I've built up quite a list of upcoming events that I want to blog about, so I'll deal with them in a single post (... then the OUGN review and then *finally*, *maybe* a technical post or three ...)
Chris Date Seminar
I think I've seen this mentioned in a few blog posts already, but Peter Robson is organising a 2-day seminar presented by relational database luminary, C. J. Date. I was lucky enough to attend a single day listening to Chris in Edinburgh a few years ago now and, whilst I might not have agreed with everything he said that day (so sue me), the clarity and force of his arguments and the intellectual rigour of the discussion was a contrast to the rather more lightweight content of most conference presentations. Definitely recommended and you can find more details here Throw in a copy of his latest book and, if I wasn't taking so many days off work at the moment anyway, I would definitely be there.
Speaking of too many days off work ... It's been too long since I've been to the OUG Scotland Conference - at least over the past 3 years that I've been working in London. Otherwise I would be there this year and it's probably about time I was going back next year. It's a cracking event. Free registration; free beer; an absolutely stellar agenda that the Scottish user group types like Thomas Presslie always pull together; and, of course, it's in the absolutely best part of the world Given that it costs nothing to attend, I think that anyone who can't find a way of getting a day out of the office to hear some fantastic speakers needs their head examined. (Oh, a little bit of local information. Oracle's place in Linlithgow - where I used to work for a while when it was Sun's place - might look a little out of the way but the train service to Edinburgh is regular, fast and excellent.
UKOUG Call For Papers
There's only a few weeks left to submit an abstract for one of the finest Oracle conferences - the UKOUG conference in (erm) sunny Birmingham. It was the first Oracle conference I presented at so, like Tom Kyte, I would encourage as many people to give it a try as possible (as I have with many people over the years). I've discussed this with a few people recently and they seem a little frightened to submit an presentation abstract for such a well-known conference with big-name speakers, but they seem to be forgetting something. UKOUG is a User Group. The whole point is for other users to hear your experiences and some of the best presentations I've attended have been from inexperienced speakers sharing their Real World experiences of using Oracle. Sure, I want to hear deeply technical presentations based on experimentation, but a user group conference is about so much more than that and I dread the day when I see an agenda filled with the same old speakers I've heard many times before. Consider this, too ... How did those speakers become experienced and well-known? We all have to start somewhere and UKOUG is as good as anywhere. Of course, having an abstract accepted can be tough, but unless you give it a try, how will you know?
Having been so positive about the conference over the years and encouraged people to present, I can't help being honest in saying that if UKOUG had stuck to their original idea of giving speakers a one-day pass to the conference, rather than the standard full conference pass (and when I say standard, I mean like every other conference does!) then I wouldn't have recommended it. Fortunately they've performed a U-turn on what I always considered a ridiculous decision Personally, I found it a bit cheap and strangely hurtful so I'm still not sure whether I'll submit an abstract this year, but it shouldn't stop others and might lead to a wider and more varied agenda. Regardless, the agenda is always excellent.
Red Gate Seminars
There have been several times over the past few years when I've considered producing an online video of my OEM Performance Page presentations but it hasn't happened for various reasons. I recall Alex Gorbachev suggesting I repeat my (failed) Hotsos version for Pythian to post online but I never got round to it. So I was absolutely delighted when Red Gate Software asked me if I had any ideas for online webinars to supplement their existing series! I have two sessions planned in the near future. One based on the original presentation that covers Performance Page fundamentals and a second focussing more closely on the new OEM 12 features, including ASH Analytics.
You can see a list of upcoming seminars here. Even better, it includes archived copies of previous presentations by some of the best Oracle presenters around. Definitely worth a look. I'll post more details on by own webinars nearer the time.
Again, although there are some pre-selected speakers, there is also an open Call For Papers so if you feel you have something interesting to say about Exadata, the opportunity is there. I'm definitely planning on going and will hopefully be giving a new Parallel Query presentation.