This year the Groundbreakers Briefing was completely different. Rather than have some formal presentations, the Groundbreaker Ambassadors an a bunch of Oracle staff all took part in an unconference. People suggested topics and we went into groups to discuss the topics that interested us. Obviously there was a lot of overlap in interests/concerns.
The first one I took part in was discussing a number of areas relating to “Is the RDBMS dead?” and this also included platforms and delivery mechanisms, such as containers. There were people from both sides of the camp, meaning those that favour the RDBMS and those that don’t. From my perspective I say use the correct tool for the job. In some cases that is a RDBMS. In some cases not. When we become too partisan, it’s easy to lose perspective. Of course, it’s also hard to be objective if you’ve spent most of your working life in one camp or the other. I think we have a lot to learn from each other, and the “next big thing” will only happen if we keep an open mind.
The next one I went to related to diversity in the workplace, which is something I have an interest in. The person that suggested this session was basically asking the question, “How do I know if I’m part of the problem?” As always with these types of discussions, it was interesting to hear different takes on the subject. I’m not going to talk specifics, as I don’t think it’s my place to report on some of the things that were said, but it seems like awareness is the first step in this process. Rather than move on to the next session, I continued this discussion with some of the folks. The great thing about an unconference is the rules are, there are no rules (sort-of). 🙂
From there we went off to the San Francisco Science Museum for a couple of hours. I’m a town/city person, but I like looking at nature. We spent some time looking at fish, butterflies, snakes and frogs etc. Pretty cool. Let’s hope this isn’t the only way to see these in future!
From there we had to shoot across to the Oracle ACE dinner. Chatting with people is what I really enjoy at conferences, so being able to meet up with everyone and have a chin-wag is great. Not surprisingly I had far too much food! 🙂
It was a long and busy day, and the conference hadn’t even started yet!
PS. There is an event during the evenings called the Groundbreakers Unconference, which is open to all the people at the conference. That’s not what I’m talking about here. 🙂