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):

RAC SIG Officer/Board Member Elections

All RAC SIG members should have received an announcement regarding the voting that’s now in progress for new RAC SIG board members/officers. There were several nominations received in July and early August and voting is open now to all RAC SIG members. Just login to the site and use the Elections tab to cast your votes. Make sure you vote for each office (nominations for each office are on separate pages).

I’m giving up my spot as the Events Chair and am running for the President position along with several other fine candidates. Please vote today!

In related news, I just posted the RAC SIG Events taking place at Oracle Open World 2008 on the front page of the site, so check those out (and add them to your schedule in the OOW Schedule Builder) if you’re planning to attend OOW this year!

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!

Who wants to SCUBA pre-OOW08?

I’m thinking of organizing a 2-tank (or more) scuba dive down in Monterrey, California, a little ways south of SF for the weekend prior to OOW 08. You can’t really scuba in San Francisco Bay–not much there, murky, ships, etc. In Monterrey, it’s a whole different story and there are many dive operators and charters servicing the area. I’m proposing that we dive on Saturday, September 20 (my birthday!)–2 or maybe 3 tanks. For those like me that live in landlocked areas, getting to dive with the sea lions and wildlife of northern California is a rare opportunity.

If there’s enough interest, I’ll coordinate a group and find a charter that will take us out and a shop that will rent all the gear (if you don’t want to lug your own). If there are enough of us, I’ll even figure out a way to transport us from the SF area down to Monterrey and back. At this point, I haven’t made plans, just seeing how much interest there might be. I’ll figure out costs once I figure out how big the group may be.

If you’re interested, comment on this posting and/or email me directly (dannorris@dannorris.com) and I’ll keep a little list of who’s interested. If you’re not attending OOW, but can make it to Monterrey for a dive, you’re welcome too–I just need a dive buddy and I don’t particularly care if they know anything about Oracle :). See you underwater (hopefully)!