Scuba diving pre-ODTUG Kaleidoscope, Monterey, 21-June-2009

I’m very pleased to report that I will be able to meet up with ODTUG Kaleidoscope attendees at both the ODTUG Community Service Day (2nd Annual!) and my own scuba dive outing as well. If you can, I’d love for you to attend both events. If you’re not a certified scuba diver, then you can at least participate in the Community Service Day festivities and help out the local area while enjoying some California weather too!

For those certified scuba divers that will (or can) be in the Monterey Bay area on 21-June, I invite you to come diving with me. I’ve arranged some reserved spots on the Beachhopper II dive charter that I’ve dove with before. Brian and Mary Jo (the captain, crew, and bottle washers) are top notch and we had a great time last fall at the first annual pre-OpenWorld scuba event (look for more details on the 2nd annual event later this summer). The boat isn’t huge, but 10 divers is enough for a lot of fun.

The pre-Kaleidoscope dive day is Sunday, 21-June (Father’s Day). The boat will depart the K dock at Monterey Bay harbor at 8am, so load-up is 7:30am. We’ll have a nice morning, drain 2 tanks at some of the best sites you’ll see in northern California (specific sites will be determined that morning by the captain and diver requests), and then motor back to the harbor probably shortly after noon or 1pm. Mary Jo said that she’d also entertain the option of an afternoon 2-tank trip as well, if there is interest (I know I’m interested). Oh, I almost forgot to mention that snacks are provided and they are amazing–made by Mary Jo herself!

The boat costs break down like this:

  • $70 for the boat trip (weights are not included)
  • plus $20 for two tanks of air ($90 total)
  • or $30 for 2 tanks of Nitrox ($100 total)

The charter doesn’t offer gear rental, so we’ll have to pick that up separately. I previously rented from Glenn’s Aquarius 2 which is located pretty close to the harbor and opens at 7am for morning pickup. Their pricing for rental are:

  • Weights only: $8
  • Wetsuit, hood, gloves: $21
  • Full gear (BCD, reg, exposure suit, etc.): $65

We’re less than 1 month away (I just found out I was going to be able to attend last week), so let me know ASAP if you’re interested in diving with us. Once you contact me, I’ll send you the signup instructions. I’m releasing the remaining open seats on 29-May, but there may still be open spots after that, so contact me (comment below, or email) if you’re interested.

As a special treat, Stanley will be joining us for his first scuba dive as well!

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”

ODTUG is just around the corner, I’ll be there

Coming up in a few weeks is the ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2008 event in New Orleans (June 15-19). I’ll be there to present a few sessions and, meet up with old friends and make new acquaintances as well. The location will be great (probably a bit warm and humid, though) and there will be much to enjoy in between official conference business. I’ve never been to NOLA, so I’m particularly excited about seeing a new place.

The session scheduler (login required) is online and available to registered attendees. Once there, you’ll find my sessions listed (please come by, ask questions, try not to sleep):

  • Monday, 1:15p: Oracle Identity Management – The Total Identity Solution (presenting for Matt Topper who won’t be able to attend the conference)
  • Tuesday, 9:15a: RAC For Beginners: The Basics
  • Tuesday, 2p: Development DBA Panel (I’m the moderator)
  • Tuesday, 5p: Oracle ACE Directors Panel (I think I’m on the panel…or at least in the room)
  • Wednesday, 8a: How A RAT Will Save Your Job

Piocon will also have a booth set up at the conference, so stop by there and say hello (who knows–you might find me there occasionally too). The Oracle ACE Program will be represented well with many speakers and also Oracle representatives such as Justin Kestelyn will be floating around the event too.

I’ll also be participating in the Community Service Day coordinated by ODTUG on Saturday, June 14th. If you’re going to be volunteering with the group, I’ll probably see you then. If you can’t make it, I’ll see you on Sunday or during the week. If you haven’t heard about Community Service Day, check the link above to get more information and get involved!

See you in New Orleans!

You want to be an Oracle ACE?

The Oracle ACE program is one way that Oracle recognizes community members that make significant contributions to the Oracle community through blogging, forum participation, user group presentations, and other similar volunteering activities. As one of the Oracle ACE Directors, I have tried to promote the program by raising awareness of its existence and the importance of spreading your knowledge for the good of all Oracle technologists. With help from Google, almost everyone consumes the knowledge posted by the good deeds of others, but a relative few (but growing) contribute to the body of knowledge available online.

There are a lot of smart people working in technology communities these days. Oracle’s community has been growing steadily and I think relatively rapidly in the last few years. Other non-Oracle communities have deep roots and dedicated individuals volunteering lots of their time to help build and maintain networks of technologists too. This afternoon, I read a blog post written by Sheeri Cabral who is a bona fide MySQL community leader and has the awards to prove it. Her post offers a bullet-list of tasks that, if followed, will put you on the road to being a community leader as well.

I think it’s a good time to note that community involvement is becoming a bigger factor in the job market. As a consulting practice manager that regularly interviews and occasionally hires talented individuals, I look at community involvement as a significant factor in my evaluation process. Those that are engaged in the community are more likely to get my attention and those that lead parts of the community receive and deserve a special place near the front of the line in my book. Right or wrong, those involved with the community have typically been more resourceful, harder working, and easier to work with in my experiences. Of course, you also have to “know your stuff”, but that’s becoming the easy part with such an active community producing tons of valuable technical content daily.

So, consider the blueprint Sheeri offers as the motivation to get you more involved. I know I will be working to check off the items on that list for my own community involvement in the coming months! For example, the ODTUG Kaleidoscope and Oracle OpenWorld events are going to be here before you know it and presenting at these events is a great way to give back some knowledge to the rest of the community.

If you want to present at Oracle OpenWorld, you’ve got an opportunity to do so (yes, YOU!). Oracle has made a few session slots available to those that have good ideas. To get started, see the blog postings about the submission process and then go to Oracle Mix and submit your idea! Once submitted, start blogging about it yourself and get others to vote for your idea so you can present at OOW08. If your idea doesn’t get picked, you can always choose to present at one of the OTN Unconference slots at OOW08 too. If timing doesn’t work out for you to attend OOW this year, we’re only a few months away from the start of the call for speakers for the Collaborate 09 conference (in Orlando, May, 2009). IOUG starts their call for papers in the fall, probably sometime in August or September. Watch the IOUG home page for your chance to submit a session proposal there too.

Finally, congratulations, Sheeri, on your well-deserved award and thanks for offering sage advice on community involvement!

Future Oracle events

This is a quick note about upcoming major events on my Oracle event calendar.

In between these events (hopefully, I’ll get to attend and/or participate in all of them), I’ll also be planning to present at some regional user group events in Charlotte (CLTOUG), Chicago (COUG), Northern California (NoCOUG) and others as time allows.

If you’re going to be at any of these events, please get in touch so we can meet up there. I’m hoping to make more time this year for attending these events and be a little less involved in them so that I can make more time for talking with individuals and/or customers. Hope to see you in the next year at one or more of these venues!

The User Group Conferences Are Coming!

Okay, not for a while, but for those that are presenters at the conference, the US winter is a time of solemn writing. Whitepaper deadlines are approaching for the IOUG program at the Collaborate 08 (April 14-18 in Denver) conference quickly. Soon after, the presentations for those sessions will be due. No rest for the wicked after that since ODTUG‘s Kaleidoscope 08 conference will come soon after, in June in New Orleans (note to self: bring extra sweat rags).

As has been the case for several years, the IOUG and ODTUG have graciously selected some of my submissions for presentation at their respective conferences. While ODTUG has announced that they’ve selected their sessions, they haven’t yet posted them or notified many of the speakers.

For the 5 or so people that probably read this blog :), here are the sessions where you’ll find me at Collaborate 08 this year: Continue reading “The User Group Conferences Are Coming!”

ODTUG, Day 3

Today was the end of the ODTUG conference. I presented my last session of the conference in the smallest session room ever imagined. Regardless, we had a good group of about 15 people for the session and answered a lot of questions during the session. Following the session, I attended a session on APEX that was way over my head.

After lunch with Matt Topper, we headed to a session on the new features in Web Center Suite. It looks like a great tool that has potential change a lot in the Oracle development landscape. Time will tell.

After the session, I had to head to the airport to start my journey home. I’m not sure how I got so lucky, but I managed to score exit row seats on both of my flights home and my bags came out on the carousel pretty quickly too. Overall, it was one of the smoothest trips home I’ve had in a while–and it included both ATL and ORD airports which almost always introduces at least a little delay.

Tomorrow, I’m off to take the Oracle beta certification exam for Oracle RAC expert. We’ll see how that goes…

ODTUG, Day 2

Today started with some customer meetings until Matt Topper’s Identity Management session at 11am. Matt gave a great review of the past Oracle IdM options as well as a survey of the new (acquired) products including typical deployment scenarios for both. He had about 15 people attend–not bad for a topic that is just getting started.

After lunch, I was the ODTUG Ambassador for another Identity Management session by Eric Marcoux from Fujitsu. His session was more like a set of case studies for several implementations he has conducted. He focused completely on the “new” IdM products from Oblix and OctetString.

Following that, I was the ambassador for Lewis Cunningham’s Streams session. He detailed some past work he did to set up some streams for change data capture (CDC) between 9i and 10g for a customer.

At 4pm, I had to retreat to my room for a couple of meetings to wrap up the day. Working in EDT for a company that’s got a large presence in PDT is hard–time zones aren’t always your friend.

By 5:30pm, I was ready to go to Daytona USA for the evening. I met up with Matt Topper and had some dinner at the conference buffet before heading over to the event. We almost fixed the broken car in the amusement ride. It’s controller software was written on top of DOS, so we had fun playing with it (though we probably shouldn’t have been doing so). I got completely beat on the race simulator, though I think I would have done better if someone hadn’t hit me right near the start.

Matt Topper, Matt Vranicar, and I teamed up to try the pit crew challenge where you change a tire NASCAR pit crew style. We had a terrible first run of 25 seconds, but our second run was about 13 seconds–not bad.

We retired back to the hotel and enjoyed the usual overeating by topping off the night with a stop at the local Cold Stone.

ODTUG, Day 1

ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2007 logoLooks like this day is going to be no different than most days at conferences–start early and end late.

This morning started at 7am (!) with an ODTUG SIG Leaders breakfast meeting. The meeting was a great opportunity to provide ideas to Mike Riley, the ODTUG SIG VP, as well as other leaders in the group. We have lots of great ideas and will be working to make the SIGs serve their members’ needs better in the coming months. If you have ideas for the SIGs, particularly the Development DBA SIG, please contact me so that we can improve the group.

One significant note–I finally got a chance to meet Mark Rittman in person. He’s relatively famous, especially in the Oracle BIEE space, and has one of the oldest (and currently very active) Oracle-related blogs.

As this is the first day of the conference for most people, the first session of the day is the main general session and keynote for the week. The keynote speaker, Ted Farrel, is a VP in the Fusion Middleware division, Continue reading “ODTUG, Day 1”

Daytona, here I am

A little too much time in the airports yesterday, as usual. Oddly enough, I managed to make it out of Chicago on time, my connecting flight in Atlanta was on time and I landed in Daytona Beach early. I’m sure that if I had checked my baggage, it would have been lost πŸ™‚ .

So, I made it in one piece. Aside from getting to visit and hang out with my friends Matt Topper and Shaun O’Brien, I also took a ride on the awesome bungee-like thing next to the hotel that launches you up in the air about 120 feet. Definitely worth the $25 and highly recommended…before dinner πŸ™‚ .

I ended the day with performing some scheduled maintenance for a customer (that, as usual, took longer than expected due to some unexpected issues).

I’ll be posting my daily updates as I can. Tuesday should be a busy day of sessions and SIG meetings plus my first presentation.