I went to lots of good presentations over the three days.
Just finished my session. What a nightmare…
I was surprised anyone turned up as it was a late change to the schedule and there were some great sessions going on at the same time. Check out the photo.
It was kinda OK, until I got to the demo, which I screwed up. That was really disappointing because it really was the crux of the session. I thought I saw the issue and tried to salvage it, but it failed again so I gave up and moved on. I would like to say it was an OK recovery from a disastrous demo, but that would be a lie. Flipping crap.
A couple of slots opened up in the UKOUG schedule due to cancellations and a message came through the OakTable mailing list asking if anyone could fill them. Alex Gorbachev and myself stepped up to the plate.
The downsides to this are:
So that’s another BGOUG finished and once again it was a great event. Every time I go I recognize more faces and my Bulgarian dancing gets a little better. I’m already looking forward to the next one I get to attend. A big thanks to Milena and the gang for organizing everything. There was literally nothing I had to do for myself. Also a big thank you goes out to the ACE program for funding my travel costs. It’s much appreciated.
Day 2 started with a very tired Doug Burns presenting “Performance and Stability with Oracle Database 11g’s SQL Plan Management”. As with his previous talk, this was firmly rooted in his practical experience of the feature and as such contained a mixture of positive and negative results. Essentially it boiled down to, this works great for some applications and not so great for others, so you’ve really got to suck it and see.
Next it was my Clonedb talk, which seemed to go pretty well.
The first presentation of the day was Debra Lilley speaking about 42 real life examples of Fusion Middleware with applications. When you see the markeing bumf it’s easy to believe Fusion Middleware is only for massive projects that use all its functionality. Debra’s presentation highlighted how Fusion Middleware is being used out in the real world. It’s not all about mega-projects.
Next was my Edition-Based Redefinition talk. I think it went pretty well and I got a whole bunch of questions at the end. The speakers receive a bottle of wine as a thank you for presenting. I donated mine to the lady who asked the last question of the session. Talk about shamelessly buying friends…
Wednesday: This was actually my last proper day at Open World. I fly home Thursday morning, effectively missing the last day of the conference. It’s a shame, but it’s the way things worked out and I’m totally burnt out now.
Wednesday was definitely “the day after the night before”. I was a little bit under the weather the previous day, so I didn’t feel great on Wednesday morning. Once I got out of the hotel and moving things got a little better. Bagels with cream-cheese in the OCP Lounge helped also. I went to see Cary Millsap speaking about instrumentation, a subject close to my heart. Everyone knows Cary is a great presenter, so I will not big him up any more or his head will pop. After that I hung around the RAC Attack in the OTN Lounge, then it was the big keynote. @brost sent Gwen Shapira and I up to the Hilton to watch a stream of the keynote. They didn’t have it there so we had to walk back to Moscone North and sit on the floor to watch it.
Keynote: The keynote was more-or-less what I expected from the ACE Director briefing. There were a few inconsistencies from what we were told, but nothing to write home about. It was all engineered-cloud-exa-grid, with a bit of “everyone else is rubbish” thrown in for good measure. Larry was on good form, but the “live”-ish demo went on a bit too long and I lost interest.
Steve Jobs: I was sorry to hear about the death of Steve Jobs. It’s always sad when people die young. I wish the press would stop making him out to be some sort of Messiah or Saint. He was just a very clever man. Let’s not turn his death into a farce.
Blogger’s Party: After that is was off to the Blogger’s Party, sponsored by Pythian. As with previous years, there were prizes for a number of things, including an iPod Touch for the person who got the most signatures on a Pythian bandana. I made a conscious decision to go for it this year and managed to get a signature from everyone at the event. When it came to the judging I had won, but then felt a little guilty because everybody else hadn’t taken it quite so seriously as me, so I gave the prize to the lady (DBA Kevlar) who came in second place. The sweet smell of victory was easily more important than the prize. Thanks to Pythian for another great event.
Once the Blogger’s Party was starting to wind down, most people moved on to the Appreciation Event. I was not really feeling up for it, so I gave my wristband away. I would have only stayed an hour or so, which would have been a bit of a waste. I hope the person who got my wristband ate loads, drank loads and enjoyed Tom Petty and Sting. Instead, I went for some food with Chris Muir and Bex Huff, then crashed in my room.
OOW11 Take Home Messages:
Monday: I went to some presentations, hung around in the OTN lounge and ate at every possible opportunity. Tanel Poder‘s presentation on “Large-Scale Consolidation onto Oracle Exadata: Planning, Execution, and Validation” was pretty cool.
In the evening I planned to meet a former colleague at the OTN party. I decided they best way to find him was to visit every food station at the party, which of course meant sampling the goods. Unfortunately I spent too much time eating and not enough time looking for him. Sorry Ian! The cool thing about Open World is you can enter a giant tent full of thousands of people and pretty much guarantee you will bump into loads of people you know.
Tuesday: I spent most of Tuesday helping out at RAC Attack in the OTN Lounge. I did manage to get to see Greg Rahn‘s presentation called “Real-World Performance: How Oracle Does It”, which focussed on Real-Time SQL Monitoring. Greg’s presentation style is really easy to listen to and you know this isn’t just theoretical knowledge. He’s in the trenches doing this stuff as part of the Real-World Performance Group.
As the afternoon progressed I felt a little tired, so I went back to the hotel, puked and fell asleep. I think this was more to do with being over-tired than anything else. That meant I missed some of the later sessions and didn’t hook up with anyone in the evening.
This morning I feel a little ropey, but I’m going to head on down to RAC Attack again and see if I can make myself useful. Tonight is the appreciation event, but I’m not sure if I will be able to “appreciate it” unless I get a major energy injection at some point today.
Saturday: This was my day off before OOW11 started. I spent the morning following Chris Muir round toy shops, trying to find something cool to take home for his kids. Then we went and registered for the conference. After that it was back to the hotel to chill out a bit before the OakTable Network party in the evening.
I have to admit to feeling a little daunted about the OakTable Network party. I wasn’t able to go last year because it clashed with the Oracle ACE party, so this was my first time. I’ve met many of the members before, but standing in Graham Wood’s house surrounded by a bunch of people with brains the size of planets tends to make a grunt DBA/developer like me feel a little paranoid. Luckily, everyone is really low temperature, so I quickly felt at home. Graham and Joan certainly know how to throw a party. Vast quantities of food and drinks along with great conversation. I’m already looking forward to the next one, but I must eat less next time.
Sunday: I started the day of with Marcelle Kratochvil‘s session about unstructured data and multimedia. If you know Marcelle, you’ll know that she is passionate (a massive understatement) about multimedia and is now starting up a multimedia and unstructured data user group called OMMUDS. It’s early days at the moment, but I hope things go well because it is a fascinating subject and one that will do nothing but grow in importance in the coming years.
After that I went to see Scott Spendolini do a brief history of APEX, which is a pretty cool intro session for the APEX symposium. I was planning to watch some more of the APEX symposium, but I got pleasantly side-tracked and ended up going to get some food with Frits Hoogland. That developed into a couple of hours of geeking-out about Exadata. I know very little about Exadata, but Frits knows loads, so I guess I got a lot more out of it than him. During that time he showed me some of the stuff he’s presenting at UKOUG this year. If you have the opportunity you should definitely go to his sessions. He has some really neat stuff to show you.
In the evening it was the ACE party. Once again, a cracking event, but once again I ate far too much. Victoria also forced me into taking a doggy-bag home with me, which I really didn’t need, but emptied anyway. I spent a lot of time talking with Oded Raz and Liron Amitzi. With a bit of luck I might get to present in Israel in the future. Just as it was closing time I bumped into Steven Feuerstein and we had a little chat. Don’t forget to try my questions on the PL/SQL Challenge in October.
I’ve continued to get to the gym a couple of times each day, but considering the amount of food I’ve eaten, I’m not sure it will do me much good. This morning both Lillian and Victoria were at the gym, but there was no sign of Justin. Come one dude, you are letting the side ACE Program down.
If you’ve followed Twitter over the last couple of days you’ll have seen cryptic posts about the content of the ACED briefing. We all had to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to make sure we didn’t tweet or blog about the Oracle Games Console (OGC) before Larry announces it next week. Day 2 is done and we have a day off before OOW11 starts for everyone else. I’m already totally knackered.
It’s quite freaky to think the ACE program has got so many of us together in one spot and essentially provided a 2 day conference just for us. It’s even more amazing to think that they were able to get so many important people to take time out during the busiest time of their year to come and speak to us. I don’t think many people can pin down Thomas Kurian for an hour this close to Open World. It says a lot about the amount of work Justin, Victoria and Lillian have put in over the last few years, that they can get this level of buy-in for the program. Despite being a tired and grumpy old man, I am extremely grateful to be part of the program.
If you are coming to OOW, you are going to hear a lot of interesting announcements this week. If you can’t make it, you might want to keep an eye on the Oracle YouTube channel. It will have live content streaming, which should help keep you up to speed with what’s going on over here.
I’ve managed to drag myself into the gym quite a bit. I did the evening of my arrival and morning and evening on both days since. Once the mayhem surrounding OOW kicks in I don’t know how easy it will be to keep it going. Time will tell.