APAC OTN Tour 2013


Just a quick plug for an upcoming OTN tour, that I’m not on this year.

  • Auckland, New Zealand : 8th November (agenda)
  • Perth, Australia : 12th-13th November (agenda)
  • Tokyo, Japan : 13th-15th November
  • Beijing, China : 17th-18th November
  • Guangzou, China : 19th November

I attended the OTN Asia Pacific Tour in 2011, which included some of these locations. Hopefully I will get to do it again in the near future. :)

Like any conferences, these events are all about the attendees, so the more people that turn up and the more vocal the attendees, the better the events are.

I’ve seen the agendas for the Auckland and Perth events and they look cool. I hope everyone has a good time!



OTN Nordic Tour 2013 – It’s a wrap!


So the OTN Nordic Tour 2013 is over. Here are the posts I put out during the tour.

  1. OTN Nordic Tour 2013
  2. OTN Nordic Tour 2013 – Stockholm
  3. OTN Nordic Tour 2013 – Copenhagen
  4. OTN Nordic Tour 2013 – Oslo

I’ve already done a bunch of thank you messages in the individual posts, but I just want to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to everyone involved once more.

Thanks to everyone at ORCAN, DOUGOUGNOTN and the Oracle ACE Program for helping to make this happen. Thanks to the other speakers for being involved and trying to help organise me. Big thanks go out to all the attendees that turned up to these events. I hope to see you all soon.



OTN Nordic Tour 2013 – Oslo


We got on the plane from Copenhagen to Oslo and met up with the OUGN folks for some food in the hotel. We spent a long time talking about non-Oracle stuff, like science and religion. It was fun.

The morning started with a long breakfast, which included me nearly throwing orange juice over Mike Dietrich and him succeeding in throwing tea over me. We both blamed the table, but in reality it was our secret desire for a food fight that caused it. :)

I went to Sten‘s session called “From Requirements to Tool Choice”, which as the name suggests, discusses which tools are a good fit for which types of development. He has some interesting statistics in the presentation, which are a good talking point. You might want to take a look at OraToolWatch, which he maintains.

My sessions were on Analytic Functions and WebLogic. I am incapable of keeping to any sort of schedule. Mike Dietrich came to warn me about leaving for the plane. I thought he was asking me to finish my presentation 15 minutes early, which for a 45 minute session is kinda difficult, so I brushed him off and carried on, only to find out at the end that I had overshot by 15 minutes. I’m now cringing as I write this because I must have looked like such a diva. Just so you know, it wasn’t me being a diva. It was me being a dumb-ass. After the session I spoke to Mike and it seems I had told him the wrong flight times, which was why he was especially concerned, thinking I might miss my plane. People should just shoot me with a tranquillizer dart when my time is up. Sorry to all those that missed out on their coffee break. :(

Once again, I went straight from my last presentation to the airport to catch my plane. This time it was for the flight home… I sat chatting to Lonneke and Sten for a while before I got my first plane. When I got to Amsterdam I had a 2+ hour stop-over. After about an hour, I sat down with a coffee and I heard, “Can passenger Hall travelling to Birmingham please board immediately at gate D6!” I ditched my coffee and ran like an idiot from D49 to D6. I started apologising to the staff, saying I must of got my times mixed up etc. They checked and it was another passenger called “Hall”, travelling to Birmingham on a different flight. I walked back to gate D49 feeling rather frazzled. :)

Big thanks to OUGN and the conference attendees to making me welcome. Thanks as always to OTN and the Oracle ACE Program for helping to make this happen.



OTN Nordic Tour 2013 – Copenhagen


I spent the first two sessions of the DOUG event watching Mike Dietrich presenting on 12c upgrades, pluggable databases and new features. I’ve seen some of his stuff already during the LAOTN Tour (Southern Leg), but his presentations have changed a little since I last saw them. To quote Noons,

“Mike’s talk is superb. No bull, just down to facts…”

I think that sums it up nicely. :)

After that I did my two sessions for this event. One on virtualisation and one on WebLogic. It was quite a strange day for me as I did two talks that had no demos and both were on areas that are not my main skill set. A mixture scary and fun rolled in to one. I literally finished my talk, put my laptop in my bag and got in a taxi for the airport, so I didn’t have any time to mingle after the sessions. I hope they went down OK. With a bit of luck I will get to do another conference in Denmark and spend more time talking to the attendees outside the sessions. :)

Note. The presentations rooms had bowls of sweets. Connor McDonald will know exactly what happened. :)

Thanks to everyone that came to my presentations in Denmark, to DOUG for inviting me and giving me loads of sweets. :) Thanks also to OTN and the Oracle ACE Program for helping to make this happen.



OTN Nordic Tour 2013 – Stockholm


I didn’t sleep too well the night before the Stockholm event, so I woke up feeling extremely groggy. I think it was just the combination of excitement and adrenalin you get before starting a tour. I met Lonneke and Sten for breakfast, then headed on to the conference venue.

I watched Lonneke presenting on SOA for the first two sessions of the day. This is completely not my area of expertise, but I learnt a lot in these sessions. I now understand a lot of the buzzwords and a lot of the common pitfalls for the first time ever. I’ll never be a SOA guy, but it’s nice to know a little more, so that I can understand when people are leading me astray. You don’t have to know how to swim to recognise when someone is drowning. :)

After those two sessions, I presented three sessions in a row, including my first ever WebLogic presentation. Eeeccckkk! I made it very clear I was not an expert! The approach was, this is what I wished I had known in my first hour of learning WebLogic! I think it went well. I got some helpful feedback from Lonneke, which I’ve added to the presentation.

After my last presentation we went straight from the conference to the airport. There was a problem with the boarding scanners, so we had to be processed manually, which meant we were about an hour late in departing. That meant we were too late to have dinner with the Danish OUG folks, which was a pity. So it was straight from the airport to bed.

Thanks very much to everyone that came to my presentations in Sweden, to ORCAN for inviting me and to OTN and the Oracle ACE Program for letting me take part in the event. :)



OTN Nordic Tour 2013


I got up this morning in plenty of time to get to the airport to fly to Sweden to begin the OTN Nordic Tour 2013 tomorrow. I then proceeded to wait and wait and wait for the taxi. Eventually it did arrive, but now the rush hour traffic had started to build up, so time was ticking by and we were standing still for a very long time. I tweeted that I would probably miss my flight and I really believed I would.

After a considerable amount of time, with me trying to ignore the nervous glances of my driver, the traffic opened up, I got to the airport and check-in was empty, as was security. I got through in time to grab a drink on the way to boarding. Phew…

After all that excitement, the flights were pretty uneventful. I wasted most of the two 1 hour flights playing Plants vs Zombies or reading my Kindle. I spent most of the 2 hour layover at Copenhagen airport juggling my carry-on luggage. I think this is the first time I’ve just used carry-on and I find it pretty hard going wrestling two bags and coat. Far easy to just check everything but the laptop in…

I spent some time in the hotel bar with Sten Vesterli chatting about life, the universe and ADF 12c. :) Don’t tell him, but I spent some of the time enviously admiring his goatee beard. If only my face would go through puberty so I could grow one like that. :(

It’s bed time now. Tomorrow I’ve got to check out of the hotel, do 3 talks at the Swedish Oracle User Group (ORCAN), then shoot off to Denmark… :)



OTN Nordic Tour 2013


I’ll be representing the Oracle ACE Program as part of the OTN Nordic Tour this year. I’ve just booked my flights, so in a little over a week I’ll be starting the three date tour.

  • Oct 22nd : Stockholm, Sweden (ORCAN) – 3 Presentations
  • Oct 23rd : Copenhagen, Denmark (DOUG) – 2 Presentations
  • Oct 24th : Oslo, Norway (OUGN) – 2 Presentations

I put forward a few different papers each event picked different ones, so it looks like I could be presenting up to 6 distinct sessions over the tour. This next week is going to be very busy. I’ve got to put the finishing touches to one presentation, then rehearse all 6 a few times… :)



Oracle OpenWorld 2013 : Thursday


I got up late, so I missed the morning gym session.

When I got to Moscone at about 08:30, I headed straight for the speakers room to play catch-up on emails, questions, blog posts and work emails. I expected that to take a few minutes, but it actually took me up to midday. It’s crazy how much time we spend on this community stuff. :)

I spent most of the afternoon in the OTN Lounge geeking out with a variety of people. I was initially expecting to spend the whole day in presentations, but it turned out I didn’t manage to get to a single one. I spent some time chatting with the ladies and gents from the RAC SIG about ideas for future directions for user groups and collaborative efforts like RAC Attack. It’s interesting to hear the different opinions and motivations of the people involved.

I had an interesting chat with Lenz Grimmer about a number of Linux related things. He was kind enough to help me out a few months ago with some clarifications on my Oracle Linux : Frequently Asked Questions post and was asking how I was getting on with the Oracle Linux migrations at my current company, which spawned a few ideas for some followup posts about the process we’ve gone through to move a variety of systems from RHEL, Solaris and HP-UX to Oracle Linux on VMware. Watch this space! :)

From the OTN Lounge the next stop was the “It’s a Wrap” party, where I had an emotional reunion with my dad.


I’m still waiting for the 44 years worth of birthday and Christmas presents he owes me!

I’m back at the hotel now, feeling totally burnt out. I know it’s not very rock-n-roll, but I think I’m going to bed. :) I’m flying back home tomorrow, so I’ll get back on Saturday UK time. Next week I’m back to work during the day and back to learning 12c during the evenings. Thank goodness for insomnia…



Oracle OpenWorld 2013 : Wednesday


A familiar morning. Up at silly o’clock, went to the gym, then read in my room for a while…

The plan for Wednesday was pretty much the same as Tuesday. Most of the day was spent at RAC Attack. I thought we were meant to be helping people install RAC on their laptops, but I quickly came to understand this was a cover for watching Yuri take photos of people jumping in the air… :)

A big thank you to all the people involved in making RAC Attack happen again! A lot of people helped in making the new 12c install notes. Lots of people dedicated two days of OOW2013 to this, rather than watching presentations or swanning off to the boat racing. Thanks also to the OTN crowd for giving up so much space to us.

After RAC Attack I popped in to see John Beresniewwicz and Kellyn Pot’Vin presenting, “Active Session History Deep Dive: Advanced Performance Analysis Tips”. I like listening to both these speakers!

From there it was back to the exhibition stands to hook up with the DBVisit guys, before returning to the OTN Lounge for the “Meet the ADF Team” session. David Peake was lurking there, pretending to be part of the ADF team. There’s a rumour there that is just begging to be started! :)

Then it was back to the hotel to dump my stuff before heading off to the Bloggers Meetup. I was only there for about 2 minutes, before I had to leave for the appreciation event, so sorry if I missed anyone. Having spent so much time in the OTN Lounge this year, I doubt there is anyone I’ve not met already. :)

This year I got to do the appreciation event in style as a VIP, thanks to an invite by the DBVisit guys. We were in the New Zealand suite at the top of the stadium, so I was an honorary Kiwi for the night. :) I had a few drinks and ate vast quantities of food, without having to fight it out with the crowds. It was great! I’m always bigging up the DBVisit folks, but they really are a great group of people. Chris Lawless (formerly of the Oracle GoldenGate team) is a great addition to the team. He cracked me up all night. To show my support, I put some “temporary” Dbman tattoos on my arms. Turns out they are not so temporary after all. Two showers and some scrubbing and they are still with me. :) You can see a picture of them here. I love that picture because it makes me look skinny! :)

During the event, I managed to find Nemo and watch Maroon 5 and The Black Keys. Adam Lavine from Maroon 5 has a really strange voice. When he sings it sounds fine, but when he talks he sounds like he’s been hitting the helium balloons. It’s like Alvin and the Chipmunks. Very odd. I’m not a fan of Maroon 5, so I was surprised that I recognised all but one of the songs they played. They were really good. The Black Keys where a lot heavier than I expected. I knew I had heard some of their stuff, but I wasn’t sure how much I would recognise. I think there were three songs I definitely recognised. Pretty cool.

I got back to the hotel at about 01:00, so this morning was a later start for me. Someone has been shopping again. Lots of boxes outside their room again this morning! :)