Web Master - Alex Moss - John Lewis Partnership

Alex Moss

Alex is the newest member of the WebSphere UserGroup, having joined in 2009. He's spent his working life (only since 2004!) at the John Lewis Partnership working in their Middleware Systems Team.

The group are responsible for provisioning and maintaining JLP's web-based infrastructure (amongst other things), a large part of which runs on WebSphere products. The operation has grown in size considerably since he started, and he's always looking for the better way to do things.

Lately he's been branching out from traditional web systems into the world of Messaging and Service Buses.

Willing to turn his hand to anything, he prefers things that are shiny and new ... providing they run on UNIX.

Treasurer - Chris Mason - Aegon

Chris Mason

Since March 2000 Chris has worked for major life insurer Aegon UK where he leads the team responsible for the development and configuration of the core eCommerce infrastructure. Key tasks are configuration of all software components, including Websphere, and advising on architectural issues.

Much time has been spent developing standards for the way Websphere is configured and used within Aegon, and streamlining the process for deploying applications.

Chris is a Chartered Engineer and worked in datacomms before moving into more mainstream IT about 10 years ago. Since then he has worked for several organisations as an administrator and systems integrator on UNIX based systems. Recent experience included two years spent at the European Central Bank in the time leading up to and including the launch of the Euro.

Alan Chambers

Alan Chambers

After a long career with IBM as a Consulting IT specialist in IBM's UK Software Business, Alan is now developing his career as freelance consultant, through his company Kupono Consulting Ltd.

In the late 1990's Alan became as an evangelist for Java as it quickly became so important to IBM and the IT industry at large. It was therefore natural, when IBM introduced its new Java-based application server, that he was appointed "UK WebSphere Champion", promoting WebSphere and supporting enterprises who were evaluating and implementing it.

In this role, Alan received a growing number requests from WebSphere customers for a user group that would enable them to share experience and develop their knowledge. In response to this, he convened a meeting in 2001, to which WebSphere users were invited to come and discuss creating a new user group. It was at this meeting that a committee of volunteers was formed who subsequently met to create the WebSphere User Group that we now know. Alan continues to serve until the end of 2009 as its IBM Representative.

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