I mentioned in a previous post I was speaking at the UKOUG DE SIG today. The talk itself went fine, but I had a bit of a scare before hand. I drove from work to the venue and managed to get lost, which is a little surprising as it was in Birmingham and I’ve lived in Birmingham for the last 20 years. Personally I blame my total reliance on SatNav… :) It takes me about 10 minutes to get setup, including starting virtual machines, and I arrived 15 minutes before my talk was scheduled. Too close for comfort!

I’d like to send a big thank you to Andrew Clarke for organising the event and letting me speak. It’s just a pity I couldn’t get a day off work to attend the whole event.



Oct-2007 DE SIG and PHP…

Yesterday was the Oct-2007 DE SIG. This proved quite an interesting experience for me because I gave a presentation on PHP and Oracle.

Now I like to think I know a bit about Oracle, but I’m not a serious PHP developer, more of a PHP Fanboy. Sure, I’ve been using PHP on for a few years now, but there’s a big difference between using it and presenting about it. When Andrew Clarke asked me if I was interested in doing the presentation my initial reaction was to run a mile, but then I thought, what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger… :)

The whole process has been really interesting, if a bit scary, and I got some useful feedback off Andrew later in the pub. I’d like to say a big thank you to Andrew for organising the event and inviting me to speak, and I hope the attendees found it useful.

I must admit to feeling more than a little relieved now it’s over. For my next few presentations I’ll return to the safe haven of my normal skill set. :)

I was late arriving at the event so I only got to see the two presentations that followed mine. The first was a demo of master-detail reports, flash charts and PDF printing in APEX. I really must spend some time looking at APEX. It’s really starting to look like a nice product.

Next, there was a presentation about JDeveloper 11 ADF New Features. There is some seriously cool Web 2.0 eye candy in JDeveloper 11 that is sure to attract some attention. Yet another thing on my list.

So much technology, so little time…




A few months ago, Andrew Clarke invited me to speak about PL/SQL tuning at a UKOUG Special Interests Group (SIG). I accepted, and today was the day. I woke up ridiculously early this morning and set off for Slough. I was totally knackered by the time I got there, so I spent most of the first two presentations yawning, nothing to do with the content. Then it was my turn…

I started off feeling a little nervous, but nothing major. About 5 minutes into the presentation I was meant to start talking about baselines, but all I could think about was code instrumentation. This threw me completely and my mind went totally blank. I mean completely! I must have looked like a rabbit in the headlights, because a lady in the audience (Seema) tried to prompt me. Anyway, the batteries in my brain must have reconnected because I remembered who I was and what I was doing and continued with the rest of the talk. As usual, once I got going there was no shutting me up.

When I finished the presentation I closed down Powerpoint and revealed the note I left on my desktop that read, “Don’t Choke!”. :)

It’s quite difficult to know what level to pitch these talks at. After-all, 45 minutes is not long to talk about detecting and tuning PL/SQL performance problems. Fortunately, Andrew gave me some good advice on that point, and apart from the brain-fade incident, the presentation seemed to go down well.

I’m not sure I’m a natural presenter, but I do think it’s fun. Although the preparation side of it is a bit painful.

Anyway, thanks to Andrew for giving me this opportunity. Thanks to the audience for coming to hear me speak. And finally, thanks to Seema for helping to kickstart my brain. I’ll drop a book off at your office tomorrow morning!