InSync11 – Day 1


Getting to Sydney:

No major drama there. I didn’t sleep much on the plane. A couple of 15 minute stints during the 22 hours on the plane. Slept well on the first night, so day 1 of the conference was relatively jetlag free.

InSync11 Sessions I attended on Day 1 included:

Me: Clonedb: The quick and easy cloning solution you never knew you had.

This was my first presentation at the conference. The majority of the talk went pretty well. The demo didn’t go quite to plan, which was my own fault for making some last minute changes. Even so, the clone worked and if you managed to ignore the bumbling idiot at the front, I think it proved the point. I’m presenting this again in Canberra in a couple of days, so I guess the wrinkles will be ironed out by then. :)

Tom Kyte: Efficient PL/SQL – why and how to use PL/SQL to its greatest effect.

I’ve done similar presentations to this myself, but Tom is a better presenter than me, so it’s cool to see him doing his stuff.

Richard Foote: 10 things you possibly don’t know about indexes.

Richard is fun guy, who doesn’t look at all like David Bowie! :) The presentation mostly focused on refuting many of the myths surrounding indexes, with some really neat examples. It would have been cool if he had been given a double slot for this as it was a struggle to fit it into 45 minutes.

Angus MacDonald: An insight into what is coming next.

Angus works for Oracle, and main focus of this talk was Oracle-Sun related technology, including general hardware, as well as the Sparc and Solaris roadmaps. It was well presented and the subject matter was interesting, but a few comparisons grated on me a little. I felt like some information was a little like, “This is what Solaris on Sparc will be capable of in 2015, and Linux on x86-64 can’t do that now”. OK, but what will Linux on x86-64 be capable of by 2015? I think I was being a little over-sensitive, so perhaps it wasn’t a big deal. :)

Sydney Oracle Meetup:

In the evening a number of us (Connor McDonald, Craig Shallahamer, Chris Muir, Guy Harrison, Marcelle Kratochvil, Tom Kyte, Richard Foote and myself) were invited over to the Sydney Oracle Meetup to sit on a panel session. It was very informal and good fun. Probably the most enjoyable panel session I’ve been too. After the panel we all went out for some food, so the panel session extended into the night a little.  Thanks to the Pythian guys, Noons, Gary Myers and others for sorting this out… :)

I didn’t sleep well last night so Day 2 will be a struggle. I’m presenting in the last slot, so it’s going to be a long day. :)



OpenWorld 2010: ACE Director Meeting – Day 1


Yesterday started by me waking up at silly o’clock. The joys of international travel. At least I can see on twitter that I’m not alone. :)

ACE Director Meeting – Day 1

Since we are not allowed to talk about the content of the meeting, I’m only going to mention the opening talk by Thomas Kurian who gave an overview of the big announcements at OpenWorld this year.

Now you people out there know how cynical I am at times and how underwhelmed I’ve been about some of the previous years big announcements. Well this year I’m blown away. I’m genuinely excited about the events this year. I’ve read some of the press speculation and quite frankly they have all underestimated this years OpenWorld by several orders of magnitude. The press are going to be hit by a barrage of new stuff right across the company. I defy anyone who truly understands enterprise computing to not be impressed by the breadth and scale of the announcements this year.

The thing I liked most about Thomas Kurian’s talk was the passion he delivered it with. I’m not talking about that crazy Ballmer on crack football coach fake crap. I’m talking real passion for the products and the direction of the company.

From my own perspective, I think Oracle taking over Sun was the best thing that could ever have happened to Sun. I know a lot of the Sun fanboys would disagree, but let’s be real. Sun was terminally ill. They had lots of good people, lots of good technology, but were incapable of giving it any direction at all. They were a mess. The only way they were going to survive was by getting some vision. Enter uncle Larry. I must admit to not understanding Oracle’s motives for the Sun deal, but this year it’s all starting to make sense to me. I look forward to seeing the press frenzy.

The evening was quite sedate. Just some food in the bar then bed. I woke up again at silly o’clock this morning. Once again, lots of ACEDs on twitter obviously suffering the same timezone issues. The early rise allowed me to get myself up to date and do some Yoga, which was great after a day of travelling and a day of sitting in meetings.

The downside of doing Yoga in a hotel room is they tend to have a lot of mirrors. In my head I know I look like Brad Pitt in Fight Club, but there was this fat, hairy guy staring back at me in various contorted positions. Quite off putting. :)

Next stop, round 2 of the ACE Directors meeting…



NZOUG 2010 Day 1…


The day started in the normal way. First, an introduction by Francisco, the new president of NZOUG, then some keynotes, then on to the presentations…

One of the difficult things about being a speaker at so many conferences is you often struggle to see something on the agenda you have not already seen several times around the world (nice problem to have). As a result I side-stepped Dan Morgan’s first presentation because I had already seen it (or most of it) at OpenWorld. I’m sure it went down well because Dan is a natural speaker.

My first session of the day was Robert Freeman‘s. A quick romp through the Oracle features that have been around for ages, but you probably don’t know exist. You will struggle to find a nicer guy than Robert, so it’s always good to see him present. I kinda like this sort of presentation because because Oracle has such a lot of functionality, it’s easy to miss things. Robert has turned “to the dark side” and is now an Oracle employee. Come on Oracle. Stop poaching our ACEs. :)

I spent a lot of time during the day chatting to people (there’s a surprise). Plenty of familiar faces along with some new ones.

My session was the last time slot for the day. I’m doing a two-part session on PL/SQL presentation layers. I had a good turnout. It felt like it went well. I guess the real test will be how many people turn up for the second part, although I’ve just noticed I clash with Robert Freeman on my second slot, so when nobody turns up I can massage my ego by telling myself I was amazing, but Robert is famous. :)

In the evening we went over for the social event at the Skyline Skyrides. It was great fun going on the luge again. I learnt two lessons last year.

  1. You have to brake on the corners, or you die.
  2. You don’t enter the “carry a cup of water to the bottom” game unless you want to be ridiculed the whole evening for having a wet ass.

I remained alive and dry, so all was good.

After the luge rides came the dinner. Lots of food, lots of drinking (for those that do), comedian, party games and very little in the way of speeches. I think the NZ sponsors have got it right. Essentially it was, “Thanks for coming. Have a good night. Cheers”. Perfect. :)

This morning I’ve got a “Learn about the Oracle ACE Programme” session, followed by the second part of my PL/SQL presentation layers session. Then later in the afternoon I’ve got a “Meet the Experts” session. I’m interested to see what experts they’ve got for me to meet. :)





Day 1 of the conference went really well. My presentation started a little late, so I missed out a few slides to try and get the timetable back on track. It was a bit unusual using a translation service for the first time. I speak quite fast so I think the translator needed a break once I was done. :)

I was on quite early, so I had the rest of the day to relax, chat to people and watch other presenters, including Dan Morgan, Robert Freeman, Hans Forbrich, Ben Prusinski and Graham Wood. The more I present, the more interesting I find watching other speakers. There are always lessons to learn.

In the evening we went out to dinner and I’m sure you will see a bunch of group photos appearing on people’s blogs over the next few days. :)