ODC Latin America Tour : Quito to Barranquilla

There was about six of us all on the same flights from Quito to Barranquilla, so the original plan was to meet up at about 06:00 and head off for the airport, but our first flight was delayed, so we left the hotel at about 06:45. The traffic hadn’t started to pick up yet, so it only took about 30 minutes to get there.

Once checked in and through security it was just a case of waiting for our plane to arrive. We were originally meant to be delayed by about 1 hour, but it ended up a little longer.

The flight from Quito to Bogota took a little over an hour and was pretty straight forward. There was some turbulence at the start, but nothing too bad. More like a roller-coaster really.

We landed at Bogota and had to get out through international security and then in through domestic security in zero minutes. It was a bit of a panic, but fortunately the security lines moved quickly and we made it. There was some running involved, which must have been a right sight. We got to the check-in desk and got on to the plane, only to find it was delayed while they waited for a football team arrive, so we didn’t have to rush after all. Once they were on there was a delay loading their luggage. I can’t remember how long we were delaying in total, mostly sitting in the plane, but it didn’t matter. We made our connection. Once we got under way it was a pretty easy 90 minute flight between Bogota and Barranquilla.

The first thing you notice in Barranquilla is the humidity! The airport is under construction, so we had to take a bus round the new bits and pick up our bags from a hut. 🙂 I took a taxi with Pablo and Gustavo, as we were in the same hotel, and that was it for the journey.

To summarise, some delays, some panics, but we got there! 🙂

I did a quick stop at the hotel gym, mostly to do some stretching. Sitting on planes is not the best thing for your spine. A little later a group of us met up to get some food, then it was back to the hotel to sleep, ready for the next conference in the tour…



ODC Latin America Tour : Quito

The first event of the Oracle Developer Community Latin America Tour (Northern Leg) was in Quito, Ecuador. A group of us met in the hotel lobby at about 07:30 and went across to the conference venue. The event began with an introduction by Paola Pullas and Marco Galarza. This was followed by Pablo Ciccarello with an introduction to the Oracle Developer Community, the Oracle ACE program and Oracle Developer Champion program.

It was a three track event, with most of the speakers presenting in Spanish, so I’m only going to mention the sessions I attended.

The first technical presentation I attended was Alex Zaballa with “Let’s get started with Oracle Database Cloud Service”. Alex has done loads of migrations from on-prem to Oracle Cloud, so it was really interesting to hear his take on it, especially on the migration approach.

The next session was me with “Multitenant : What’s new in Oracle 12.2”. I feel like the session went well. It seems multitentant is still struggling to get acceptance. I see lots of people holding back and sticking with non-CDB at the moment. I hope this changes, as even lone-PDB is still a great solution.

The next block of sessions were all in Spanish, so I had to give them a miss.

After a coffee break it was me again with “DBA Does Docker”. Once again the session went well. One of my demos has been a little frustrating since I moved back to Windows. When I figure out the issue I’ll probably write a blog post about it. 🙂

And before you knew it the event was over! A group of us went out to get some food, then it was back early to the hotel to crash before a travel day tomorrow.

Thanks very much to Paola and the Ecuador gang for inviting us and making the event a fun day, especially considering how much trouble I caused the previous day. 🙂

Thanks as always to the Oracle ACE program and the Oracle Developer Champion program for making this possible for me.

Next stop Colombia…



ODC Latin America Tour : Birmingham to Quito

The day started at 03:00, which is a silly time to start the day. I got a taxi to the airport and after a short queue for bag drop, I was waiting for the gate to open.

The first flight from Birmingham to Amsterdam went well and we arrived ahead of schedule. After about 90 minutes I was on the plane for the journey from Amsterdam to Quito. I could see there were some free business class seats, so I asked for the price of the upgrade. At 540 euros I decided to upgrade so I could work and sleep during the 11-12 hour flight.

The first issue was my laptop charger wouldn’t work with the power from the plane. My phone charger was fine, but not the laptop charger. I was worried maybe the charger was broken, so I switched off the computer to save the battery in case I needed to look for a new charger in Quito. I decided to watch movies and sleep instead.

I watched Black Panther and Avengers : Infinity War, both of which were good. I think both were over-hyped, but still enjoyable. My main criticism of the later would be, more Hulk please!

Towards the end of the last film I started to get a headache, so I took some paracetamol, put my seat flat and slept for a short while. I woke feeling rather nauseous and that’s where the problems started. For the last few hours of the flight I was being sick every few minutes. By the time the flight was over I was in a bit of a bad way. So much so they brought medical staff on to the plane, who were giving me injections to stop the headache and nausea. I got wheeled off in a wheelchair to the medical centre, where I pretty much slept for the next 3 hours.

When I came out Diego and Paola were waiting for me. I did tell the medical centre people there was someone waiting for me, but nobody told the information desk, so the taxi driver left. Luckily my saviours were at hand! They drove me to the hotel and I slept a lot!

Big thanks to the KLM staff and the Quito medical staff for helping me. Also, many thanks to Diego and Paola for getting me from the airport to the hotel. That would have been a tough journey in a taxi.

So it seems like my mission to be sick in every country in the world is still on track.

The Ecuador event starts tomorrow (probably today by the time I publish this). Fingers crossed everything will go well.



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!