OTN Tour of Latin America 2016 : Pereira, Colombia – Day 2

laotn16Day 2 of the ASUOC event started with a talk on licensing in Spanish. I couldn’t understand the content, but the audience seemed interested and many people queued to get a business card from the speaker at the end.

Next up was my session called “Its raining data! Oracle databases in the cloud”. There were no changes to this session, so compared to yesterday I felt a little more relaxed at the start. 🙂

After my session was “Become a performance problem solver in 45 minutes!” by Trond Enstad. Trond is Norwegian, speaks excellent English and did his presentation in Spanish. 🙂 I just looked at his slides and pretended I understood what he was saying. 🙂

asoucThe next session was “Oracle Service Bus 12c: Everything you wanted to know about OSB 12c but were afraid to ask” by Frank Munz. Frank was struggling with his voice towards the end of yesterday, so he spent the morning in silent-mode, saving himself for his presentation. His voice was fine during the presentation. 🙂 As well as an explanation of WebLogic 12c, he also spoke about Micro Services.

That really marked the end of the conference for me. There was a session on DevOps in Spanish to complete the morning, then the afternoon was made up of workshops in Spanish…

I took part in some group photos, said goodbye to everyone and got a taxi back to the hotel to catch up on work and non-Oracle life for the rest of the day. 🙂

Thanks to everyone at ASUOC for inviting me to the event and making it fun. Hope to see you again soon!

So that’s the last conference in the series for me. Just the journey home to worry about now. 🙂



OTN Tour of Latin America 2016 : Pereira, Colombia – Day 1

laotn16The day started in the normal way. Breakfast, shower, change into another set of identical clothes. 🙂 From there it was a taxi ride to the Universidad Libre Seccionales Pereira to start the ASUOC leg of the tour.

After getting to the venue I had a fright. They were live streaming the event and couldn’t cope with live demos, so I spent most of the morning rewriting my first presentation to remove the demos. Not exactly the easy start to the morning I was hoping for. As a result, I missed the introduction to the event and most of the morning presentations.

Just before lunch I got to see Frank Munz speaking about “WebLogic 12c : What You Need to Know”. I have to support WebLogic infrastructure, so it’s always good to get to WebLogic sessions from time to time. I’ve used WebLogic 12.2, but I know enough to know there is lots about it I don’t know, if you know what I mean. 🙂

asoucAfter lunch it was my modified version of “Improving the Performance of PL/SQL Function Calls from SQL”. I was a little nervous as it was a mixed audience, professionals and students, and I was not doing the presentation I was expecting. Without the slides it was a little quick, but it went OK. I had a couple of questions from the audience, which is always good. After the session one guy asked to speak to me about some more general issues related to performance. We talked through a couple of scenarios and I emailed him a list of relevant links.

From there I caught the tail end of Debra‘s session on “PaaS4SaaS”.

After a short break was Deiby‘s session on “Why you should upgrade to Oracle 12c”, which was in Spanish so I couldn’t understand it. I’m sure it was awesome. 🙂

After the last session there was a show by some young dancers. First hip-hop dancers, then breakdancers and finally some cheerleading. A guy did a head-spin on concrete, which looked painful! In the cheerleading bit, they threw one of the girls in the air, she did a somersault and they caught her. The girl next to me screamed, “No!”, which made me laugh… I couldn’t help thinking how wrong a bad landing could be on concrete!

In the evening the user group took us out to eat. Carlos got me to try some tequila. I don’t drink very often, so I literally had one and felt drunk. 🙂 Good food and good company resulted in a really fun night! Thanks to everyone for a great night!



OTN Tour of Latin America 2016 : Guatemala to Colombia

laotn16Today was a really tough day!

I got up at about 03:15, a little before my alarm. I went to bed super early because I knew it would be an early start. I often struggle to sleep when I know I have an early start the next day, but it wasn’t too bad. Even so, 03:15 didn’t feel good.

I met Debra at the lobby and we got the hotel shuttle to the airport to start the journey…

Check-in and bag-drop at Guatemala City airport was fine, but the line for the passport checks was really slow and the place was really hot. Not conducive to having you in a good mood to start your trip.

We boarded the plane for what turned out to be a 30 minute flight to San Salvador Airport. There was no big drama at San Salvador. We moved to the boarding gate for the next flight, which was a 2.5 hour flight to Bogota. We landed at Bogota airport on time, but then things became a little chaotic.

For a start, everybody we asked on the plane and on the ground seemed to have a different idea about what we should do. Our bags were checked to Pereira, so we knew we didn’t have to pick up our bags. Some staff members said we needed to go through immigration, as Bogota was the first point of entry into Colombia. Others said we didn’t and should move straight to our next flight. We eventually found out we did need to go through immigration. Some staff said we needed to fill in the customs clearance form, while others said we didn’t, as we were not ending our journey yet and had no baggage. When we did get through immigration we asked for directions to domestic departures and were given the wrong directions. We eventually got the correct directions and started to make our way to the departure gate, thinking we were late, but lucky for us the third plane was late…

At this point our mood was pretty bad. I just decided to shut up, keep my head down and “drive forward”. Debra was struggling not to get angry with the world. 🙂

We arrived at Pereira airport, picked up our bags and headed for the exit. No bag check. No customs check. Nothing! The lady at the information desk didn’t speak English, but another lady nearby did and suggested we get a taxi to the hotel. She told us what the price would be, but we got charged foreigners rate for the taxi. When the taxi driver said he didn’t have receipts Debra nearly went supernova. Lucky for him he “found” something resembling a receipt pad. It’s not the amount of money that’s the issue, it’s the principle of the thing! We said we wanted to pay in US dollars and needed a receipt before we got in the car!

We got to the hotel and there was some confusion over the booking. Debra reserved two rooms for us (one each). They were expecting two groups of two. Not sure how. Then Debra’s card wouldn’t work…

We eventually got booked in, dumped out bags in our rooms and went out to get some cash and some food. With food in us and a complimentary drink when we got back to the hotel, life started to seem a little better…

When I got back to my room, I posted yesterday’s blog post and video, then went to the gym for a while. I’ll post this entry tonight, but I’ll probably add in the video of the day tomorrow.

Overall it was a terrible day. Having such an early start, then a confusing journey, and all of that coming on the last leg of the tour meant we were both pretty close of breaking point.

Today never happened. Tomorrow is a new day!