BGOUG Spring 2014 : Summary

 

I know I keep calling it the “spring” conference, but in my mind the two BGOUG conferences are always spring and autumn. This year the “spring” conference was a little late, hence my apparently strange blog titles. :)

I was initially planning to get a taxi from Sandanski to Sofia airport. Fortunately Sve and Mimi were driving back at the same time, so I got a lift with them, which was much better company.

The flight from Sofia to Munich went as planned. After a 110 minute layover in Munich, it was time for the last leg of the journey to Birmingham. Once again, so drama there.

So now I’m home and my 5th BGOUG conference is over. Once again, Melina and the BGOUG team did a great job. No offence to any other user group, but BGOUG is still my favourite conference of the year!

Thanks to everyone at BGOUG for making this run so smoothly. Thanks to the Oracle ACE Program for letting me “fly the flag” for the program. Your support is much appreciated! Thanks to all the other speakers. Your advice and support is always welcome. Of course, thanks to all the attendees who came to my sessions and made me feel so welcome. I look forward to seeing you all again next year.

I’ve shared a few photos on Google+.

Cheers

Tim…

 

 

BGOUG Spring 2014 – Day 2

 

The Day 1 evening festivities consisted of lots of food, followed by a group doing a display of traditional dances. Once they had finished it was up to me to teach the Bulgarians how their local dances should really be done. Needless to say I smashed it! :)

Day 2 started with a swim and breakfast. When I say swim, I really mean gentle floating, wishing I was still in bed.

The first session I went to was Joel Goodman‘s session on “RAC Global Resource Management”. Lot’s of good stuff! Joel is like a walking Oracle encyclopedia.

Next up was “Oracle 12c Automatic Data Optimization” by Joel Goodman. Nice feature. Once again, another thing added to my to-do list. I think the developers have done a really bad job of naming the views and some of the procedures for this feature. I would have abbreviated words and added underscores to stay under the object name size limit. The naming feels like “Peter and Jayne do programming”. Ugly, ugly, ugly! In terms of the feature itself, the main issue here is ILM doesn’t work with the multitenant option. I’m sure this will be fixed in future, but for now it is a big flaw. Even so, lots of potential here.

After lunch it was “Utilizing new CBO features after upgrade to 12c – Practical example” by Joze Senegacnik. I have to admit, I turned up late for this one. Very sorry mate! The part of this session I saw focussed on a specific customer upgrade from 11g to 12c.

I ducked out of the last session on the day and headed back to my room. During the day I had been asked a few questions I did not know the answer to, but I know other people who probably do, so I pinged out a few emails.

In the evening we took a quick sightseeing trip to Melnik. We had a walk through the town and did a quick tour of a famous winery.

From there is was back to the hotel to get some food, then bed.

I’ve got an early start this morning to begin my trip home. I’ll write a summary post when I get back.

Cheers

Tim…

BGOUG Spring 2014 – Day 1

 

The morning started out with a family swim with the wife and daughter.

The first session I attended was “Auditing in Oracle Database” 12c by Maja Veselica. I haven’t spent any time looking at 12c auditing yet, so this was a great introduction. I think I’m going to need to spend some time on this stuff. It looks like there are quite a number of changes to auditing in Oracle 12c.

My first session came next. The room was quite full, which was nice. It’s good to see such a good turnout for PL/SQL. Together we are strong! :)

After lunch I went to watch “Understanding Oracle GoldenGate” by Svetoslav Gyurov. I’ve had GoldenGate on my to-do list since it was aquired by Oracle and I’ve still not got round to using it, so it was cool to see an introductory session on it. Sve can reach the top of the screen, even without a ladder. :)

Next up was “Do Oracle Cloud Applications stack up?” by the wife. You’ve gotta show some support or they just go on at you! This focussed on a customer story about how Fusion Apps on the Cloud was the correct choice. Many of the points raised were true of a variety of cloud solutions. Resistance is futile. We will all be water droplets in the cloud soon!

Next up was my introductory WebLogic session. I think it went down quite well. There were some nice messages/retweets on Twitter. :)

The final session of the day was “Real-World DataGuard” by Yavor Ivanov. The introduction part of the talk covered familiar ground for me, but as the session progressed there were a number of thing mentioned that were new for me. I’ve put another note in my to-do list to spend some more time of data guard, especially in 12c.

So I’m back in my room, writing up this blog post before the evening meal and dancing. I don’t have any presentations to give tomorrow, so I can relax and enjoy other people’s sessions.

As always, a great first day at the BGOUG conference!

Cheers

Tim…

BGOUG Spring 2014 – Day -1

 

The flight from Birmingham Airport to Frankfurt went to plan. The landing was quite possibly the smoothest one I had ever experienced. Very impressive. I got off the plane to find my connecting flight had been moved to another terminal. I was pretty worried by this as Frankfurt is a massive airport and I already had a short connection time. Luckily I made it. The flight to Sofia went without a hitch.

On arrival, I met up briefly with some of the other speakers before we were whisked away to Sandanski. It was a 3 hour drive, but I was chatting with the wife all the way, so it went quickly.

Once we got settled, we took a quick tour of the hotel spa. It was then I remembered I had no swimming gear. A quick shopping trip down the road and I had swimming shorts and some goggles. Then it was off to the pool, so I could float around and complain about the possibility of sunburn. :)

In the evening we met up with some of the other speakers and the BGOUG folks for dinner in a restaurant right next to the hotel. After that it was back to the room to get some much needed sleep. What with the 03:30 start, two flights, a 3 hour drive and a quick session in the pool I was completely knackered.

Cheers

Tim…

BGOUG Spring 2014 – The Journey Begins

 

I’m sitting at Birmingham airport, waiting to start my journey to Sandanski. I’ve got a flight to Frankfurt, a sprint to the flight for Sofia, then a 2-3 hour drive to Sandanski. It’s going to be a long day. :)

The airport is really busy. It seems lots of flights leave between 05:00-06:00 on a Thursday. One of the food places is playing plinky-plinky music and I’ve just had to listen to some racist a-holes spreading their uneducated garbage. Very annoying…

Can you tell I am tired and in a bad mood? :)

It’s going to be worth the hassle though. I’m going to be reunited with my wife and daughter. Unfortunately Dad can’t make it to this conference. We will all meet up at OOW this year, where I think we should recreate this family photo.

Cheers

Tim…

BGOUG Spring 2013 : Photos

 

I was a little bit rubbish and forgot to get photos of the recent BGOUG event. Fortunately, the conference photos have arrived. You can check them out here.

There are a number of photos of an old fat guy that looks a little like me. I don’t remember meeting him though. Weird… I think he needs the toilet in this shot.

By the way, don’t say stuff like, “Bind variables are a waste of time!”, when you are near to Tom Kyte. He will slap you quicker than Debra Lilley after a negative comment about Fusion Apps. :)

Cheers

Tim…

BGOUG Spring 2013 : Day 2…

 

How do you want to start the day? I’m guessing it’s not to be called out to the front of the room by a speaker and used as a guinea pig, while they ask you trick questions to make you look stupid. Tom Kyte, you will pay. Oh yes! You will pay!!!

The sessions I attended on day 2 were:

  • Tom Kyte : What’s new in Oracle database application development
  • Tim Hall (me) : A cure for Virtual Insanity : A vendor-neutral introduction to virtualization without the hype
  • Georgi Kodinov : Quick Dive into MySQL
  • Tim Hall (me) : From Zero to Hero : Using an assortment of caching techniques to improve performance of SQL containing PL/SQL calls
  • Husnu Sensoy : ZFS Storage can backup your Exadata
  • Tom Kyte : 5 SQL and PL/SQL things in the Latest Generation of Database Technology

Another very useful day indeed. I had some good feedback and interesting questions about my talks. This sort of feedback is really important when you are presenting regularly as it allows you to continuously refine your material and presenting skills. It can sometimes give you a fresh perspective on a subject, that inspires you to alter the focus of your presentations entirely. I’m very grateful to anyone who takes the time to provide this sort of feedback. Big thanks to Tom Kyte, who has given me some very useful advice over the last couple of days, but then he owes me for making me look stupid in his first session of the day! :)

In the evening we went out for dinner at a restaurant just down the road from the hotel. I ate plenty of cheese, so I was in heaven. Not surprisingly, much of the talk ended up being about Oracle. It may seem a little sad to some people, but when I’m surrounded by people with brains the size of a planet, I can’t help myself quizzing them about this stuff. I love it! :)

Great big thanks go out to Milena and her gang for organizing this event and inviting me. Thanks also to Stoyan for being my driver again. No offence to other user groups, but BGOUG conferences are my favorite events of the year. I will keep coming back as long as you will have me! Also, a big thank you to the Oracle ACE program for making this possible.

Cheers

Tim…

BGOUG Spring 2013 : Day 1 (part 2)…

 

So Day 1 (part 2) didn’t go to plan because I forgot to take my camera or my phone to the party. :)

Suffice to say, lots of food, lots of drink (for those that do) and most importantly lots of dancing. Yes, I once again murdered the traditional dances of Bulgaria, but it’s the takling part that counts right? :)

I had good intentions of leaving early, but I ended up chatting about Oracle until about 02:00. Day 2 is going to be tough… :)

Cheers

Tim…

BGOUG Spring 2013 : Day 1 (part 1)…

 

Last night we all got together to eat some food and chat. Julian Dontcheff is practically a savant where Bulgarian Poetry, World Cup match results and random Oracle facts are concerned. Although Christian Antognini was pretty impressive on the random Oracle facts too. :)

I didn’t have any presentations today, so I got to sit and watch. :) I’ve done loads of typing, mostly of syntax for 12c features, but it’s not really stuff that is worth posting, because I have no way to validate it out, so I’m just going to keep it as a reminder for when I get hold of 12c and can try it out.

The sessions I went to included:

  • Joze Senegacnik : Is my SQL Statement Using Exadata Features
  • Christian Antognini : SQL New Features in the latest generation of Oracle Database
  • Julian Dontcheff : Upgrading to the latest generation of database technology
  • Christian Antognini : How the Query Optimizer Learns from its Mistakes
  • Clive King : Solaris 11u1 performance and stability : features and frameworks
  • Tom Kyte : Tom’s Top 12 Things about the Latest Generation of Database Technology

There was a lot of material I had seen at OOW2012 and UKOUG2012, but also a lot I had not, so I’m glad I went to them. The smaller setting also made it easier to ask questions, which can be quite daunting at the big events. :)

Tom gave me a couple of tips that have gone straight into one of my talks for tomorrow. I’m gonna have to name check him for it, or I’ll feel like I’m passing it off as my own. :)

I said this after OOW2013 and I’m sure I will say it again, but the number of changes in 12c is pretty daunting. I guess the fact it’s been about a 3 year wait, rather than the normal 18 months adds to that. In many cases (but not all) it’s not the scope of the individual changes that are the issue, but the sheer volume of them. I think people are going to be blogging for a long time before they’ve got through them. It will be interesting to see what gets selected for inclusion in the OCP DBA upgrade exam. :)

I’m off to dinner now. I will try to get some photos and post them in “Day 1 (part 2)@ tomorrow. :)

Cheers

Tim…

BGOUG Spring 2013 : Day -1

 

It’s stupid o’clock in the morning and I’m waiting for my taxi to arrive. Considering how close Bulgaria is, it takes me a very long time to get there.

I am a mix of excited and nervous. This is my first conference this year, so all the usual insecurities are in full effect, from fear of flying to the constant nagging thoughts that perhaps I don’t know anything about Oracle and maybe I shouldn’t be on stage acting like I do. :)

I’m sure it will go OK and it will be nice to meet up with the gang again.

Cheers

Tim…