Oracle Code : India – Bengaluru to Birmingham

Following my normal pattern, sleep was a little fitful the night before a flight. I got up early and walked over to meet Sebastian at his hotel. We were on the same first flight, so we shared a taxi to the airport.

We purposely started early to avoid the traffic, making it a really easy journey in to the airport. We got through check-in and security really quickly, which left us with about three hours before the flight. Neither of us had the correct status for this flight, so we paid to get into the lounge and chill for a few hours. Happy days…

As we were boarding my boarding pass dinged on the machine and I had a free upgrade to business, which was nice. The flight to Dubai took about 3.5 hours and I was able to work for the whole of it, which was great. I answered a few emails and did an upgrade of one of our Dev systems. Travelling would be so much easier if it was always like this… 🙂

After a 2 hour connection I was on a 7.5 hour flight to Birmingham. Unfortunately there was no free upgrade for this flight, so it was back to cattle class… The flight itself was fine, bit I was getting a bit desperate to land by the end of it.

Once I landed in Birmingham it was a quick taxi ride home and Oracle Code : India was done. 🙂

These are the posts I wrote during this trip.

Thanks to all the Oracle Code crew for inviting me and sorting everything out. Thanks to the Oracle ACE Program and Oracle Developer Champions Program for letting me continue to fly the flag. Thanks to all the attendees that help make these events really successful, especially all the folks that came to my sessions and spoke to me after the sessions.

I spoke to Sai about coming back to Bengaluru in December for the Sangam 2018 event. Let’s see if that works out… 🙂

I’m not looking forward to working out how much of my own money I spent on this trip… 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle Code : Bengaluru – 2018

Today was Oracle Code : Bengaluru.

I spent the last few days working from my hotel room so I was feeling a little stir crazy and was ready to get out and meet people. Then I destroyed my demo… 🙁 After spending some time putting it back together again I headed off to the conference venue, which was across the road from my hotel, so that involved waiting for a gap in the traffic for 10 minutes. 🙂

The event was really busy. I had a slot before lunch and once everyone filed in it was standing room only for my Make the RDBMS Relevant Again with RESTful Web Services and JSON session.

After the session I spent hours chatting to people and posing for photos. I had a lot of questions about ORDS, so I opened my laptop on a counter surface and talked some more, answering questions by working through articles I had written. It was really good fun. I had a short break, to record a video for the event, then it was back to chatting to folks. As a result, I didn’t get to see anyone else’s presentations, but these events are all about getting us together and enthusing about the technology, so it didn’t matter. Before I knew it the event was over.

I hope everyone had a great day. I know I did. 🙂 Thanks everyone for coming along, being so enthusiastic and coming to speak to me. 🙂 Thanks to the Oracle Code crew for putting on a great event and inviting me to it. Thanks to the Oracle ACE Program and the Oracle Developer Champions program for letting me be involved in these events.

After the event I went over to meet with the Oracle Code crew and Developer Champions to get some food. After eating far too much and saying my goodbyes it was back to the hotel to get some sleep before the flight home tomorrow!

Thanks you all and see you all soon!

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle Code : India – Hyderabad to Bengaluru

I mentioned in the previous post I ducked out of the evening dinner as I needed to get some sleep. I had very little up to this point, and having to get up at 03:00 to get a flight suddenly seemed like a very bad idea. 🙂

I got some really nice food from the hotel and went to bed. In typical Tim style I was so nervous about not waking up in time for the plane I didn’t sleep. When 03:00 rolled up I felt quite bad. I went down to the desk to check out and meet Lori and Sebastian, who were on the same flight as me. At that point my stomach started grinding, I started to get the sweats and shiver. I won’t go into the details, but I started to wonder if I would make it to Bengaluru with any dignity intact…

In the taxi I felt quite bad, until I noticed the driver falling asleep and then the adrenalin made me feel super focused. I had a flashback to my taxi ride from hell between Jalandhar and Noida. We made it to the airport in one piece. Once the adrenalin subsided I felt terrible again.

The flight was really short and easy, but I started to feel like I was going to puke once we had landed. I was stopping in a different hotel to the others, but I piggy-backed on their ride, which was a big car with great aircon, which made me feel much better.

By the time we got to their hotel I was feeling quite good. I walked down the road to my hotel and went to bed at 08:30. Once I had some sleep I was feeling good, so I logged in to work to for the afternoon shift (UK time).

I think all this drama was caused by a lack of sleep. Debra can tell you some stories about what happens when I don’t sleep properly (hospital in Jalandhar and Machu Picchu). I’m such a delicate petal. 🙂

I have to “work from home (from India)” for a few days before the Oracle Code : Bengaluru event. See you there!

Cheers

Tim…

PS. On a strange note, my room number in the new hotel is the same as in the previous hotel. Freaky!

Oracle Code : Hyderabad – 2018

Today was Oracle Code : Hyderabad.

I woke up in a bit of a daze, so rather than jumping straight into the fray I worked through my demos again just to settle my nerves. 🙂

I headed down for my session to find there was no lectern and they wanted to run my presentation from the audio desk. I said that wasn’t going to work as I had live demos, so they guys went off to find one. The keynote had overrun, so people were late coming into the session, which bought me some time. 🙂

The presentation was a little tricky. The sound on the wireless head mic kept dropping out or getting feedback, so I switched to a hand mic part way through, which made typing difficult. There was a large back-lit screen, which looked great, but didn’t work with a laser pointer, so that made life harder. Despite the issues, I think the talk went OK. It was a little choppy, but I think I got the message across. The main thing was I got through it without my laptop giving up. 🙂

After my session I spent a lot of time chatting to people and continuing the discussion of Oracle Databases on Docker, which filtered into lunch.

After lunch I did a periscope live stream with Connor McDonald chatting about a variety of things including my website, presenting and Oracle databases on Docker.

After that I went to watch Connor do a session on SQL. You know you are doing something right when they have to add a few extra rows of seats to the room and you still have people standing. 🙂

From there is was back to the developer lounge to look at the demos. One of the guys doing the IoT demos was a machine. He was so enthusiastic and went all day.

The developer lounge is also a good way to connect with more people. Some people are quite intimidated about asking a question in the session, but they will happily come up to you in private and ask. I always like this bit of the conference.

And before I knew it the day was over. Some of the folks went out to eat together, but I ducked out because I had been so short on sleep already. I decided to go back to my room and crash, but more on that in the next post… 🙂

Overall I think the event went really well. The turnout was great and people were really enthusiastic and open. Thanks everyone, especially those folks that came to speak to me during the day. It makes the events even more fun for me.

So tomorrow I travel to Bengaluru, where I will be “working from home (from India)” for a few days before the next event. I’ve got to save my holidays for events later in the year. 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle Code : India – The Journey Begins

If you’ve been following my tweets recently you will know I’ve had a bit of a nightmare lead up to these events. Problems with my laptop and problems with my seat on one of the planes.

About 15 minutes before the taxi was due to pick me up I finally got most of the laptop things sorted. It was a bad morning…

I got to the airport in plenty of time and went to the check-in desk to try and get an aisle seat. The lady there said she could lock an aisle seat for me, but couldn’t give me a boarding pass for it as I had ordered veggie food, and moving me to a different to a different floor in the plane was a problem. When I got on the plane there was a bit of confusion, but eventually they told me to sit in the new seat location and see if anyone else turned up to claim it. They didn’t so I got the aisle seat, which was a big relief.

The flight went well, and the guy sitting next to me was cool so I spent a lot of time chatting. Unfortunately I didn’t get any food, but faced with the choice between a window seat with food or an aisle seat with no food, the aisle seat wins every time. I also watched Star Wars : The Last Jedi, which I enjoyed.

I got to Dubai on time and about 14 hours after waking up I finally got to eat something. A Starbucks muffin. 🙂

The flight from Dubai to Hyderabad was only about 3 hours, but by the time it was over I had been awake for about 20 hours and was feeling it. I got to watch Get Out, which was very cool.

I got a Taxi from Hyderabad Airport to the hotel, which was interesting… The driver wasn’t too interested in reading the hotel name or address, which I had written down. He eventually dropped me off at the wrong hotel and they had to explain to him it wasn’t the correct place. He then managed to reverse out of the hotel carpark into oncoming traffic and hit someone. The bumper of our taxi was then pushed back into place before we drove off and finally got to the correct hotel. 🙂

I was about 3 hours early for check-in, but they had a room for me, so it was time for a shower and bed. Sleep was a bit fitful, but at least I got some.

In the evening I met up with some of the other speakers and folks from the Dev Champion Program to get some food, then it was back to bed.

So I made it to Hyderabad. The Oracle Code : Hyderabad event starts tomorrow.

Cheers

Tim…

Twelve Years an ACE

This year’s anniversary is a little odd because from a career perspective I have now been an Oracle ACE for longer than I’ve not been one. On 1st April 2006 I got an email telling me I was in the program. This year’s anniversaries will look like this.

  • 23 years working with Oracle technology in August. (August 1995)
  • 18 years doing my website in July. (Original name: 03 July 2000 or Current name: 31 August 2001)
  • 13 years blogging in June. (15 June 2005)
  • 12 years on the Oracle ACE Program. (01 April 2006)
  • 1 year as an Oracle Developer Champion. (21 June 2017)

The Developer Champion is a little different as it’s a one year thing, so there probably won’t be a two year anniversary.

This last year has been a tough one. Let’s see if I can make it to the next anniversary.

Cheers

Tim…

Birmingham City University (BCU) Talk #6

On Monday I did my 6th talk at Birmingham City University (BCU).

During this session I spoke to second year computer science students about graduate employment with a sprinkling of community involvement thrown in. This was a modified version of a session I gave about 2 years ago, which inspired a series of blog posts called What Employers Want.

I always find these sessions fun, as they are not normal tech presentations. I’ve mentioned this before, but these type of session require different skills compared to straight tech presentations, because you can’t hide behind the tech. 🙂

If you are a tech speaker, reach out to your local universities and colleges to see if they need some guest speakers. You will both benefit from this!

Thanks to Jagdev Bhogal and BCU for inviting me again. See you again soon.

Cheers

Tim…

UKOUG Tech17 : I’m Speaking

Just a quick note to let you know what I’m doing at UKOUG Tech17 during the 4th-6th December.

I’ve got a couple of normal presentations.

Multitenant : What’s New in Oracle Database 12c Release 2 (12.2)
Stream: Database 1
Length of slot: 50 minutes
Day: Monday 4th December – 14:25-15:15

Using PL/SQL & ORDS to Develop RESTful Web Services for APEX? Why?
Stream: APEX
Length of slot: 50 minutes
Day: Tuesday 5th December – 15:40 – 16:30

I’m also doing a 25 minute session on Wednesday for students, which isn’t currently listed on the Agenda. It’s part of a UKOUG and Oracle Academy collaboration.

At some point in the week I’ll be picking up the “Best UK Speaker Award” for a session I did at Tech16. It’s funny because I wasn’t originally presenting at that event, but I was asked to fill a gap in the schedule when someone dropped out. Happy accident. 🙂

Similar to previous years I will be in and out a lot. I have to give priority to colleagues who don’t get to come to as many conferences as me. It’s only fair…

See you there.

Tim…

ODC Appreciation Day : Silent Installation and Configuration (Automation) : #ThanksODC

Here is my entry for the Oracle Developer Community ODC Appreciation Day (#ThanksODC).

I’ve been mentioning automation a lot recently, both in relation to the cloud and on-prem. The OpenWorld announcements about the Autonomous Database service are not the first thing Oracle has done to ease automation of repetitive tasks. In fact, Oracle has quite a long history of making automation of installation and configuration easy.

I’m not sure what version introduced silent installations of the database, but I first wrote about them when using Oracle 9i (here), with the article changing a lot over the years. In addition to making installations faster, more repeatable and less error prone, they are also important these days if you are using a cloud provider for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), since using X emulation to perform tasks can be super-slow. Over the years I’ve also written about silent installations of WebLogic, Oracle Forms, ODI and OBIEE to name but a few.

In addition to installations, Oracle has made silent configuration possible too. Running the Database Configuration Assistant (DBCA) in silent mode is pretty simple (here). WebLogic Scripting Tool (WLST) is a not always easy, but it is a really powerful way to script build processes for WebLogic servers (here). If you are using Enterprise Manager Cloud Control, you will find an API for pretty much everything, allowing you to script using EMCLI (here).

You can find a number of articles I’ve written related to silent installation and configuration using the links above, or grouped under this section of my website.

A good knowledge of this subject is important if you want to start checking out Docker, because you will be doing silent builds and configuration for everything.

When you are learning something new it is nice to use GUI screens, as they often feel a little simpler at first and sometimes give you a little more context about what you are doing. Once you’ve covered the basics you should really switch to scripting, as it will make you more efficient. When I first started to manage WebLogic servers I resisted the switch to using WLST for quite some time. It seemed a little complicated and I was in denial until Lonneke Dikmans persuaded me to try it. Once I got into it I never looked back! 🙂

To summarise the advantages of scripting your installations and configuration, they are:

  • Faster.
  • More reliable.
  • More repeatable.
  • Work fine on the cloud and in Docker.
  • Easily maintainable and can be version controlled.

If you’re not using this stuff already, do yourself a favour and give it a go. You will thank yourself!

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle OpenWorld 2017 : It’s a Wrap

Time for a final post to summarize the craziness that was OpenWorld 2017. 🙂

For me the story of this year’s OpenWorld was the emphasis on humans doing stuff where humans add value, rather than doing boring crap that can be automated.

The obvious thing people will jump on is the Autonomous Database announcement, which I’ve written about already, but the story follows through many aspects of the conference.

The interest in chatbots is quite high at the moment. From a work perspective, it’s not about replacing every application you have with a voice or messenger interaction. It’s about finding use-cases where they work well. Having a chatbot that deals with trivial interactions frees up humans to deal with more important stuff. Over the last few years products using natural language processing for text and voice interaction have come a long way. Many people have devices in their pocket that do this pretty well (Siri on Apple and “OK Google” on Android). Products like Amazon Echo and Google Home have made voice interaction seem normal. As they become more normal, people will expect these services from you.

In the apps world there is an emphasis on making things simpler by making the apps more intelligent. Rather than expecting the user to fill in every bit of information, you default the most likely responses based on the information you have about that user. This could be a simple as pre-filling an address, or as complicated as using machine learning to make educated guesses at what they want. It’s all about making basic interactions as efficient as possible so user time can be spent more productively.

Cloud providers are a great example of software defined data centers. If you choose to move to the cloud, the cloud provider has done the heavy lifting for you. If you want to continue to work on-prem, you need to learn the lessons of the cloud providers and remove humans as much as possible from the process of deploying and managing virtual machines, containers, databases, app servers, networking, load balancers and firewalls etc. Those people can then focus on more architectural, development and performance-related issues.

We speak about the benefits of agile and DevOps all the time, but many people get caught up in the tooling and automation associated with this. Cloud providers take a lot of that burden off us, and tools like Oracle Developer Cloud Service, available for free if you have some other Oracle cloud services, save you from having to worry about some of that development tooling. Other cloud providers offer similar services.

The list goes on…

None of these messages are new, but it has taken me some time to adjust to some of them. Sometimes you have to have a personal use-case to really appreciate things. My experience of cloud services, voice devices, Docker and seeing data center automation using VMware Software Development Data Center have made me more responsive than I think I was before.

People often have a fear of change, and speaking about automation makes people think job cuts, but as I mentioned before this is about stopping people worrying about boring stuff and getting them to focus on where they add value. I don’t see this reducing the head-count in our IT department. I see it reducing the grunt work and directing resource at more important stuff. We are so preoccupied with the crap, we never get to stretch our wings…

Thanks to the Oracle ACE Program and the Oracle Developer Champions Program for making this all possible for me!

So that’s another visit to San Francisco done. Due to funding changes I don’t know if I will visit again. Time will tell.

Here are the 14 posts that relate to this trip.

Cheers

Tim…