OTN Tour of Latin America 2016 : Panama to Costa Rica

I had a broken nights sleep. My luggage turned up at midnight. At about 03:00 I did a blog post. Then at 05:00 I officially woke up to get ready for the taxi at 06:00. 🙂

There were no dramas at the airport. Debra and I got through bag drop and security with plenty of time, so we got some breakfast and chilled until the flight.

The boarding was a little chaotic, mostly because people heard one piece of hand luggage and one personal item, and understood that to mean four pieces of hand luggage and a donkey. Needless to say, the overhead lockers were short on space. 🙂

It was a 55 minute flight, with a rollercoaster landing. I actually got my luggage back this time as well, which was nice. 🙂 Another quick taxi ride and we were at the hotel.

I did a couple of hours of work, then headed off to the gym, which was great. The hotel gym is a small Golds Gym, so I was able to do proper weights. It was super hot, which made training really hard, but when I finished I did some stretching and it was awesome. I can’t remember the last time I’ve stretched in that temperature. I was super flexible.

I think I’m going to head off to the pool for a bit, then chill for the rest of the day.

The Costa Rica conferences starts tomorrow. See you there!

Cheers

Tim…

OTN Tour of Latin America 2016 : Panama

laotn16Panama and ORAUG PTY was the first leg in the OTN Tour of Latin America 2016 (Northern Leg). The event took place at the Wyndham Panama Allbrook Mall Hotel.

The day started with a general introduction by Edgardo Sanchez Diaz, then an introduction to OTN and the Oracle ACE Program by Pablo Ciccarello.

From there I presented three sessions back-to-back.

  • Improving the Performance of PL/SQL Function Calls from SQL
  • Pluggable Databases – What they will break and why you should use them anyway!
  • It’s raining data! Oracle databases in the cloud.

I think the sessions went well. People were a little shy at the start, but as the sessions progressed people got more confident about asking questions.

After lunch was Kamran Agayev speaking about “Oracle 11g Clusterware failure scenarios with practical demonstrations”. Kamran discussed lots of failure situations with video demos of them, which were pretty neat. He also discussed numerous test scenarios people should work through before they go live with a RAC system.

Next up was Debra Lilley presenting on “Pass4SaaS”. I’ve seen this presentation many times over the last couple of years, but it has evolved somewhat. This one had a live demonstration of Debra using the Application Builder Cloud Service, almost like she’s a developer! 🙂

Next up was Kamran again with “Oracle 12c ASM new features with practical demonstrations”. This was a quick run through the ASM new features, including a video demo of Flex ASM and ASM Disk Scrubbing.

That was the day done for me. There were other presenters speaking in Spanish, but after my three sessions and three others I was done for. 🙂

I was presenting for half of the day, so I didn’t get much time to film, which is why this video was so short.

Thanks to Edgardo and ORAUG PTY for inviting me to the event. I had a really good time and it cheered me up a lot after yesterday’s travel disaster. It reminded me why the travelling is worthwhile. 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

PS. All through the day I kept getting the hotel reception to ring the two numbers I was given for the KLM missing luggage service, but never got an answer. The online bag tracker they provide was useless. It just acknowledged your bag was marked as missing, with no idea of the location or ETA. Since I was planning to leave early the next day I was worried my luggage would arrive after I left, but had nobody to speak to about this. At about midnight there was a knock at my door and my luggage had arrived. Obviously I’m very happy about that, but the lack of communication was a nightmare! Judging by the tweets to KLM, I got lucky!

OTN Tour of Latin America 2016 : Birmingham to Panama

Where do I start with this day?

I arrived at Birmingham Airport about 2 hours and 20 minutes early. I was then presented with a huge queue to get to the queue for the bag drop. To be fair to the people at the desk, they seemed relatively efficient, but there were 2 floating staff who were chatting to each other and laughing, rather than handling the queue. There needed to be:

  • A specific “bag drop only” queue, which most people would have breezed through.
  • A “special cases” queue for those families that turn up with 45 cases and wonder why they can’t take them.
  • A “check in” queue, where people who have not already checked in can go.

Something simple like that would have meant the queue moved much quicker and the floating staff could have organised that easily if they could be bothered and weren’t morons. Of course, that couldn’t happen because we are talking about the Air France / KLM gate, so you know it’s going to be terrible. I sent a few tweets to both KLM and BHX that contained lots of expletives. Sorry if that offended anyone, but tough!

Eventually I got through the “queue to the queue” for bag drop, then I joined the “queue for the queue” for security. Yes, there was a queue to get to the place you normally queue! Once again, an obvious case for sorting your staff out. They know when they will be busy in advance, so they should staff accordingly.

I finally got to the boarding gate and could see the plane, but they were unloading for ages. Turns out there were a team of Para-Olympic athletes on the plane and the ground staff did not anticipate how long it would take to get them and their wheelchairs off. Once again, bad planning. We took off 40 minutes late, which was a worry since I had a very short connection at Amsterdam for the next flight. Just before we landed they announced some people had missed their connections, but mine was still possible if I legged it. Fortunately for me, the next flight was delayed also, so I made it!

I sat on the flight from Amsterdam to Panama, sighed with relief, then got a massive headache. I thought I was going to have one of my puking episodes, but I managed to down some paracetamol and sleep for a bout 10 minutes, which was enough to take the edge off.

I arrived in Panama, but my luggage didn’t. After a queue to deal with my lost luggage, I queued for about 40 minutes to get through the bag check, without my bags.

After a death-race taxi ride to the hotel and the travel was over. At that point, if I had the option to got straight home I would have done. The flights themselves were fine, as were the flight staff. It was the chaos on the ground that was the problem, which left me feeling like I never want to fly again. It was a terrible day!

I met up with Debra so she could watch me eat cheese and talk me down. Then it was bed and the hope that I would never remember this day!

Tomorrow is ORAUG PTY, the first event of the OTN Tour of Latin America 2016 (Northern Leg).

Cheers

Tim…

PS. The video is dedicated to Mark Rittman, who loves my travel videos, describing them as “boring” and saying, “nothing happens in them”, which is of course the whole point of doing them. 🙂

OTN Tour of Latin America 2016 : It’s Nearly Here

ace-directorIn a couple of days I will be setting off for this years OTN Tour of Latin America 2016 (Northern Leg). For me, the tour consists of the following locations:

  • Panama City, Panama:  01-Aug-2016
  • San Jose, Costa Rica:  03-Aug-2016
  • Mexico City, Mexico: 05-Aug-2016
  • Guatemala City, Guatemala: 08-Aug-2016
  • Pereira, Colombia: 11, 12-Aug-2016

I’ve had a last minute panic over hotels, but the main thing is I have flights. 🙂

If you’re coming to the events, it will be great to see you!

Cheers

Tim…

OTN Tour of Latin America 2015 : It’s a Wrap!

ace-director

I just realised I didn’t write a closing post for the OTN Tour of Latin America 2015, so here goes.

Here are the links to all the posts I wrote during the two weeks that related to the main body of the tour.

Here are the links to the posts I wrote during the little trip to Machu Picchu.

Overall it was a really fun tour. Ignoring my illness at Machu Picchu, I think I coped a lot better with it than I have the previous couple of tours, which was good news.

Big thanks to the organisers and attendees at all the events. I hope to see you all again soon! Thanks also to the ACE Program for giving me the opportunity to fly the flag! I must also say a thank you to my fellow speakers for putting up with me for all that time. I know I can be hard work, so you are all deserving of an “I survived a tour with Tim”, badge, if one existed. 🙂

Sorry for the delay in writing this post! See you soon!

Cheers

Tim…

OTN Tour of Latin America 2015 : PEOUG, Peru – Day 1

A quick taxi ride got us to the conference hotel really quickly, so we were nice and early for the PEOUG event.

After the introductions by Miguel Palacios, it was time for the first sessions of the event. Of the English speakers, first up were Debra Lilley and Dana Singleterry. Debra had some problems with her laptop, so she did her presentation using mine and all went well. Dana did his session over the net, so I sent a few Tweets to let him know how things looked and sounded from our end. I figured a bit of feedback would help reassure him there weren’t any technical issues.

My first session of the day came next. I had a good sized audience and some of the people were brave enough to ask questions at the end. 🙂 I had some in English and some in Spanish using the translation service to help me. 🙂

Debra fixed her laptop by the time her next session started, but her clicker died, so she borrowed mine. Dana’s second session was at the same time as Debra’s, so I flitted between the two, sending a few feedback Tweets to Dana about his session again.

After that session, Ronald, Debra, Pelinio, Enrique and myself ducked out to get some lunch in a place down the street.

After lunch, both Ronald and I each had back-to-back sessions. I did my Cloud Database and Analytic Functions talks. I feel like they went well. I hope the crowd did too. 🙂

There was one more set to talks, all from Spanish speakers, including a very full web session by Edelweiss from Uruguay. After that we got together for the closing session and some prize draws. I didn’t understand what was being said, but everyone seemed really happy and in good spirits, so I think the whole day was well received. Certainly all the feedback we got was very positive!

Big thanks to MiguelEnrique and everyone at PEOUG for inviting us and making us feel welcome. Thanks to the attendees for coming to the sessions and making us feel special by asking for photos. 🙂 Also, big thanks to the ACE Program for making this possible for us!

So that marks the end of this years OTN Tour of Latin America for me. Sorry to the countries in the northern leg. I hope I will be able to visit your folks soon!

Debra and I are going to visit Pikachu Machu Picchu over the next couple of days, then it’s back home to normal life for a while. 🙂

I’ll write a summary post to close off this little adventure when I get home. Once again, thank you all!

Cheers

Tim…

OTN Tour of Latin America 2015 : PEOUG, Peru – Day -1

After the CLOUG event, Francisco drove us to the airport, where Kerry, Ronald, Debra and I parked ourselves in the lounge for a while. Lots of eating then ensued! Kerry was flying back home, but the rest of us were on our way to Lima, Peru, for the PEOUG event. 🙂

The flight across to Lima was pretty straight forward, taking about 4 hours, if you include the time sitting and waiting to take off. I think the flight time was about 3 hours and 30 mins. We arrived at the airport at about 02:00 and we were all pretty beat up. It was an effort to even speak, which if you know me is a rather extreme state. 🙂

I had a complete brain fade and forgot we were being picked up by Enrique Orbegozo, but fortunately he caught us before we disappeared onto the shuttle, so it ended OK. I’m so sorry Enrique! 🙂

We arrived at the hotel at about 03:00. I can’t speak for the others, but I was feeling like the living dead. I got to my room and I don’t remember anything else until the morning! 🙂

Debra has Hilton Honors status, so I got signed into the lounge for the day, which meant free food. 🙂 We had a lazy day. Apart from a 10 minute walk down to the coast and back, it was a hotel day, trying to recharge the batteries. Some food, sitting in the pool and sitting in the lounge with our laptops, trying to catch up with the world.

This morning we are off to the PEOUG event. The last event of the southern leg of the OTN Tour of Latin America 2015. I’ve got three presentations to do, plus some backups in case speakers don’t show. 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

OTN Tour of Latin America 2015 : CLOUG, Chile – Day 1

The morning was a little confusing. I got up and went to breakfast, but there was no Debra. Once I had finished I got the front desk to call her and found out her clock was an hour behind. Chile has changed its timezone to match Brazil, but some Apple devices don’t seem to realise this, even if they are set to auto-update. One of those devices being Debra’s phone. When we asked at the hotel, they said it’s been a problem for a number of people. 🙁

Francisco drove us to the venue and we moved straight into the auditorium. After an introduction by Francisco, it was time for the first session. It was a three track event, so I’m just going to talk about the sessions I was in. 🙂

  • Kerry had a different version of the agenda, which had him on at a later time, so he hadn’t arrived by the time his session was due to start. I was originally down as the second session, so we switched and I went first with my “Pluggable Databases : What they will break and why you should use them anyway!”. Being in a auditorium is always hard unless it is full, as people spread out and you feel like you are presenting to empty chairs. 🙂
  • Next up was Kerry Osborne, with his “In-Memory In Action” session. I had to duck out of this early to get to across to my next session, which was on the other side of the building.
  • My next session was “It’s raining data! Oracle Databases in the Cloud”. This was in a much smaller room, so it felt really full and much more personal. As a result, the audience interaction felt a lot better. I spent quite a bit of time talking to people after the session, which is my favourite bit of this conference thing.
  • I got over to see the tail end of Ronald Bradford‘s session on “Testing and verifying your MySQL backup strategy”. I’ve got a couple of things I need to check in my own MySQL backups now. 🙂
  • Next up was Kyle Hailey speaking about “SQL Performance Tuning”. Kyle has a very visual approach, which works for me!
  • After lunch it was back to me for “Oracle Database Consolidation : It’s not all about Oracle database 12c!”
  • Next up was Kyle Hailey with “Database performance tuning”, which focussed on using ASH to identify problems and was once again, very visual.
  • The final person up was Debra, with “Do Oracle Cloud Applications Add Up?”. The answer is yes, they do add up, to 42!

After the final session, we hung around for a prize giving and a quick photo opportunity, then had to say our goodbyes and go straight off to the airport to get our flight to Lima.

Thanks to Francisco and the folks at CLOUG for inviting me, as well as all the attendees that came to my sessions and spoke to me during the day. I love speaking directly to people about the technology, so when people come to ask questions I’m in my element. 🙂 Big thanks to OTN and the ACE Program for helping to make this happen for me.

Cheers

Tim…

OTN Tour of Latin America 2015 : GUOB, Brazil – Day 1

I woke up pretty early again, spent a bit of time working, then headed down to meet the wife at breakfast. I was gabbing away, when she mentioned it was time to register. I had a mad dash to get back to the room, shower and head down to the GUOB event. Thankfully, I am stopping in the conference hotel.

This was a three track event, so I tried to get to sessions that I hadn’t seen at other events.

  • The event opened up with Pablo Ciccarello discussing OTN and the ACE program.
  • My first session for the day was “Pluggable Databases : What they will break and why you should use them anyway!” talk. I was introduced by Alex Zaballa, Brazil’s latest Oracle ACE Director. Well done mate! I was incredibly nervous for this talk. I think it was because of the rushing around before the session. Once I got going I calmed down a lot. I think the session went well. People were a bit shy about questions during the session, but people came up to me after the session to say hello and ask questions without being in front of the audience. The questions you get are the best bit of doing these conferences. In answering questions, you learn a lot yourself.
  • After speaking to a few people I headed (a little late) into Kerry Osborne‘s session on “Controlling Execution Plans (without touching the code)” Part 1. The room was too full for me to get into this session in Argentina.
  • After lunch I headed on to see Dana Singleterry speaking about “Development Platform in the Cloud – Why, What and When”.
  • Next up it was me with my “It’s raining data! Oracle Databases in the Cloud” session. I really like doing this talk. It’s not a heavy technical session, but I like to think it brings a bit of sanity to the Database on the Cloud discussion.
  • After me came Alex Gorbachev speaking about “Benchmarking Oracle I/O Performance with ORION”.
  • After a short break, it was on to Kerry Osborne‘s session on “Controlling Execution Plans (without touching the code)” Part 2.
  • Next up was Alex Gorbachev speaking about “Big Data and Hadoop for Oracle Database Professionals”.

The last session was in Portuguese, so I ducked out and spoke to a few of the attendees instead.

After saying our goodbyes to some of the folks, we headed out to a Brazilian barbecue. Obviously, it was a meat-fest, but it was a good place to eat as a vegetarian too. Unfortunately, I drank one and a half drinks that were designed to injure humans. 🙂

It was a long, but fun day. Big thanks to the organisers and attendees at the GUOB event. I hope to see you again! Thanks also to the ACE Program for getting me here!

I’ve got a ridiculously early start for Chile tomorrow! 🙂 Goodbye Sau Paulo!

Cheers

Tim…

OTN Tour of Latin America 2015 : UYOUG, Uruguay – Day 2

I woke up early and started working on the computer. I wrote a couple of blog posts and logged in to work to check some stuff out. I also re-recorded the vocal for the ALL, ANY and SOME video. The mic I was using wasn’t too good, but I was keen to get it done, rather than wait until I got back to the UK. Overall, it was a pretty busy morning.

I then headed out for my last session of the conference. It was a panel session with Ronald, Mike, Nelson and myself. Putting Ronald and me on a panel together pretty much guaranteed nobody else would get to say anything. I thought the panel went really well. Having someone from a MySQL background on the panel added a different dynamic. Most of the discussion was focussed on why you would pick MySQL over Oracle or vice versa. There was a surprising amount of agreement and some good banter. 🙂 The reaction from the crowd was very positive. 🙂

That marked the end of the UYOUG conference for me. I hope all the attendees enjoyed the event. I know I did. Thanks very much to everyone for organising it and thanks to the Oracle ACE Program for getting me here. Big thanks to Edelweiss and Nelson for looking after us! 🙂

From there we got some lunch and I went back to the hotel to do some more work.

At about 17:30 we headed off to catch the ferry to Buenos Aires. I was meant to get a little video footage, but I forgot. 🙂 It took a little over 2 hours to complete, then it was a walk across to the hotel. I did remember to get some footage of that! 🙂

I got to bed a little after midnight, which wasn’t too bad. Tomorrow is the first day of the AROUG conference in Argentina!

Cheers

Tim…