Oracle Code : Paris – The Journey Home

I left Oracle Code : Paris a little after 5 PM. I got in the taxi, got a few miles down the road and realised I had left my phone charging in the speaker room. Doh! I got the taxi to turn round so I could pick it up. Phone in hand, I got back in the taxi and off we went…

The roads were a lot slower the second time round, but I kept drifting into sleep so I didn’t mind so much. I was awake when the motorbike hit us. It wasn’t bad and I get the impression it happens all the time judging by the taxi driver’s reaction. He just waved his hand and carried on…

There was a bit of a “misunderstanding” at the airport with the taxi driver. I was a bit out of it at this point, so I didn’t really notice how much I was actually charged. Let’s just say the cost of the detour was significantly more than I would consider reasonable, but by the time I noticed I was in the airport and he was off to start his retirement…

I got into the airport and went to the check-in desk, where the lady told me I had the wrong name on my ticket. It said “Tim” not “Timothy”. I showed her my boarding pass from the out-leg and it had the same mistake. I was sent off to the security desk for them to check it all out. I got the distinct impression if I hadn’t had the boarding pass for the out-leg they wouldn’t have let me check in, but since I had already flown out of Birmingham under the “wrong name”, I might as well fly back. I was sent back to the check-in desk and allowed through…

Boarding started unusually early. Once on board I got a free seat next to me, which was good, and an announcement that we would be held in the plane for 60 minutes because the air space above the airport was too busy for us to take off. That was not so good…

Once we did get under way the flight took about 50 minutes and was fine. Back in the UK it was a short taxi ride home, watching live messages of the penalty shoot-out. Well done England. Bad luck Colombia. We’ve lost on penalties so many times. It’s a bad way to go out. 🙁

And that was Oracle Code : Paris done!

Thanks to the Oracle Code folks for organising the event and letting me come along. Thanks to the attendees and other speakers at the event. Thanks also to all the people took pity on the sickly child that I was during the event. Thanks also to the Oracle ACE Program and Oracle Developer Champion Program for helping me be ill in every country in the world… 🙂

Please let this be the end of the curse!

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle Code : Paris 2018

Oracle Code : Paris started with a short walk from the hotel to the venue. After signing in it all began…

The first session of the day was a keynote by Lonneke Dikmans called “What Happened to My Order? The Need for Orchestration in Modern Architectures”, comparing BPEL orchestrations with orchestrations and choreography used in microservices and serverless architectures. It was a really good introduction to the concepts.

Next up was James Allerton-Austin with “Building a Chatbot Front-end for Blockchain Transactions and Serverless Functions APIs”, which included a description of the stack offered by Oracle and a demo of selling Larry’s car. During this session there were also brief stints by Karim Zein and JeanMarc Hui Bon Hoa.

From there I went to the speaker room and started to feel decidedly odd. I sometimes get migraines that don’t give me a headache, but make me feel dizzy and nauseous. The following couple of hours were mostly lying on the floor and going to the toilets to puke.

I did pop in to see “Build a Decentralized Blockchain Application with Hyperledger Fabric and Composer” by Robert van Mölken, hoping it would distract me.

I also popped my head in to Women in Technology (WIT) session to see what the turnout was like. It was very busy. It was in French, so I could understand what was going on. 🙂

After that I went back to the speaker room floor, then before I knew it, it was time for my session, but not before another conversation with the toilet bowl…

Adrenalin is a wonderful drug. I warned the audience I might have to leave suddenly, but I managed to get through my session without any major problems. I lost the internet connection a couple of times, and had to reconnect to my 18c DBaaS instance on Oracle Cloud. The new laptop behaved itself though. Once my talk was over the Adrenalin started to subside and I felt worse again, but not as bad as before. I was sitting still and chatting to some of the folks in the speaker room for the rest of the afternoon, and I only remember puking once more after my sessions, which was an improvement…

Pretty soon it was time to leave for the airport and Oracle Code : Paris was over for me. Thanks everyone for making it happen. Sorry I wasn’t able to participate more. This year’s conference curse seems to be continuing.

I’ll write about the journey home in a separate post as that is already proving “interesting”, in a conference curse style… 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle Code : Paris – The Journey Begins

It was a normal start to the day. I woke up with my regular work alarm, packed and got a taxi to the airport.

The drive was quick and the taxi driver was interesting, which helps. I couldn’t do online check-in because my ticket was with Air France, but the flight was Flybe. Neither website would let me check in online. I was dreading an epic queue, but fortunately the airport was quiet. Even so, I witnessed someone wearing ear-buds being asked the same question multiple times. Can’t we pass a law to make it legal to smack people that do this?

The flight to Paris was due to take off at 11:35, but it was about 11:50 when we finally departed. I got lucky with a free seat next to me, so I was able to get the laptop out and do some work. I was not so lucky with the folks on the other side of the aisle, who were far too loud.

I took a train from the airport to the city centre, then got a taxi from there to my hotel. It was about 5 minutes walk from the conference venue and 10 minutes from the Eiffel Tower, so I walked across to check them both out, then it was back to the hotel to run through my session and demo for tomorrow, then crash…

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle Code : Warsaw

Oracle Code : Warsaw started for me with my first presentation of the day as I was in the first block after the keynotes…

My first session was about Analytic Functions. It’s a little difficult to predict the makeup of the Oracle Code crowds. In some cities you get predominantly Oracle developers, while in others it’s the opposite. As a result, you never know how what you are doing will be received until you get there. I shouldn’t have been concerned as the room was full. I had a little glitch at the start, which was caused by my laptop switching between the hotel and event wifi. Once I sorted that the connection to my Oracle Cloud DBaaS service was fine, which meant I was able to run through my demos. 🙂

Next I watched “Database DevOps and Agile Development with Open-Source Utilities” by Susan Duncan, which was another standing room only session. This included a demo of Oracle Developer Cloud Service, a freebie when you buy other Oracle Cloud services, and it looked pretty good. The demo was of the full lifecycle of an incident from logging through to release of a fix, which included database changes managed by FlyWay, with a quick a mention of LiquiBase and utPL/SQL.

After lunch I went to watch “Graal: How to Use the New JVM JIT Compiler in Real Life” by Chris Thalinger. I finally got to see this presentation, having clashed with Chris’ session slot at all previous events. I’m trying to think of something to say to make it sound like I understood what he was talking about, but between you and me it was a complete mystery to me. He did some awesome “Jazz Hands” though! 🙂 The session was a live comparison of Graal with an unmodified JVM, showing examples of potential performance improvements, and examples of where performance is no better too. I guess the take-home message that will impress most people is Twitter run all their Scala microservices in production on Graal and it’s saving them a bundle of cash because of improved performance…

Next up was Ewan Slater with “Honey I Shrunk the Container”, who amongst other things talked about using Smith to produce microcontainers, which looks really interesting. In one example he was able to shrink a container from about 850 meg to about 85 meg, which is pretty darn impressive. It’s definitely more impressive than –squash.

After that it was me with my session on REST enabling the database. I think this was a case of preaching to the converted, but I did get some questions at the end. 🙂

After my session I got chatting to some folks, so I missed the last session of the day, which meant that Oracle Code : Warsaw was over for me. Thanks to everyone that supported the event, including the Oracle Code crew, the other speakers and of course the attendees!

In the evening we went into town to get some food and I was introduced to a drink called The Terminator, which tasted really nice, but was rather deadly. I think it contained more alcohol than I normally drink in about 2 years… I was also given a shot of some vodka which was incredibly smooth. Despite feeling rather inebriated, I was sensible enough to switch back to water and juice for the rest of the evening. The photos of me with the empty vodka bottle and some bison grass (from the bottle) in my mouth were staged. 🙂

I was intending to be in bed really early as I needed to be up in the morning at 04:45 for my flight. I got back to the hotel at about midnight, so that didn’t work out so well… Thanks to the POUG folks for taking us out for the evening. It was much appreciated!

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle Code : Warsaw – The Journey Begins

For a change it was a normal wake-up time for me. The advantage of flying late morning is you don’t have to get up so early. The disadvantage is the traffic. I left an hour earlier than usual, just to make sure, and it paid off. I missed some of the traffic, but there were some questionable decisions by my taxi driver. He seemed like a nice guy, but his SatNav was taking us on a rather strange route, and when he chose to ignore it, it seemed to be for all the wrong reasons, like he was speaking on his phone and missing the turn… Despite the long time and erratic route the price was the same as normal. Odd… 🙂

Having started off super early I arrived in plenty of time, so much so that the Brussels Airlines desk wasn’t open. Despite this delay, I managed to get through security pretty quickly, grabbed some food and a drink and parked at a table for about 90 minutes to do some work.

The first flight of the day was Birmingham to Brussels. We took off on time and it took about 55 minutes, so no drama there. The lady in the seat behind had a really shrill laugh, which I couldn’t block out with headphones. I noticed a number of people turning to look, so I wasn’t the only person this was annoying.

I had a 2.5 hour stop at Brussels, so not surprisingly I got the laptop out etc.

The 2 hour flight from Brussels to Warsaw was delayed a little, but it didn’t make much difference to our arrival time. I was meant to wait for Brendan to get a taxi, but instead Brendan was waiting for me. We got an Uber to the hotel, then it was pretty much time for the speaker dinner. I was going to duck out of this, but got persuaded. It was a good evening. 🙂

I mentioned in a previous post on the subject, I had agreed to do a second presentation to fill and empty slot. I went through that presentation a couple of days previously and wasn’t happy with it, so I spent the evening doing some work to tailor it more to the Oracle Code audience, who are not all Oracle techies…

Tomorrow (probably today when this gets released) is Oracle Code : Warsaw. See you there!

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle Code : Bengaluru – 2018

Today was Oracle Code : Bengaluru.

I spent the last few days working from my hotel room so I was feeling a little stir crazy and was ready to get out and meet people. Then I destroyed my demo… 🙁 After spending some time putting it back together again I headed off to the conference venue, which was across the road from my hotel, so that involved waiting for a gap in the traffic for 10 minutes. 🙂

The event was really busy. I had a slot before lunch and once everyone filed in it was standing room only for my Make the RDBMS Relevant Again with RESTful Web Services and JSON session.

After the session I spent hours chatting to people and posing for photos. I had a lot of questions about ORDS, so I opened my laptop on a counter surface and talked some more, answering questions by working through articles I had written. It was really good fun. I had a short break, to record a video for the event, then it was back to chatting to folks. As a result, I didn’t get to see anyone else’s presentations, but these events are all about getting us together and enthusing about the technology, so it didn’t matter. Before I knew it the event was over.

I hope everyone had a great day. I know I did. 🙂 Thanks everyone for coming along, being so enthusiastic and coming to speak to me. 🙂 Thanks to the Oracle Code crew for putting on a great event and inviting me to it. Thanks to the Oracle ACE Program and the Oracle Developer Champions program for letting me be involved in these events.

After the event I went over to meet with the Oracle Code crew and Developer Champions to get some food. After eating far too much and saying my goodbyes it was back to the hotel to get some sleep before the flight home tomorrow!

Thanks you all and see you all soon!

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle Code : Hyderabad – 2018

Today was Oracle Code : Hyderabad.

I woke up in a bit of a daze, so rather than jumping straight into the fray I worked through my demos again just to settle my nerves. 🙂

I headed down for my session to find there was no lectern and they wanted to run my presentation from the audio desk. I said that wasn’t going to work as I had live demos, so they guys went off to find one. The keynote had overrun, so people were late coming into the session, which bought me some time. 🙂

The presentation was a little tricky. The sound on the wireless head mic kept dropping out or getting feedback, so I switched to a hand mic part way through, which made typing difficult. There was a large back-lit screen, which looked great, but didn’t work with a laser pointer, so that made life harder. Despite the issues, I think the talk went OK. It was a little choppy, but I think I got the message across. The main thing was I got through it without my laptop giving up. 🙂

After my session I spent a lot of time chatting to people and continuing the discussion of Oracle Databases on Docker, which filtered into lunch.

After lunch I did a periscope live stream with Connor McDonald chatting about a variety of things including my website, presenting and Oracle databases on Docker.

After that I went to watch Connor do a session on SQL. You know you are doing something right when they have to add a few extra rows of seats to the room and you still have people standing. 🙂

From there is was back to the developer lounge to look at the demos. One of the guys doing the IoT demos was a machine. He was so enthusiastic and went all day.

The developer lounge is also a good way to connect with more people. Some people are quite intimidated about asking a question in the session, but they will happily come up to you in private and ask. I always like this bit of the conference.

And before I knew it the day was over. Some of the folks went out to eat together, but I ducked out because I had been so short on sleep already. I decided to go back to my room and crash, but more on that in the next post… 🙂

Overall I think the event went really well. The turnout was great and people were really enthusiastic and open. Thanks everyone, especially those folks that came to speak to me during the day. It makes the events even more fun for me.

So tomorrow I travel to Bengaluru, where I will be “working from home (from India)” for a few days before the next event. I’ve got to save my holidays for events later in the year. 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle Code : Prague – The Journey Home

I had to be at the airport for 12:15, which meant I got a lie in and I actually slept a bit, which was nice. 🙂

When I woke up I got some breakfast, edited a couple of short Oracle Code videos and caught up with my blog posts. After that was done I went through all the work emails I’ve missed over the last week, just so I don’t have that unpleasant job to do when I get back to work on Tuesday. Once that was done a went back to bed for an hour before check-out. I know it’s sad, but I’ve had so little sleep the previous two days I felt dead.

It was a quick taxi ride to the airport and I barely broke my stride walking through security, which meant I was two hours early for the flight. Better early than late! 🙂

Because I fluked a business class ticket on the way out I had a baggage allowance of two cases and two pieces of hand luggage, of which I used two pieces of hand luggage. The journey back was economy, so I had an allowance of one piece of hand luggage. Why do companies sell return tickets with different baggage allowances? Luckily I didn’t have much, so I could cram it into the once bag.

As soon as they announced boarding, most people ignored the queue and barged to the front. The flight from Prague to Frankfurt took about an hour. As soon as I got off I checked the gate for the next flight and it had been moved to the other terminal, so I stomped off in a bit of a panic, but made it in plenty of time.

As it happened, boarding was delayed for the second flight because one of the trolley dollies was late. Once again, as soon as boarding was announced a bunch of people jumped the queue. I will not tell you what I was wishing would happen to the queue jumpers… The second flight took at 75 minutes, which wasn’t so bad.

After a quick taxi ride home, Oracle Code : Prague was complete! I did all my thank you messages in the last post, but once again thanks to everyone involved for making the event go so well. See you soon!

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle Code : Prague

I was a little late getting to the event. My hotel was only a mile away from the conference venue, but it was a mile up hill. 🙂 I missed the start of the first keynote, but I had already seen it in London, so I didn’t feel too guilty. 🙂

When I walked into the keynote it was packed. If you followed the event on Twitter you will know the turnout was great. Well done Prague for coming out in force to support the event!

First up was Adam Bien with “Enterprise Java.next: A Slideless Keynote”, but as I said, I missed it this time around. You can see my description from the London event.

The second keynote was “Building Modern Applications Using APIs, Microservices, and Chatbots” by Siddhartha Agarwal, Jakub Nesetril. This was a standing room only thing again, so I had a little wander around the venue and got back to see the chatbot demonstration, which I watched from the from the corridor. Pretty neat.

Next I went to see Peter Nagy with “Deploying Cloud-Native Applications: VMs, Containers, or Functions”. This was a really interesting and I wrote down a lot of notes. I had a quick chat with him at the end about Docker and learned some new stuff.

From there I went to see Chris Saxon with “SQL Magic! Tricks to Show SQL Features You’ve Probably Never Used”. He got a big crowd, which was good to see for a SQL presentation at an event like this.

After that I went to see “Explore the Basics of Setting up Your First Secure Private Docker Registry” by Mike Raab. Being a Docker noob, some of this went over my head, but every bit of information helps ease the transition into playing with Docker. 🙂 He mentioned using Let’s Encrypt certificates, which I saw a few people scribble a note about.

Before the next session I live-streamed a small bit on Periscope for the @OracleDevs Channel, which you can watch on Twitter or Periscope. If you watch it on Twitter you’ll see half of my head. If you watch it on Periscope you will see it all. 🙂

After that it was my session called “Make the RDBMS Relevant Again with RESTful Web Services and JSON“. The crowd were very quiet during the session, so it was kind-of hard to know how well it went, but I had some people come to speak to me at the end, so hopefully it was fine. 🙂

I missed the last block of the day because I was too busy chatting to a couple of guys (Ramil and Artjom) and about DBA stuff. We continued chatting during the party at the end of the event, and were joined by one of their colleagues (sorry dude, I missed your name) and Frank Nimphius. I think we were the last to leave. 🙂

It was a really enjoyable day. Thanks to everyone from #OracleCode for letting me come to the event. Thanks also to the Oracle ACE Program for continuing to let me fly the flag. Big thanks to all the speakers and attendees that made this such a successful event. I hope to see you all again!

So that’s my second and last #OracleCode event this year. I hope the rest of the cities go well. Remember, it’s free so turn up and support them if you want more events like this in the future!

Cheers

Tim…