UKOUG Tech13 : Monday

I’ve mentioned a couple of times before, I’m only attending Monday of UKOUG Tech13. One of my colleagues quit, so there is no DBA at work today while I’m out on a jolly. :)

My session was at 09:00, which meant getting up at 05:00 to get the train to Manchester. While I was on the train I did a final run-through of my presentation and surfed the net on the train WiFi. I left the house in the dark. It was still dark by the time I got to Manchester. The winter is so depressing!

My talk went pretty well. There were quite a lot of people there, but when you are presenting in an auditorium it looks really empty. :) I think I got a bit excited because I finished early. That rarely happens to me, but it did leave room for an extended question and answer session, which was pretty cool. I was asked a variety of questions, some of which were really quite challenging. I came out and bumped into Jonathan Lewis, which gave me the perfect opportunity to discuss some of the issues with him. I think I will be adding a few points to my article to pick up on some of the themes raised by the questions. It’s always good when interactions with people open up new trains of thought. Thanks to everyone that came along, everyone who asked such good questions and everyone that said really nice things about the presentation on Twitter. :)

I kind-of missed the next session because I kept bumping into people and chatting. Meeting up with friends, new and old, is one of the best things about conferences for me. Amongst others, I had a quick chat with the previous Optimizer Lady (Maria Colgan) and said hello to the new Optimizer Lady (Tom Kyte). Tom has taken his new role to heart, turning up in a skirt and knee length boots!

Next up was “Self-Provisioning Pluggable Databases Using PL/SQL” by Brynn Llewellyn. I’ve been playing around with pluggable databases for a while now, but it’s still early days for me, so there were quite a few neat things that came out of this talk, including the use of DBMS_SQL to perform operations in the scope of a pluggable database and scheduler jobs of type SQL_script.

After that session I bumped into Melanie Caffrey and Martin Widlake and we chatted about the current state of software development in the age of “Coding-By-Google”, before I started to stuff myself with food.

The next session was “Introduction to the New Oracle Database In-Memory Option” by Maria Colgan. It all looks so simple and cool it can only be the result of witchcraft! It’s surprising how many long standing bits of the Oracle optimizer go into making the in-memory database work…

From there it was a quick trip across the road to watch Doug Burns speak about Database as a Service (DBaaS) at OakTable World UK 2013. This is a subject that I have a big interest in and one that I know very little about.

I did intended to go to another session, but I got chatting to Debra Lilley (who is not technical), Sten Vesterli, Lonneke Dikmans, Ronald Luttikhuizen and Simon Haslem instead.

From there is was a quick trek over to the station to start my journey home. I’m now just about to arrive in Birmingham.

Overall it’s been a really cool day. I got to present, see some great sessions and meet lots of cool people! Thanks to everyone involved in the organisation of UKOUG Tech13 and OakTable World UK 2013. Thanks to the Oracle ACE Program, who didn’t have to pay for anything this time, but allow me to keep doing what I do. Thanks also to my current employer, who paid for my train ticket. :)

Back to work tomorrow, where I’ll be doing one of my fortnightly Tuesday presentations…

Cheers

Tim…

UKOUG Speaker Evaluations…

This is a bit of a vanity post, so excuse me blowing my own trumpet.

I just took a look at the speaker evaluation feedback from UKOUG 2012 and it was pretty good. Only 4 of the people left “wordy” feedback:

  • Could have done with more time. Just the sort of presentation I came to conference for v.good.
  • Impressive.
  • Brilliant presenter and useful content, could have been twice as long.
  • Very nice presentation.

As far as the rating feedback went, the scores in each area were out of 6. I got just under 5 for the slides and the rest (content, presentation skills and value of presentation) were all above 5, which I think is pretty good. I was particularly happy with the presentation skills result.

I don’t take this stuff too seriously as these ratings are very subjective. Some people are always mega-critical and some people would give you 6/6 if you tripped and fell of the stage, but it is a nice little ego boost.

Cheers

Tim…

PS. It kinda makes up for the terrible job I did last year, so I guess my average rating for UKOUG presentations is now about “meh’… :)

UKOUG 2012

The UKOUG 2012 conference was a rather short affair for me this year as I was only there for 1 day of it.

During the Sunday I was at my nephew’s birthday party. In the evening I returned to Birmingham in time to make it to the Oracle ACE dinner. Big thanks to Debra Lilley for organizing it and to the Oracle ACE program for sponsoring the event. I used the opportunity to ask a number of questions about ADF and WebLogic. I’m still a newbie and since I seem unable to distance myself from the subject, I figured I need to know a bit more. :)

Monday was my first and only day at the conference. The lineup was like this:

My presentation was a quick romp through a number of the big performance mistakes people make in PL/SQL. The presentation felt like it went well. I guess the evaluation results will reveal all. I’ve already got some good feedback from it and I spent the best part of an hour answering questions after it, so those people must have thought my opinions were worth something. :) The link above points to a summary article of the presentation, with internal links to the details on all the sections I spoke about, plus a few more. There seems little point repeating the contents of those articles, so having this article as effectively a links page to them seems the most obvious solution.

In addition to the presentations, I got to hook up with lots of friends from the Oracle circuit. You sometimes feel like a social butterfly at these things, but that’s kinda nice. I also got to introduce some of my work colleagues to a number of influential people, which kinda made me feel important for a few minutes. :)

Then it was back home to shave off my Mo and cut my hair, then out to the Oak Table dinner. I got to the restaurant about 11 minutes late, but early compared to the rest of the Oakies. :) During dinner we discussed a number of things including load balancing WebLogic, movies, novels and annoying people who push into queues. It was all dead technical. :)

And that was that. Short and sweet.

Cheers

Tim…

Presenting at UKOUG 2012…

I’ve got confirmation that I’m presenting at the UKOUG 2012 conference in December. As I’ve said before, I like seeing places, but I hate the travelling, so I’m not looking forward to having to get to the ICC in Birmingham. That’s one killer 4 mile journey I’m going to have to endure… :)

See you there!

Cheers

Tim…

UKOUG 2011: Days 1 – 3…

I went to lots of good presentations over the three days.

Day 1:

  • SQL Tuning – Kyle Hailey
  • Clonedb – Me (not counting myself in the “good” list, just placing myself in the timetable)
  • OakTable Talks
  • Emerging Trends in RAC – Julian Dyke
  • Upgrading your Cluster to 11gR2 – Martin Bach
  • Learning about life through business and software – Cary Millsap

Day 2:

  • NFS Tuning – Kyle Hailey
  • OakTable Talks
  • RAC Attack – Organized by Jeremy Schneider (I spent the rest of the day helping out here)

Day 3:

  • About Multiblock reads – Frits Hoogland
  • OakTable Talks
  • Simulating workloads with RAT and Simora – James Morle
  • What shape is your data? – Niall Litchfield

There were of course many other talks, but when you do as many conferences as me you tend to have seen many of them already. :) Added to that, I got into interesting conversations with people and ended missing sessions because of that.

I went to the OakTable lunchtime talks each day. I think these were my favorite presentations of all. Each day was made up of five 10 minute slots. Quick, casual and no slides. Very entertaining. I hope they happen every year.

The days were incredibly long, as proved by my parking bills. The first day battered me and it was a matter of survival from that point on.

Thanks very much to everyone involved in organization of the event. That’s my first UKOUG as a presenter. Let’s hope it’s not the last.

Cheers

Tim…

UKOUG 2011: When sessions attack…

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.

Quite annoyed with myself because I know why it got screwed up. When I was in Bulgaria somebody asked me a question and I messed with the demo to prove a point, but forgot to repair it afterwards. Of course, it works again now that it’s too late. :(

There seemed to be some real interest in the technology and I assured people that the demo screwing up was noting to do with the tech, it was totally my fault.

So not the best showing I could have put in. I think it is summed up nicely by this tweet,

“session clone db is a mess”

Nuff said!

If anyone wants to see the running demo, drop me a line on twitter (@oraclebase) and I’ll meet you and show it working. If not, check out the article here.

Cheers

Tim…

UKOUG 2011: Day -1

I missed the OakTable day because it was the 10th birthday party of nephew number 1, but I did make it back to Birmingham in time for the ACE dinner. Mark Rittman provided evidence of my presence here. I was already full of cake and trifle before I arrived, but the waitress didn’t seem to understand, “I’m not eating”, so I was *forced* to stuff myself again. :) Many thanks for the organizers of this event.

I mentioned in a previous post Oracle RAC was not for newbies. Although the commenters seemed to agree with me, a couple of people suggested I was being a bit elitist and if you read the manuals it is all fine. I found out last night that Connor McDonald is now presenting his “Year in Purgatory” talk at UKOUG. I saw this session in Perth and I can’t recommend it enough. As well a being a great show, it highlights just how difficult managing RAC can really be. If you have, do or plan to work with RAC you should see this session, then decide if I’m wrong about the complexity of RAC. Check out the changes to the agenda…

I better get off my ass and head down to the conference. It’s been a while since I’ve driven into the city center at this time in the morning. I hope the traffic is not as bad as it used to be. :)

Remember, I’ve got a session at 11.05 today. Once again, check the changes to the agenda.

Cheers

Tim…

UKOUG: I’m now speaking on Monday…

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.

This means I’m now speaking about Clonedb on Monday at 11:05 in the Media Suite. See here.

The downsides to this are:

  • I’m now up against Connor McDonald who is always brilliant, so I won’t get to see his talk and he’ll soak up all the attendees.
  • I’m also up against Greg Rahn‘s session on Real-Time SQL Monitoring. I saw this at OOW and it’s well worth seeing.
  • One of my Brummie mates wants to come and watch me present, which will make me nervous as hell, especially if he is the only person in the audience.

On the positive side:

  • It will be my first presentation at the UKOUG conference. Long story… :)
  • My Brummie mate will actually go to see Connor, which means there will be nobody in the room, so I can blog about how awesome I was.
  • The adrenalin rush associated with presenting will help to delay the inevitable illness I get at the end of the year when all my presentations are over. Maybe I will actually make it to the end of UKOUG this year…

So if you fancy coming along to heckle me on Monday morning, you know where I am. :)

Cheers

Tim…