Oracle OpenWorld 2017 : It’s a Wrap

Time for a final post to summarize the craziness that was OpenWorld 2017. ­čÖé

For me the story of this year’s OpenWorld was the emphasis on humans doing stuff where humans add value, rather than doing boring crap that can be automated.

The obvious thing people will jump on is the Autonomous Database announcement, which I’ve written about already, but the story follows through many aspects of the conference.

The interest in chatbots is quite high at the moment. From a work perspective, it’s not about replacing every application you have with a voice or messenger interaction. It’s about finding use-cases where they work well. Having a chatbot that deals with trivial interactions frees up humans to deal with more important stuff. Over the last few years products using natural language processing for text and voice interaction have come a long way. Many people have devices in their pocket that do this pretty well (Siri on Apple and “OK Google” on Android). Products like Amazon Echo and Google Home have made voice interaction seem normal. As they become more normal, people will expect these services from you.

In the apps world there is an emphasis on making things simpler by making the apps more intelligent. Rather than expecting the user to fill in every bit of information, you default the most likely responses based on the information you have about that user. This could be a simple as pre-filling an address, or as complicated as using machine learning to make educated guesses at what they want. It’s all about making basic interactions as efficient as possible so user time can be spent more productively.

Cloud providers are a great example of software defined data centers. If you choose to move to the cloud, the cloud provider has done the heavy lifting for you. If you want to continue to work on-prem, you need to learn the lessons of the cloud providers and remove humans as much as possible from the process of deploying and managing virtual machines, containers, databases, app servers, networking, load balancers and firewalls etc. Those people can then focus on more architectural, development and performance-related issues.

We speak about the benefits of agile and DevOps all the time, but many people get caught up in the tooling and automation associated with this. Cloud providers take a lot of that burden off us, and tools like Oracle Developer Cloud Service, available for free if you have some other Oracle cloud services, save you from having to worry about some of that development tooling. Other cloud providers offer similar services.

The list goes on…

None of these messages are new, but it has taken me some time to adjust to some of them. Sometimes you have to have a personal use-case to really appreciate things. My experience of cloud services, voice devices, Docker and seeing data center automation using VMware Software Development Data Center have made me more responsive than I think I was before.

People often have a fear of change, and speaking about automation makes people think job cuts, but as I mentioned before this is about stopping people worrying about boring stuff and getting them to focus on where they add value. I don’t see this reducing the head-count in our IT department. I see it reducing the grunt work and directing resource at more important stuff. We are so preoccupied with the crap, we never get to stretch our wings…

Thanks to the Oracle ACE Program and the Oracle Developer Champions Program for making this all possible for me!

So that’s another visit to San Francisco done. Due to funding changes I don’t know if I will visit again. Time will tell.

Here are the 14 posts that relate to this trip.



Oracle OpenWorld 2017 : I’m Presenting!

A few weeks ago I tweeted about being a member of #TeamRejectedByOracleOpenWorld again. Since then I found out one of my presentations was accepted for JavaOne as part of the Oracle Developer Champion program, so I will be going to San Francisco this year after all. This is the presentation I’ll be doing if you want to come along.

Make the RDBMS Relevant Again with RESTful Web Services and JSON
Wednesday, Oct 04, 4:30 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. | Moscone West – Room 2002

Since I’ll now be in San Francisco, I’ll get to join in with a bunch of other stuff. The week before the conference starts I’ll be part of these events at Oracle HQ.

  • Oracle Applications Users Experience (OAUX) Strategy Day : I was lucky enough to get invited to this last year and it was really fun and interesting. Now I get to go back again. ­čÖé
  • Oracle Developer Champion Briefing : I’m really not sure what to expect from this as it will be the first one.
  • Oracle ACE Director Briefing : I think this will be a smaller affair this year due to the changes in travel funding, and it’s compressed into a single day. It’ll be good to catch up with everyone again!

In addition to my JavaOne presentation, I’ll be at the EOUC presentations on User Group Sunday.

EOUC Developer Champions Show the Cool Tech They Use
Sunday, Oct 01, 11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. | Marriott Marquis (Golden Gate Level) – Golden Gate C1/C2

EOUC Database ACES Share Their Favorite Database Things
Sunday, Oct 01, 10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. | Marriott Marquis (Golden Gate Level) – Golden Gate C1/C2

The wife kicked me out of the list of speakers for the Oracle ACE session. So much for family loyalty… ­čÖé These multi-speaker sessions have been really well received in previous years, so please come along and join in the fun!

Like last year, it’s going to be a really long and hard trip, but since this could be my last one I’ve got to make the most of it!

See you there!