OTN Tour of Latin America 2015 : UYOUG, Uruguay – Day 2


I woke up early and started working on the computer. I wrote a couple of blog posts and logged in to work to check some stuff out. I also re-recorded the vocal for the ALL, ANY and SOME video. The mic I was using wasn’t too good, but I was keen to get it done, rather than wait until I got back to the UK. Overall, it was a pretty busy morning.

I then headed out for my last session of the conference. It was a panel session with Ronald, Mike, Nelson and myself. Putting Ronald and me on a panel together pretty much guaranteed nobody else would get to say anything. I thought the panel went really well. Having someone from a MySQL background on the panel added a different dynamic. Most of the discussion was focussed on why you would pick MySQL over Oracle or vice versa. There was a surprising amount of agreement and some good banter. :) The reaction from the crowd was very positive. :)

That marked the end of the UYOUG conference for me. I hope all the attendees enjoyed the event. I know I did. Thanks very much to everyone for organising it and thanks to the Oracle ACE Program for getting me here. Big thanks to Edelweiss and Nelson for looking after us! :)

From there we got some lunch and I went back to the hotel to do some more work.

At about 17:30 we headed off to catch the ferry to Buenos Aires. I was meant to get a little video footage, but I forgot. :) It took a little over 2 hours to complete, then it was a walk across to the hotel. I did remember to get some footage of that! :)

I got to bed a little after midnight, which wasn’t too bad. Tomorrow is the first day of the AROUG conference in Argentina!



OTN Tour of Latin America 2015 : UYOUG, Uruguay – Day 1


After 15 hours of sleep I still managed to feel tired. :) I went for breakfast at 6:30, then started to feel a little weird, so I took some headache pills and headed back to bed for a hour before meeting up with Debra and Mike to head down to the venue for the first day of the UYOUG leg of the tour…

The order of events went like this:

  • Pablo Ciccarelo started with an introduction OTN and the ACE program, which was in Spanish, so I ducked out of it. :)
  • Mike Dietrich speaking about “How Oracle Single/Multitenant will change a DBA’s life”.
  • Me with “Pluggable Databases : What they will break and why you should use them anyway!” There was some crossover with Mike’s session, but we both emphasised different things, which is interesting in itself. :)
  • Debra Lilley with “PaaS4SaaS”. The talk focused on a POC for using PaaS to extend the functionality of Fusion Apps, which is a SaaS product.
  • Me with “Oracle Database Consolidation : It’s not all about Oracle database 12c”. I think this is the least technical talk I’ve ever done and that makes me rather nervous. Technical content and demos are a reassuring safety blanket for me, so having them taken away feels a bit like being naked in public (why am I now thinking of Bjoern?). The session is a beginner session, so I hope people didn’t come expecting something more than I delivered. See, I’m paranoid already!
  • Mike Dietrich on “Simple Minimal Downtime Migration to Oracle 12c using Full Transportable Export/Import”. I think I’ve used every feature discussed in this session, but I’ve never used them all together in this manner. I think I may go back to the drawing board for one of the migrations I’ve got coming up in the next few months.
  • Debra Lilley with “Are cloud apps really ready?”. There was some similarity between the message Debra was putting out here and some of the stuff I spoke about in my final talk.
  • Me with “It’s raining data! Oracle Databases in the Cloud”. This was also not a heavy technical session, but because so few people have experience of running databases in the cloud at the moment, I think it has a wider appeal, so I’m not so paranoid about the limited technical content.

So that was the first day of the UYOUG conference done. Tomorrow is an easy day for me. I’ve got a panel session in the middle of the day, then I’m done. :)

Thanks to everyone who came to my sessions. I hope you found them useful.

Having slept through yesterday’s social event, I will be going out to get some food tonight. They eat really late here, so by the time we get some food I’ll probably be thinking about bed. :)



OTN Tour of Latin America 2015 : The Journey Begins – Arrival at Montevideo, Uruguay


ace-directorAfter the quick flight to Montevideo, I was met by Edelweiss and Nelson. A couple of minutes later Mike Dietrich arrived. You know, that guy that pretends to understand upgrades! We drove over to the hotel, arriving at about 11:00. Check in was not until 15:00, so I had to wait a few minutes for them to prep my room. The others were going out to get some food, but I had a hot date with my bed. I got to my room, showered and hit the hay.

I was meant to meet up with the others at about 19:00 to get some food, but I slept through. In fact, I slept until about 04:00 the next day, which was about 15 hours. I think that may be a record… I’m feeling a bit punch-drunk now, but I’m sure once I start moving things will be fine…

Today is the first day of the tour proper. Fingers crossed…



OTN Tour of Latin America 2015 : The Journey Begins – Buenos Aires Airport


ace-directorThe flight from Paris to Buenos Aires was long, but relatively uneventful. One little patch of turbulence, then plain sailing.

For the main meal they didn’t have me down as vegetarian. I don’t know why I bother ordering special meals because the vast majority of the times I don’t get them. Interestingly, they did have a vegetarian breakfast for me, probably fixed one up after the dinner issue, but they gave it to the lady 2 seats away from me. She had seen the issue with the dinner and passed it across to me. In big letters on the tray it said 27J, which was my seat number, so I’m not quite sure why it was so difficult. I honestly think a lot of people look at me and think, “There is no way he is that fat and a vegetarian!”, so they give it to someone who looks suitably skinny… :)

I watched Insurgent, which was OK, then started to watch Fast & Furious 7, but couldn’t get into it on such a small screen. Amazingly, I did manage to catch small snatches of sleep, which was very welcome, interspersed with the obligatory periods of standing at the back of the plane pretending there aren’t loads of hours of sitting left.

So now I’m in Buenos Aires airport waiting to get back on to the same plane to fly the last 25 mins to Montevideo. I will be back in Buenos Aires in a couple of days, but I will be arriving by ferry next time! :)



OTN Tour of Latin America 2015 : The Journey Begins – CDG Airport


ace-directorI’ve been in Charles de Gaulle airport for about three hours now. Only another four to go… :)

I tried to record another technical video, but you can hear kids in the background. Now the timings are sorted, it should be pretty quick to re-record when I get to a hotel, so that’s good I guess. I’m not sure I can face doing another one today.

My YouTube channel is on 199 subscribers. About to ding to the magic 200. :)

Perhaps I should get the GoPro out and do some filming of the barren wasteland, which is the K gates in Terminal 2E.



OTN Tour of Latin America 2015 : The Journey Begins


ace-directorI’m about to board a flight to Paris, where I will wait for 7 hours before starting my 14 hour flight to Montevideo, Uruguay. I think you can probably guess how I’m feeling at this moment…

Why won’t someone hurry up and invent a teleport device?

I will probably put out little posts like this along the way, just so friends and family know what is going on. It’s wrong to wish your life away, but I’m really not looking forward to the next 20+ hours…

Hopefully I will get power in Paris, so I can do some stuff on my laptop…



OTN Tour of Latin America 2015 (Southern Leg)


ace-directorI put out a brief video a few days ago (re-uploaded today to fix typos) about my participation in the OTN Tour of Latin America (2015). I’ll be on the southern leg this year. Sorry to those countries who make up the northern leg. I will be back soon I hope.

Anyway, the southern leg of the tour shapes up like this.

  • 3/4 August Uruguay UYOUG
  • 5/6 August Argentina AROUG
  • 8 August Brazil GUOB
  • 10 August Chile CLOUG
  • 12 August Peru PEOUG

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone. See you soon!

After the Peru leg, the wife and I will be going off to see Machu Picchu.



Roll up! Roll up! This week’s events!


Here’s a quick reminder of a couple of events happening this week.

On Tuesday evening it’s Oracle Midlands Event #9 in Birmingham. First up is Joel Goodman, who is practically a walking Oracle Encyclopaedia, speaking about “Oracle Distributed Transactions”. Next up is Richard Harrison, a regular Oracle Midlands attendee and returning speaker, this time presenting about “Data Pump Tips & Tricks”. It’s going to be a good evening, so please come out and show your support! It’s sponsored by Red Stack Technology, so it’s free!

On Wednesday it is the UKOUG Systems Event. I’m in the first slot, so it’s going to be an extremely early train ride for me. There is packed agenda, so I’m sure there is something for everyone involved in the systems side of things!

Hopefully I’ll get to see some of you folks at these events!



Birmingham City University (BCU) Talk #3


bcuOn Friday I took a day off work to pop over to do my 3rd talk at Birmingham City University (BCU). This one was rather unfamiliar territory for me, because it was directed at the staff and was focussed on student employability…

During a previous discussion with Stuart Hutchison from BCU, he suggested I take the “Community” session I presented at the UKOUG Next Gen event, add in some information about graduate recruitment and Bob’s your uncle. Sounds fine, but what do I know about graduate employment? It’s 20+ years since I left university…

Luckily, the online community came to the rescue. I sent a bunch of emails out to friends, small companies and huge corporate types. Over the years I’ve built up a network of contacts all over the world who were happy to help me out directly, or put me in touch with people in their organisation that could. I’ve already sent out thank you emails, but I’d just like to take the opportunity to say a big thank you once again to everyone that helped me out!

As the session started, people introduced themselves and it became apparent that everyone in the room (except me) was in some way linked to student employment and career development. Needless to say, I suddenly felt completely out of my depth, incredibly nervous and needed a change of underwear! :) I introduced myself and made it very clear I was definitely not an expert in this subject, then proceeded to present the information I had gathered. It was meant to be about 60 minutes, but there was a lot of audience participation, so it ended up being more like 90 minutes. Despite my initial nerves, it went really well and was really good fun.

After the session I chatted with Professor Nick Morton, the Associate Dean (Student Experience) at BCU, and he was keen to get me involved in some of the other stuff they are doing, which also sounds like fun. After that I spent quite a long time chatting with Stuart. I will of course keep doing the technical stuff with his students.

I guess some of you may be wondering about my motivation for doing this stuff, especially the non-technical presentations. This isn’t a career move. I’m not being paid to do this. It’s good to try something different and stretch yourself. I’m not suggesting that technical presentations are easy, because they are not, but doing things like this take you out of your comfort zone and teach you a lot about the craft of presenting. I definitely feel this is making me a better presenter, which is a great confidence builder.



The Oracle ACE Program : My 9 Year Anniversary



It was 9 years ago today I became an Oracle ACE. Yes, it was April 1st. :)

A couple of years ago I wrote an anniversary post called Should you aim to become an Oracle ACE? I think that post still reflects my feelings about the program. :)

So that’s 9 years done and I’m starting my 10th year. It’s crazy how quick times flies!



PS. After 9 years, I still can’t fill in an expense claim properly…