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!

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):

Upcoming presentations: OOW, UKOUG

Every year it seems like I get part way through the Oracle OpenWorld event and comment that next year, I need to be less busy so I can enjoy the event a little more and attend others’ presentations more than giving my own. And yet it seems that somewhere between then and the following year, I manage to volunteer myself for a full agenda of participation via the RAC SIG, IOUG, and my own personal/professional interests.

This year’s conference, coming up September 21-25, will be no different and I’ll be there all week to meet as many new friends as possible (that’s you), see some old friends (that might be you too), and share a few of my technical and community bits of knowledge with anyone that shows up at my sessions (hopefully you). I’ve already glanced through the schedule builder and picked out a lot of sessions that interest me, so pulling myself away from those to perform other presentations or fulfill other duties will be challenging, as usual. First, let me list where you’re certain to find me (you should add these sessions to your schedule using the Schedule Builder to ensure your seat in the sessions): Continue reading “Upcoming presentations: OOW, UKOUG”

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!

Oracle OpenWorld Unconference Session Proposal

A few weeks ago, I posted a proposal to hold a session in the OpenWorld Unconference event. If you’re interested in discussing the complex configuration of Oracle Application Server in various situations like load balancing, virtual hosting, SSL configuration, and other often challenging situations, please head over and put a comment on the posting.

I’ll be joining several other session proposers at the Unconference event on Monday to reserve a time and place to hold this session. Once I have a slot reserved, I’ll update the page on the wiki with time and location as well as posting it here.

Please post something there or contact me directly if you’re interested in reviewing some of the common settings, discussing ways to work around limitations in the application server, applications, and other tips and tricks. I plan for this session to be highly interactive, but I firmly believe that everyone will leave with at least one new idea, technique, or tip in their brain.