RMOUG: You should be here

I arrived in Denver yesterday afternoon for the RMOUG Training Days event. As I’ve written before, this is the first conference I’ve attended (and paid for!) as an attendee in at least 6 years, maybe the only one ever. The coolest part was that the small amount I paid for an attendee registration ($285) has already been totally worth it, and the sessions haven’t even started yet. Many people would pay that amount just for an opportunity to visit with some of the people I got to talk with last evening.

After all, I know of no other conference where you can have meaningful, interesting conversations with all of these fine individuals in a single evening: Mogens Nørgaard, Debra Lilley, Graham Wood, Kevin Closson, Daniel Liu, Gaja Krishna Vaidyanatha, Jeff Needham, Christo Kutrovsky, Mike Ault, John King, Joze Senegacnik, Tim Gorman, Duncan Mills, Lynn Munsinger, and Peggy King. And those are just the people I got to talk to (there were many other well-respected technicians and sharers of knowledge around that I didn’t have time to speak with. I haven’t even gotten to see Cary Millsap, Robert Freeman, Craig Shallahamer, Riyaj Shamsudeen, Tanel Poder, Jeremiah Wilton, Tom Kyte, Iggy Fernandez, or Daniel Fink yet.

This is my first time to RMOUG and you may be thinking that this is some sort of fluke to have all these great researchers and presenters at one event, especially a relatively small event where there are ample opportunities to network with them directly. I’ve reviewed the RMOUG agenda for the last 3 years and this agenda is representative of the quality that they’ve managed to schedule for the event every year. Plus, unlike other conferences, the RMOUG attendee tuition is priced to help them break even, not make a large bankroll. My biggest regret is that I couldn’t manage to get here before this year!

I can haz conferences

I love attending technical conferences for Oracle. I guess that’s obvious since many of you have probably seen or met me at a conference. The best parts for me are meeting so many of those that I’ve connected with on mailing lists, forums, or other online communities. Of course, conferences are a place to share what you know and I find that especially rewarding too. To that end, here are some of the sessions I’ll be sharing in the 2009 conference agendas.
Continue reading “I can haz conferences”

Hotsos Symposium 2009, I’ll be there!

Blink and 3 weeks goes by and I forgot to blog any new updates!

I’ve got a few new entries that will be coming along after my last 2 weeks being up to my eyeballs in Oracle Application Server 10.1.3, but that will wait. The exciting news is:

I’m going to present at Hotsos Symposium 2009! I’m especially excited because I’ve wanted to attend this event ever since they held the first one, but just haven’t been able to get there. This time, I decided to try my luck at submitting a session proposal and I got lucky. I’m on the very distinguished speaker list and will be presenting “Avoiding Common RAC Issues” sometime during the March 8-12, 2009 event.

For those that have attended this event before, I know it’s somewhat unique, so if you have tips for a first-time attendee (and presenter), please drop them in comments or drop me a line via email or whatever. I hope that you can attend–I’m honored to be among the absolutely stellar speaker lineup and am really more excited about attending other sessions than I am about presenting my own! See you in Irving, TX!

MOOW, Day 1

Miracle Oracle Open World is claims to be the best conference in the world. It claims that the “best” rating is not because of the number of attendees, but I disagree–the (relatively small) number of attendees is one of the things that makes this event great! There are less than 200 attendees here, but a high percentage of those are some of the most highly respected Oracle experts in the world (at least in my book).

Last night, I attended the opening session which included a technical presentation from Toon Koppelaars called “The Helsinki Declaration.” The session discusses the trend of the last 6-8 years where we’ve seen less use of database features and fatter middle tier applications. His plea was that we reverse the trend and return to using the database features (that customers pay a lot of money for) and shrink the middle tier bloat. This, Toon contends, will make more maintainable, more optimized applications overall. Forget about “database independent applications” since that necessitates using the database for little more than a spreadsheet. Toon encourages the use of Oracle Application Express (APEX) which promotes putting almost all application components in the database. I’m not sure I see that APEX is the best tool for every job, but I do see a lot of opportunities for APEX in the coming years and think it certainly could replace Oracle Forms once APEX matures. Continue reading “MOOW, Day 1”

My interview from Open World posted

While I was at Oracle Open World 2008 in September, I met Ignacio Ruiz and agreed to an interview with him. Ignacio is the person behind www.databases-la.com which publishes database-related content aimed at the Latin American community and he also blogs at oracledisect.blogspot.com. As a result, most if not all of his content is available in Spanish. He also makes most of it available in English.

I thought Ignacio asked some good questions and (fortunately or unfortunately) didn’t edit the interview at all. The one unfortunate part of the interview is that you don’t get to see Ignacio at all–only me. Without further ado, here’s the interview (if you can’t view below, you can see it on YouTube directly).

My Open World 2008 slides posted

I’ve been enjoying reading everyone’s OOW08 summaries and thoughts lately, which reminded me that I hadn’t posted the slides that I promised to put up. Unlike some presentations, my slides aren’t usually of too much use without the narrative that I spew in the session. That’s mostly because I try to make slides that have just enough information on them to remind me what to say–not to say it for me.

At any rate, I posted the slides for my three sessions. I’m not cool enough yet to use SlideShare–I’ll try that out in the future. Overall, I was pleased with how each of them went and was especially happy that I had more than 80 people at my Thursday at noon session.

If you attended one of my sessions or review the slides for one of them, please let me know your feedback either in comments below or send me a mail.

MSAD/OID/EUS/DB integration session room change, Weds at noon

My session scheduled for Wednesday at noon titled “Integrating Microsoft Active Directory and Oracle Internet Directory with Database Logins: Enterprise User Security” (S300044) has been moved to a larger room. It will now be in Marriott Salon 8, so if you were on the waiting list (there were quite a few of you!), you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a seat now as the room holds almost 900 people.

See you there–it should be a fun and informative session!

Random Thoughts on OOW; so far

In no particular order, here are some observations and thoughts on my OOW experiences so far.

  • Everything is about people, who you know, and knowing what those people do. With people and connections, you can learn a lot more than doing it on your own.
  • Identity Management is sort of important, but not important enough to get a session room in Moscone–you have to go to Marriott’s basement to catch an IdM session.
  • It’s pretty cool to be mentioned in the opening keynote address, but it’d be cooler if you knew you were going to be mentioned ahead of time :).
  • Lots of people are taking pictures of slides in sessions even if they know that slides will be posted later. Not sure why.
  • I see about 75% of people taking notes on paper with legacy devices like pens. Why not type them in to a text file instead?
  • It seems that news about “X” is leaking out and if the rumors I’ve heard are true, it’ll be a very big deal. All eyes will be on Larry’s keynote today–hopefully he’ll provide enough technical information to make everyone understand what’s up.
  • Oracle Beehive looks really cool, but personally, I don’t think anyone is taking it seriously since Oracle Collab Suite just died on the vine after a similar launch a few years ago.
  • The OTN Lounge is a great thing and keeps getting better every year. Justin and the OTN gang do a great job making a place for people to do Good Things for the community and magic does happen occasionally.
  • Unconference sessions are absolutely excellent ways to get information and engage in good discussions instead of death by powerpoint.
  • Staying hydrated is, as mentioned by Judy Sim, a great idea.
  • Time zones in SF suck for many people–especially those from Oz.
  • There is a growing community around Oracle and it’s full of great individuals.

Tonight is the “appreciation event” and while the acts aren’t as interesting to me as past years, it still sounds like a fun night and a chance to see more people and have a little fun, too. See you there!

Building RAC on VMWare session and Day 1 done

I presented the Building RAC on VMWare for Free session yesterday. It went pretty well and I had lots of questions from the crowd of over 140 (according to badge scans). Luckily, I had the last session before the lunch break, so I was able to carry a few of the Q&A sessions a little longer than other presenters since no one was coming up in my room for a while. Unfortunately, I missed meeting Doug Burns who attended the session and had some nice things to say about it. Hopefully, I’ll see him later this week. For all those that attended, thank you! If you have suggestions or comments on how I could improve the session, please contact me directly or comment below on this post.

Following the session, I met with Ignacio Ruiz of databases-la.com for an interview that he’s going to post sometime later. He’s got a great amount of enthusiasm for his venture and I hope he’s able to create a large following for his publications in his part of the world. I’ll post here when he gets the interview (including video) up on his site.

We also had a great turnout at the RAC SIG Birds of a Feather session where we introduced the new officers and facilitated some great discussions. The new officers are excited and motivated to make some great things happen in the next couple of years in addition to maintaining the great offerings that the SIG has been providing since its beginning.

After the day’s sessions, I headed over to the Blogger Meetup that Eddie coordinated. It was a great gathering and well-attended. Thanks Justin for making it possible! I got to meet lots of new people and see all my good friends that I don’t get to see IRL very often.

Oracle Open World 08 Plans, no UKOUG for me this year

A few years ago, I started getting too many events on my schedule for conferences, so I began using a spreadsheet to track all the sessions I wanted to attend, presentations I was scheduled to give, meetings with customers, times I had to be on booth duty, and, of course, social events I had to attend. This year’s OOW spreadsheet has 61 lines in it, so I’ll spare you the deep details. Here’s a recap of some of the most important events on my schedule over the next week (a few additions since my last posting of the same):