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+.
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.
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!
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.
I’m back home from the BGOUG event now, having had a great time in Bulgaria. It was really cool to hook up with everyone again. I’m not great with names, but I usually remember a face and there were lots of familair faces.
Dimitri Gielis and Patrick Wolf did some great presentations on APEX. I didn’t see many others as many of them were in Bulgarian. My presentations were back-to-back on the second day. I was almost expecting the room to be empty because it was the morning after the appreciation party and people did some serious partying. As it was I got a really good turn out and the presentations seemed to go down well. I’ve already had some follow up emails about it, which is nice.
It’s interesting to note that in these times of user groups struggling to get good conference attendance and struggling to get enough sponsorship to run events, the numbers were up at BGOUG this year and the event was done without the usual sponsorship and stands you see at other conferences. In addition to learning something, the social element of the conference is so good I think people would come back even if there were no speakers.
I may be back in Bulgaria later in the year to teach a class for Oracle University. I certainly hope I will be at future BGOUG events.
I’d like to send a big thank you to everyone at the BGOUG event for making me feel so welcome and also to the Oracle ACE program for getting me to Bulgaria. Even a Volcano can’t stop the ACE program.
I made it to Sofia, Bulgaria, without so much as a thin layer of volcanic ash on me.
I got to the airport and my flight was not listed on the departures board, even though it was on the airport and Lufthansa website. I asked at the desk and they said everything was fine. What’s more, all but one of yesterdays flights went out OK too. That seemed a little odd to me since they were all marked as canceled on both websites when I checked.
I really don’t understand what was going on there, but none of it matters now as I’m here. I came with extra clothes in case I’m not allowed to leave of course.
I’m at the airport and checked in, so it all looks good so far for my trip to Bulgaria (BGOUG).
The ladies on the check in desk said that Lufthansa flights were running yesterday, but the website had them marked as canceled, which means all yesterdays fuss was about nothing…
I’m now in the hotel in Sofia, the day before the Bulgarian Oracle User Group (BGOUG) Spring conference.
The flight from Birmingham to Dusseldorf took a little over an hour and ended with the smoothest landing I think I’ve ever experienced. Makes a change from the sort of the landings I’ve experienced recently, most of which felt like marginally controlled crashes.
The flight from Dusseldorf to Sofia was smooth until just before the landing. The plane started to rock just as we were going to touch down and I thought it was going to get messy, but the pilot pulled it out of the bag and it was a pretty good landing again. Two flights in a row with no problems. Looks like the trip home is going to be a nightmare to make up for it.
First impressions of Sofia are very good. The city looks very green from overhead, with lots of trees and parks. There are also some big and interesting looking buildings. I had just under 2 hours to take a look round before I had to get back to the hotel so I did a very quick pass of the city centre. I got some photos which I will post later if they look OK.
The city is swarming with police as there is a big energy summit on at the moment. Makes you feel extremely safe seeing lots of the police around.
I got a numpty tourist injury already. I was walking along looking at some building and didn’t notice the curb. I tripped and twisted my left ankle. Hopefully it amused the locals.
Off out for some food now…