The day started at 05:00. I lay in the bath for 20 minutes in denial, wondering how I would manage to stay awake for the day. I’ve been ill for ages, so I felt like I was running on empty anyway. Once I had managed to drag myself out of the bath and get dressed, I picked up my laptop and took a taxi to the airport.
The taxi to the airport was smooth enough. I was already checked in and had no bags to drop off, so I went straight for the security and was greeted by the biggest queue I had ever seen at Birmingham airport. To all those people that laugh at me getting to the airport 2+ hours before a short flight like this I say, “Better to be safe than sorry!”
Despite the massive queue for security, populated by people who didn’t understand commands like, “Belts off!”, and, “All liquids out of your bags!”, the queue moved quite quickly and the departure area felt relatively quiet. I grabbed some food and logged into work to find one of the DW loads had failed. I cleaned stuff up and reset it. As I was boarding I passed one of my colleagues who was off to Glasgow for a product user group. I shouted across that his DW load had failed, then turned the corner to board before he could quiz me further. 🙂
The ChavAir flight was fine. They are a basic bitch airline, but you can’t really complain when you are paying £27 for a return flight. I overheard three people saying they paid £20 return. I was robbed. 🙂
When I arrived in Dublin, I got the AirLink Express into the city, which was 10 Euros for a return ticket and dropped me off about 100 yards from the Gresham Hotel. Bonus!
After signing in and saying hello to a couple of people, including the wife, it was off to the first session. My timetable for the day was:
- Marcin Przepiorowski with “Looking for Performance Issue in Oracle SE. Check What OraSASH Can do for You”. I’m lucky enough to have Oracle EE with the Diagnotics and Tuning pack for all the databases I work with, so I get to use the real ASH and the performance pages in Cloud Control. Even so, it’s worth keeping your eye on what others are doing, as you never know when you will need it!
- Carl Dudley with “SQL Tips, Techniques and Traps”. I really enjoyed this session. It was a quick pace with lots of little and interesting points. I’m sure everyone picked up something they had not heard before. I know I did.
- Oren Nakdimon with “Write Less (Code) with More (Oracle 12c New Features)”. This was another quick paced session made up of lots of little pointers. As I watched it I found myself thinking, “Have I written about that?”, or, “Did I include that in my article?”. There were certainly a few things that had passed me by during my time with 12c, so I made a note about them and will be revisiting a couple of articles. It was a really neat session!
- Keith Laker with “SQL Pattern Matching Deep Dive”. I’ve written some stuff on pattern matching, but this was another level. After watching this session I know enough to know I don’t know enough. 🙂 Definitely a subject I need to go back and revisit. I’m always a little nervous of deep dive sessions because often they don’t deserve that title. I think this one did! 🙂
- Me with “Analytic Functions: An Oracle Developer’s Best Friend”. This was in the same room as Keith’s talk and had most of the same audience. I started by saying something to the tune of, if you understood the stuff from the previous session, you probably don’t need to watch this one. 🙂 My analytics session is quite different to ones I’ve seen others do. It is an entry level session, where I repeatedly reference non-analytics stuff to try and simplify the concepts and syntax. If you have done lots of analytics it’s probably not for you, but I always get some comments from people saying they use analytics, but didn’t realise what some of the stuff did.
- Me with “Oracle Database Consolidation: It’s Not All About Oracle Database 12c!”. This is an overview session where I discuss the methods of database consolidation I use along with their pros and cons. I don’t dislike any individual method of database consolidation, but I do react harshly to anyone who claims one method is superior. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to database consolidation and anyone that tells you there is is a bloody liar! You will always need a combination of approaches and this is very much my message here. It’s a light and fluffy session, which probably fits quite well towards the end of the day when everyone is fried. 🙂
- Cloud Q&A Panel Session. I mostly turned up to support the wife, but it was actually quite relevant to my current company, who are in the procurement phase of a replacement for many of our core business systems, with “the cloud” being an option. Added to that, I’ve been doing POCs of Azure, AWS and Oracle Cloud recently for IaaS and PaaS.
From there is was a quick chat with some folks at the social event, then the AirLink Express back to Dublin Airport.
The flight back was fine, but I was starting to feel really worse for wear. At one point I thought I was going to puke, but I managed not to. I was imagining everyone else thinking I had been for a day on the lash in Dublin. 🙂 We landed early and I got a taxi home and the day was done!
Big thanks to OUG Ireland for inviting me to the day. Sorry I couldn’t stay for the second day! Thanks to the other speakers and attendees, who are collectively the most important people there! Thanks to the Oracle ACE Program for letting me continue to fly the flag!
For anyone that is looking for a new conference to try out, you should give OUG Ireland 2017 a go. Just so you know, here is the breakdown of the travel costs for my day trip:
- Taxi to airport: £25
- Return flight between Birmingham and Dublin: £27
- Return trip on AirLink Express into the city: 10 Euros
- Taxi home: £35
- Total: < £100
The costs have been similar for the last three years and it’s certainly something I’m happy to pay out of my own pocket!
See you all next year!