It's been a busy time over the past few weeks. I've given 3 different presentations at 3 conferences in as many weeks
First was the UKOUG Back to Basics event, which was the least effort because it was in Oracle's City Office, around the corner from the offices I'm working in at the moment. It was an old presentation, too, from UKOUG a couple of years ago, covering a few very high level thoughts to focus peoples initial performance analysis efforts. There's a limit to what you can achieve in 45 mins but hopefully I at least pointed people in the right directions with a few book recommendations. I also had an opportunity to hear Martin Widlake's very entertaining presentation on the mistakes we all make initially. That was about it, though, as I'd only taken half a day out of the office.
A week later, it was the short flight to Dublin for the OUG Ireland Conference at the Aviva Stadium (otherwise known as Lansdowne Road). I had forgotten that the Irish football team had a friendly against Uruguay that night, but fortunately I made it to my hotel just before the stadium was due to empty, otherwise I'm guessing the traffic would have been a pain.
I had really good fun at this event, from arriving at a football stadium and noting all the usual queueing signs and bars but seeing them in the very different context of a geek conference, to catching up with Jonathan Lewis and Mogens Nørgaard (a concerned transporter of eggs, complete with loaned waitress blouse after the airline lost his luggage) to a keynote that wasn't as awful as most keynotes are. Jonathan's upgrade presentation was as interesting as always with the added note of personal interest that he discussed a customer problem he'd helped me with around improvements to partitioned index costing in 10.2.0.5
It was also the first time I'd met Paul Logan from Pythian face-to-face although I'd been unaware he had attended a remote webinar I'd done a few weeks earlier.
Despite having a couple of late and big scares before my presentation as my laptop crashed and I lost late slide updates, I think my presentation went ok in the end and I had some good feedback later. I'll put that down to SQL monitoring. It's easy to be passionate and slightly inspiring about such an excellent feature.
I definitely saved the best until last, though. When Truls Bergersen first asked me if I was interested in speaking at the OUGN Spring Conference on a boat from Oslo to Kiel, I leapt at the chance after my very positive experience last time I was on a boat for the Swedish/Finnish user group event. (Note to conference organisers - it's always very nice to be asked. A yes isn't guaranteed of course )
When a conference is on a boat, it means
- Everyone sticks together for the duration, instead of maybe going home in the evenings or back to distant hotels
- Much better scenery
- Surprisingly excellent conference facilities
- Food I can (mostly) eat
Add the natural hospitality of the Scandinavian countries (based on my so far limited experience); great presentations from a great line-up of speakers (including several of Oracle's big guns); very passionate and interested attendees and it was my highlight conference of the year so far. Great speaker gift, too ...
Although I had to leave this guy dancing to Singing in the Rain because of the simple physical facts of Comfy Seat over-crowding.
I spent my last evening fishing for invitations for future years.
For a more considered view, see Magnus' review here. Very flattering, too
Which leaves no major conferences between now and Openworld, although I will probably do a couple of customer presentations based on the recent slides. I could use a break so I can focus on customer work.