Sandwiched in the middle of a busy month or so for me - Cary Millsap's seminar the other week (more on that later) and Openworld from the end of next week - was my long-awaited trip to the Slovenian Oracle User Group Conference in Portoroz. I've been promising Joze Senegacnik I would go to Slovenia for several years now because with it being so close to Openworld, it's quite a few days away from client work. I finally made it and I'm delighted I did. It's a shame that I couldn't make it for the weekend before and maybe got to fly in Joze's plane, but the conference venue, atmosphere and attendees made up for it.
I arrived fairly late on Monday evening via a car from Trieste airport that was laid on by the user group and very much appreciated and the minor hiccup of being delivered to the wrong hotel was soon sorted by the concierge who ran me over to the correct one, where the food might have finished but the wine certainly hadn't! I met and had fun with some Bulgarian visitors, including the soon-to-be-married Svetoslav Gyurov (@sgyurov) who I'd recently met on Twitter and the Finns, who always seem to end up everywhere
The next day I'd planned to give the "Statistics on Partitioned Objects" presentation over two 45 minute sessions and also agreed to help out by standing in as a replacement for a late cancellation in the slot following those two which meant I'd have to talk for a couple of hours in the afternoon. On the basis that people would probably be bored to tears of me by then, I picked the "How I Learned To Love Pictures" which is always fun.
The morning was spent finalising the demos but when I tried getting the 'How I Learned To Love Pictures' to run, they were far too temperamental and I decided that it might be safer to make a late change to a Real Time SQL Monitoring presentation that I've given a few times and is much easier to do because it only requires a few Active reports. Best of all, it was still about performance and pictures, so I didn't feel I would be short-changing people, as long as I made it clear what I was going to do!
I think the presentations went pretty well. Statistics is a pretty dry subject to listen to someone talk about for an hour and a half straight after lunch, but the fact that the majority seemed to come back after the coffee break was encouraging! Invitations to speak from both the Bulgarian and Serbian User Groups was probably another good sign.
One slight disappointment was that, because I switched to SQL Monitoring at the last moment and didn't tell Joze, I covered a small part of the material for his next presentation on "How to get the best from the Cost-Based Optimiser" but I don't think it affected his presentation too much as he was covering a wide variety of subjects and I thought it was a great reminder of some of the new features to consider, including SQL Plan Management, which is what I'll be talking about at Openworld.
By now I was really tired so had a whale of a time with a small cold beer and a couple of smokes on the balcony of my room, watching an amazing sunset. Which put me right in the mood for dinner and some partying but, whilst the company may have been excellent again, their partying skills were shabby as we handed over something like 12 unused free drinks vouchers to another lucky attendee and then everyone retired to their rooms to finish off their presentations over bottles of water! Sad, really sad.
It was such a flying visit that the next morning I only really had time to catch up on some work before Joze drove Debra and I to Trieste airport for our Ryanair flight home (which wasn't too bad really).
I had a great time, was treated extremely well and look forward to going back - Portoroz is a lovely place and the weather was beautiful, which made such a difference from the likes of London or Birmingham! I think I may have also agreed to speak at the upcoming Bulgarian conference too