Melbourne Update

The Melbourne class was a little bigger than the previous classes, with 12 people including several people from Oracle Support. Being the 3rd class in quick succession, everything felt really smooth, with no real surprises.

I actually managed to get a reasonable amount of sleep before both classes, which was a bonus. Saying that, I fell asleep at 20:00 last night, so I ended up waking up at 03:00, which gave me some time to play catch-up with emails and forum questions. It does mean that today will end up being a pretty long day, since my flight to Hong Kong isn’t until 00:15 (including a slight delay).

Apparently there have been typhoon warnings in Hong Kong and the schools have been closed, but surprisingly it hasn’t really affected flights. Let’s see how that works out.

This was my third visit to Australia, but only my second visit to Sydney and Melbourne. The real take-home message from this trip is I felt really at ease all the time I’ve been in Australia. I’m not surprised a lot of British people decide to move to Australia. It’s probably one of the easiest places for a Brit to relocate to.



Update: I’m in the hotel in Hong Kong now. No signs of a typhoon, but I’ve received a mail saying the class may be cancelled if the weather is too bad. Weird. I’m just off to lunch in the tallest building in Hong Kong, or so my mate tells me.

AUSOUG Melbourne…

I had one day to myself in Melbourne before the conference started, so I asked the hotel concierge what I needed to see. I followed his itinerary almost to the letter and got to see a fair bit, which was cool.

Melbourne feels very different to the other cities I’ve been to in Australia. The other cities feel very functional, but the central business district of Melbourne feels more like a city designed for socializing in. It has a very central European feel to me. Not at all what I expected.

Anyway, back to the conference. The work I did on my talk really paid off. The change to the first half really made a difference. Sometimes the demos actually obscure the message, rather than enforcing it. Removing them from the first half of the talk gave it a lot more punch and made it feel like I was staying on message, rather than demoing for the sake of it.

I’m a bit annoyed I didn’t see this before the Perth event, but that’s life. A big thank you to Connor McDonald and Chris Muir for there input on that. A few well placed words from people with their experience can really help a newbie like me big-time.

So a big thanks to all involved in the event. It was really cool to come back and hook up with everyone again. Also a big thank you to the people who came to my sessions. You never know what the future brings, but I hope I get to come back again.

I fly home today. I’m leaving quite late, so I’ve got to fill the day. I always find it hard to do that the day of the flight. I spend the whole day worrying about missing the flight rather than enjoying myself. I’ll probably end up spending most of the day in the airport being really bored before spending 21 hours on a plane. 🙂

See you on the other side…



Refocussing my presentation…

The plane journey from Perth to Melbourne turned out to be very productive. I’ve made some substantial changes to my presentation. The content is the same, but as I suggested in my previous post, I’ve de-emphasized some bits and emphasized others.

I guess my presenting style is based very much on the way I write articles on my website. I’m not a fan of reading overly “wordy” articles. Instead I want a cut & paste example that gives me a feel for the feature/issue. I can then play around with that to get more familiar with the technology.

Well that works fine for a lot of database and development presentations, but not all of them.

This particular presentation has two distinct halves. The first half really doesn’t lend itself to demos and the copy & paste mentality and the second half does. It’s still early days for me as far as presenting is concerned, and this presentation has reminded me of that again. Fortunately there are a few old hands around that give some pretty good advice.

So what I have now delivers the message I want to deliver, but I think does it in a much more sensible way. I’m a bit annoyed I didn’t see this before I presented in Perth, because it didn’t take much time to repackage, but that’s life. Sometimes, when you are too close to something you can’t see the wood for the trees.

So in a few minutes I’m off to get a plane to Canberra to do a presentation to a local user group. I’m not totally sure yet how much time I have to present, so that one will be a bit more “seat of the pants”. 🙂

I’ll be back in Melbourne tomorrow where I will hopefully get to see a bit of the city before the next AUSOUG event starts.