UKOUG Tech18 : Day 3

The first session of the day for me was Alex Nuijten with “and from the chaos comes the perfect APEX application”. This session was focused on the organisation and structure of APEX applications. You could describe it as #SmartDB or #HardShell I guess. The emphasis was on a functional API layer, with APEX used as a skin over that API layer. I share this opinion, but Alex takes it further than me, and in a more structured manner. He was having some problems with the screen blinking, but he’s a pro and took it in his stride. 🙂

Next up was Amy Simpson-Grange with “Robotic Process Automation”. This was Amy’s first technical presentation, but you would never know it. There were some problems with the screen at the start of the session, and I’m sure she was freaking out inside, but she shrugged it off and did a great job switching between laptops. I’ve not really been involved in this type of automation before, so it was a learning experience for me, with a few light-bulb moments along the way. The content was great and the delivery was so relaxed and natural. I really hope she keeps on doing tech conferences in future!

After that I followed some of the analytic folks into a session by Abi Giles-Haigh called, “Open Source & Oracle Complementing not Competing”, which was focused on the AI, Machine Learning and Deep Learning space. I freely admit to being clueless about this area, and Brendan seemed surprised to see me there. 🙂 I was kind-of expecting to be totally lost, but Abi did a good job of making it noob-friendly for me, as well as giving the pros something to bicker over. 🙂

Continuing the theme of watching stuff I knew nothing about, I went to Lonneke Dikmans presenting an “Introduction to Blockchain for Developers”. Over the years I’ve gained my first insights into the worlds of SOA, microservices and then serverless from Lonneke, and here I am learning about blockchain at one of her sessions. I wonder what next year will bring. 🙂

Next up in the same room was Roel Hartman with “Docker for Database Developers”. I’ve seen a number of Docker presentations for DBAs and developers, including my own, and they all bring something different to the table that make you think. I guess so much depends on your area of interest and the use cases you have in mind, as that will direct your attention. A hardcore DBA will see things differently to a developer, and a generalist like me will probably sit somewhere between the two. 🙂 It’s good to see things from a few angles, as it gives you a more rounded perspective.

From there I tagged along with Dawn and met up with a few folks at a local hotel bar for a quick drink before heading off to get the train home. I got a table on the train, but disappointingly there was no wifi, so I had to write this blog post in a text editor, to post later. 🙂

Me looking pretty in Machu Picchu, Peru, wearing a Chile hat. Photo taken by Debra Lilley a few minutes before I was hospitalised. 🙂

So that’s the last conference of the year for me! Thanks to everyone at UKOUG for making the event happen and inviting me to speak. Thanks to the attendees and speakers who came along and made the event what it is. Thanks also to all last year’s attendees who filled in the speaker evaluations, that resulted in me getting the “Prettiest Speaker Ever” award this year! To this year’s attendees, please fill out the evaluations. It gives UKOUG feedback that helps with speaker selection in future, and it’s a nice pat on the back for the speakers if they get a prize. Finally, thanks to the Oracle ACE Program and the Oracle Groundbreaker Ambassadors for letting me continue to fly the flag.

Cheers

Tim…

PS. Previous posts in this series.

UKOUG Tech18 : Day 2

Day 2 started at 07:00. I hadn’t slept that great, so when the alarm went off I was thinking it would have been nice to stay in bed a little longer…

I got to the conference venue at about 08:00 and went straight to the “Women in IT – What has Changed?” session. Debra Lilley introduced the session and the speakers, then it was on to Daya Haines Haddock and Amy Simpson-Grange telling their stories and speaking about their experiences and inspiration. Both were super-positive people and really inspirational. It was great to hear Amy is involved at the grass roots level at schools and colleges, spreading positive messages, letting people know they can be themselves and still succeed. The overriding message of the session was “Be brave. Be yourself. Take on challenges!” A good lesson for everyone.

I kind-of got lost for a while, chatting and catching up on the blog.

The next session I went to see was “Identifying Performance Problems in a Multitenant Environment” by Christian Antognini. It’s good to hear his thoughts on his approach and he pointed out a couple of things I had missed in the docs, so I’ve got them on my list to check out. 🙂

Pretty soon it was time for my session called DBA Does Docker. It’s a real struggle to get this done in 45 minutes and I failed again. 🙂 Nobody was following on from me, so I didn’t ruin the next speakers life. I hope people found it useful.

I spent some time chatting to Pete Finnigan about life, the universe and everything. That was followed by his session called “User Rights & Least Privilege”. I would like to say my systems don’t suffer from loads of the stuff he mentioned, but… It’s always good to go to Pete’s sessions and remind myself I need to try harder…

After that it was Jeff Smith with “Oracle SQL Developer – Everything you Need to know About Tuning”. Not surprisingly, this was a tour of the features available in SQL Developer that relate to performance tuning. There’s a lot in there these days! 🙂

After Jeff’s session I bumped into Amy Simpson-Grange and had a total fanboy moment over her talk in the morning.

I went to my hotel to drop off my bag, then went back to the venue for the social event. Carbs! I chatted to a bunch of people, who kind-of provided counselling for me. Thanks folks! Then it was back to the hotel to crash.

Cheers

Tim…

UKOUG Tech18 : Day 1

Day 1 started at 05:00. Normally I start trips with a 30 minute taxi ride to the airport, leaving about 2.5 hours before the flight. Today I left the house 30 minutes before my train was due to depart. Not needing that 2 hour buffer makes a big difference.

I had upgraded to first class, a whopping £10 extra, to get a set with a table and wifi. The wifi was a little slow and it restricted a whole bunch of sites, but I was still able to do some stuff. I got an Uber from the station to the venue. The driver was playing The Prodigy and Nirvana. Awesome.

On exiting the taxi I tweaked my back. I tried to put my coat into my case and noticed it was locked, and I couldn’t remember the combination. What a surprise. I’m at a conference and things are going wrong… 🙂

The first session of the day for me was “Using Vagrant to Build, Test & Debug Ansible Scripts Easily” by Martin Bach. Followers of the blog know I’m a meddler with Vagrant and I’m an Ansible wannabe.  Martin was extolling the virtues of reliable and repeatable builds, which I’m all for. 🙂

Next up was the keynote, which started with Martin Widlake doing the introduction to the event, and announcing the speaker awards based on last years evaluations.

Big shout out to all the winners in all the categories.

This year I picked up my third UKOUG speaker award, which means you are given the “Lifetime Achievement Award” and you are not included in “the race” in future years. I join an illustrious list of people who’ve been told to “get out and don’t come back!” 🙂

Later on I had to pick up my award and get a photo opportunity. Thanks to everyone who filled in the speaker evaluations last year. It always surprises me when this type of thing happens, especially when I think how far I’ve come over the last 10 years of presenting. I still consider myself a “nervous speaker” and I watch other people present and think I’ve still got a lot to learn about presenting.

Next up was the “Exadata – Roundtable Discussion with Development” hosted by Gurmeet Goindi. I don’t work on Exadata, but I like to keep my ear to the ground, and get invited to a meetup later of course. 🙂

After that I got lost in a whole bunch of conversations with a variety of people. I could lose a day doing this.

The next session I went to was “How Autonomous is the Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse?” by Christian Antognini and Dani Schnider. I have to admit I was a little distracted during this talk because I was logged into work looking at some stuff. I spoke to Christian later to fill in the gaps a little.

From there I went to a panel session about the ACE program. Unfortunately it had been put in the wrong track, in a room the other side of the building, and up against a load of really good speakers who were going to soak up the audience (Maria). The audience was compact and bijou. 🙂

From there I went back to the hotel to drop off my stuff, then it was off for a brief visit to the Exadata meetup, followed by the ACE dinner.

Looking back it was a really random day, but I got to speak to a lot of people, which is the best thing about conferences for me. 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

UKOUG Tech18 : See you there!

Next week is UKOUG Tech 18. It’s going to be an unusual event for me for a couple of reasons.

First up, I’m going to be in Liverpool from Mon-Wed. I can’t go on Sunday as it’s nephew #1’s birthday, but this is the first time I will be at the event for this long. Depending on who else from the company goes, I might have to work (from the hotel) on one of the days, but…

Next, it’s a pretty quiet conference for me, as I only submitted one presentation, but I’ve just been invited to a panel, so I can pretend I’ve got two sessions. 🙂

Title : Understanding the ACE Program & it’s Value
Time & Place : Room 20-21, Monday 3rd December 5:10 PM – 5:55 PM
Abstract :
Have you ever wondered what the ACE Program is about? What does it mean to those who are part of it and what is it’s value to Oracle? Have you wondered about being part of it? Come along to this session and we will answer your questions.

Title : DBA Does Docker
Time & Place : Database 2 – 1C, Tuesday 4th December 2:25 PM – 3:10 PM
Abstract : here

This will be my last event for the year, so I’m hoping it goes OK. 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

Bulgarian Oracle User Group (BGOUG) 2018 : The Journey Home

It was a 03:00 start, which is never a good thing. I got down to reception to meet my fellow travellers and we started on our trip to the airport. As we walked out of the hotel we were greeted by a lite scattering of snow. It was clearly visible on some of the mountains the day before, but it was quite a surprise to see it here, especially as I left my balcony door open for the whole of my stay…

The drive to the airport was quick, as there was very little traffic. The baggage drop and check-in queue for Lufthansa was pretty large, but fortunately I had checked in online and I was hang-luggage only, so I walked straight to, and through, security. That left me with over an hour before the flight.

The flight from Sofia to Frankfurt was pretty easy. I had an empty seat next to me, so I got the laptop out and started to write two presentations I’ve got to give at work.

I was expecting the layover in Frankfurt to be about 70 minutes, but it turned out is was nearly 5 hours, because I didn’t read the itinerary properly, so I logged into work and cleared down all the crap that collected during the two days I was away.

The flight from Frankfurt to Birmingham was about and hour and went pretty smoothly. Once again I had an empty seat next to me, so happy days!

Getting through security was pretty quick, then I was in the bounciest taxi ride ever to get home, and that is was my last international conference of the year complete.

As followers of the blog will know, this year has been problematic for me from a conference perspective. It’s especially disappointing when my travelling curse hits my favourite conference of the year.

Thanks to everyone from BGOUG for letting me come for the 8th time. Thanks to the people who came to my sessions. The turnout was great, and it certainly lifted my spirits! Sorry I wasn’t able to get more involved on the first day, but at least everything went well on the second day. See you again soon!

Cheers

Tim…

PS. Here are the other posts from this trip.

 

Bulgarian Oracle User Group (BGOUG) 2018 : Day 2

I woke up feeling a little dodgy, but much better than the day before. I even got down to breakfast.

The first session of the day for me was “Oracle Database infrastructure as code with Ansible” by Ilmar Kerm. I’m pretty early on in my Ansible journey, so it’s good to see what other people are doing with it. I had a long conversation with Ilmar after the session, and was joined by Oren Nakdimon, which meant we missed the next block of talks.

Next up I went to see “So, my query plan says ‘Table Access Full’ – what happens next?” by Roger Macnicol. There was some stuff I knew, some stuff I’d written about and forgotten, and some stuff I will pretend I always knew, even though secretly I didn’t. 🙂

After lunch I went to see “Upgrade to Oracle Database 18c: Live and Uncensored!” by  Roy Swonger. In addition to speaking about the options to upgrade to 18c, he also covered some 19c stuff, and did a live demo of upgrading from 11.2 to 18.3. Funnily enough, this is exactly what I’ll be doing on Monday for one of my systems. 🙂 I spent the whole of the next block speaking to Roy about a bunch of different things, including upgrades of course. 🙂

From there I went to see “Oracle Exadata – Laying the foundation for Autonomous Database” by Gurmeet Goindi, which was a run through of Exadata and In-Memory features, amongst other things, and how they have been used as a platform for the autonomous database cloud service to be built on.

From there it was on to a panel session where we were discussing our opinions on Autonomous Systems. I think this was a funny session, and I feel like I was doing a sales pitch for autonomous databases at some point. 🙂 I think the word autonomous is a big sticking point in the heads of some of the audience. I don’t really care what it is called. I care more about what it can do.

From there we went to get some food, but I has to duck out quite early because tomorrow is a 03:00 start again for me. Fingers crossed.

Thanks for all the folks at BGOUG for inviting me again. This was my 8th visit to the conference. I wish I hadn’t been unwell at the start, but it was good that I managed to get involved today!

See you all again soon!

Cheers

Tim…

Bulgarian Oracle User Group (BGOUG) 2018 : The Journey Begins

It was a 03:00 start, which is stupid. I vowed never to do this again, but there wasn’t really a sensible alternative.

The taxi ride was fine. I got to the airport in plenty of time and it was pretty empty. I walked straight through security and had 50 minutes to get myself together, which basically meant a coffee and diet coke breakfast.

The flight from Birmingham to Munich was scheduled for 1:45, but I think it took a bit less than that. The plane was pretty empty, so there was room to spread out. I nodded off a few times, which is not that normal for me, but I still felt like I’d been punched in the face when I landed in Munich.

I had about 80 minutes between flights, but I managed to walk the wrong way a couple of times… I met Francesco Tisiot at the boarding gate, and we chatted a bit before it was time to get on the plane.

The flight from Munich to Sofia was scheduled for 1:45 again. I was meant to have an aisle seat, but the plane had an extended business class, so my seat was reassigned at boarding to one further back in the plane, and a middle seat. 🙁 I nodded off a couple of times again, so I survived OK.

BTW: The middle aged guy in front and to the right of me was looking at pictures of semi-naked young women on his phone. When did that become a normal thing to do on public transport?

We arrived at Sofia on time and made our way pretty quickly through security, where we were met by Gianni Ceresa and Christian Berg. Soon after Roger MacNicol turned up and we headed to the minibus, where we found Julian Dontcheff. We then started the drive to Pravets.

Once at the hotel I dumped my stuff, grabbed some food, said hello to some more people who had turned up, then went back to my room to veg out for the afternoon. It would have been nice to do something useful, but I was too tired.

There was a speaker dinner in the evening, but by that time I was feeling pretty dreadful, so I gave it a miss in favour of sleeping more.

Cheers

Tim…