OUG Ireland 2018 : Day 2

Day 2 was a mixed day for me. I mentioned in the previous post my preparation for this conference had not been the best because of circumstances, and that started to get the better of me. I’ve said it before, public speaking is not natural for me. This was the first conference I had done since UKOUG Tech17. Having nearly a 4 month break and coming in without the normal prep was a bad idea, because it felt very much like I was back to square one, doing my first ever presentation. I spent quite a while talking to Chris Saxon in the morning, where I had pretty much decided to give up presenting blah, blah, blah…

My first session was “Using PL/SQL and ORDS to Develop RESTful Web Services for APEX? Why?”. Even though it is an APEX talk, I am speaking mostly about the organisation of applications, the use of API-first development and web services, but all in the context of APEX. I’m the first to admit I’m not a great APEX developer, but I do know a bit about PL/SQL and I think I am pretty good at organising applications. I think the talk went OK. That calmed my nerves somewhat for the next session, which was the one I was really worried about.

My second session was “Cool New Features for Developers in 18c and 12c”, which was mostly live demos, connected to an 18c database running on the Oracle Database Cloud Service. I had recorded the demos in case the internet connection dropped, but I think if it had it would have been game over really. The internet connection was fine, which was a relief. I couldn’t switch between the slides and the demos as seamlessly as I would have liked, but it wasn’t terrible. I had picked a selection of things that I think are cool from 12.1, 12.2 and 18c. Some things were cool because they are useful. Some things are cool for geek factor, even though I might not use them much. I had a couple of timing issues with the demos and I ran out of time, but overall it felt OK. There was a bit of banter with the crowd, which always helps me relax.

Update: Someone asked for the list, so here it is. I didn’t get to demo them all because of time. ๐Ÿ™‚

From there it was off to the panel session I was meant to chair. So it turns out I’m bad on the panel, I’m bad in the audience and I’m bad as chair of a panel. I think the only way it’s going to work out is if I’m gagged or excluded. Dominic Giles got a grilling in part of the session, but he handled it admirably as always. As is always the case with panels, there’s a mixed bag of questions and a rather varied selection of answers… ๐Ÿ™‚

From there it was a few goodbyes, and I hung around with Chris, before leaving for the airport. We got some food and as Chris left for his plane Neil and Martin turned up. I spent a few minutes chatting with them, then it was off to get my plane.

Some of the guys at the back of the plane were “a little rowdy”, but it was a quick flight and we got back OK. It was then a short taxi ride home and it was all over…

The OUG Ireland 2018 conference felt busier this year. I’m not sure how the numbers stack up, but a couple of people commented the same. Just a little reminder, if you are using one of the cheap airline companies, it’s probably cheaper to get to the OUG Ireland conference than it is to get to some of the UK conferences. Just sayin’. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks to the folks at OUG Ireland for letting me come again. Thanks to the attendees and people who came to my sessions for helping me get through them. Thanks to the speakers also, especially those who did a bit of “counselling” for me. ๐Ÿ™‚ This was a self-funded trip, but thanks as always to the Oracle ACE Program and Developer Champion Program for letting me fly the flag. See you all again next year.

Cheers

Tim…

OUG Ireland 2018 : Day 1

When I originally posted about this event I was an attendee. Over the last week or so things have changed a lot. First I picked up a vacated speaker slot, then I was asked to chair a panel session, then I was asked if I could fill another speaker slot that had become free.ย Of the two presentations I agreed to give, one hadn’t been written yet and had live demos to prep. The other one was written, but needed some serious rehearsal. Needless to say, this last week has been a bit of a nightmare. My presenting skills are not natural, they’ve been learnt, and it takes me a lot of rehearsal to appear casual and relaxed. If you want to come and see if I manage to get through the demos without injury, my sessions are in the last three blocks on Friday. You can see the agenda here. ๐Ÿ™‚

So day one began at silly o’clock with a taxi ride to the airport. It’s a really short flight to Dublin, so it feels more like a bus ride. When you are flying on CheapAir for pennies there really is no messing about. A lady had her full baggage allocation, but wanted to bring a giant box of tea bags with her, which was going to cost her ยฃ50 as a checked item. That was an interesting discussion/fight… The flight itself was really quick, and once at Dublin airport is was a short bus ride to the Gresham Hotel and the conference started…

First up was Dominic Giles with a keynote called “Towards Autonomous Data Management”. I’ve written about using the Autonomous Data Warehouse Cloud Service before (here). I’ve also written about my opinions of this type of service going forward (here). I’m looking forward to see how these services develop. As I’ve said before, this is the beginning of a journey, not the destination…

After coffee and some chit-chat it was off to see “Tell us Your Plans, ask us Your Questions” with the wife and Tony Cassidy. This was a question and answer session about Oracle Cloud Apps and I just wanted to keep my ear to the ground.

Next up was Neil Chandler with “JSON in Oracle”, followed by Chris Saxon with “18(ish) Things Developers Will Love About Oracle Database 18c”. I enjoyed both sessions, but I think people in one of my sessions tomorrow might feel some deja vu, because they collectively covered a lot of the stuff I am speaking about tomorrow. I’ve got some live demos (if my internet connection works), which will hopefully make it feel different. ๐Ÿ™‚

From there I headed back to check in to my hotel and play catch-up on a couple of things, including checking out my demos again. ๐Ÿ™‚

I popped over to the social event, to catch some people I hadn’t spoken to during the day. I was going to duck out of the ACE dinner as it had been a long day, but Brendan persuaded me I should go, and I was glad I did because it was announced that Kiran Tailor is the latest person to be made an Oracle ACE Director.

Kiran is a super-nice guy, so I was pleased this happened.

Once we had eaten, I walkedย the wife back to her hotel, and bought her an ice cream, then headed off to mine to crash. What a long day!

Quite nervous about tomorrow…

Cheers

Tim…

UKOUG Tech17 : It’s a Wrap!

Just a quick reflection on the UKOUG Tech17 event…

Here are the posts I wrote over the event.

Things went pretty well for me this week. My timetable allowed me to come for two full days, which was nice. It’s a lot less stressful when you are not trying to rush in and out from work like I was on Tuesday.

It’s funny walking around the event as it feels like every couple of steps I see someone I want to stop and talk to. I could probably spend the whole event in the lobby just talking to people. ๐Ÿ™‚

As usual, some quick thanks:

  • Thanks to UKOUG for letting come to present again.
  • Thanks to all the people that came to my sessions, came to speak to me during the event and the folks thatย filled in the session evaluations last year, making my head swell even more. ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Thanks to Oracle Academy and UKOUG for letting me come and present at the Oracle Academy sessions.
  • Thanks to the Oracle ACE Program for organising the briefing and for letting me continue to fly the flag at these events, as well the Developer Champion Program for dragging me into the new world. ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Thanks to all the other speakers for sharing your knowledge and saving me a load of time Googling…

Next year’s event is in Liverpool, so I’m not sure how that will work out for me. If colleagues still want to come I will probably only be able to come for a single day. If they can’t face the journey I will be able to come for the whole event and stay in a hotel. ๐Ÿ™‚

Cheers

Tim…

UKOUG Tech17 : Wednesday

Wednesday started with a quick trip to the doctor, then I got a bus into town for the conference. I kept bumping into interesting people and chatting, so I didn’t manage to get to any of the early sessions.

I missed picking up my Best UK Speaker award and the group photo yesterday, so I picked it up today and did a photo withย Linda and Jennifer, two of the ladies that keep the Oracle ACE Program and the Developer Champion Programs running smoothly. While I was in the exhibition hall I got into a discussion about APEX, and rather than just talk I opened my laptop, headed to apex.oracle.com and did an impromptu demo. One APEX talk and it’s gone to my head. ๐Ÿ™‚

Then it was time for me to head up to the Oracle Academy sessions. UKOUG and Oracle Academy put on a program for students and Brendan Tierney and I agreed to help out and each do a short talk for them. Some of the students got “lost” in the conference (or at the German market), and of the ones that did turn up I recognised all of them from either the BCU talks I’ve done recently, or the UKOUG NextGen session I did in 2014. ๐Ÿ™‚

From there it was off to lunch, then I had a two hour Oracle ACE Director briefing. It was a mix of public and NDA stuff, so I’m not going to say anything about it (or the Oracle Games Console #OGC) for fear of getting disappeared…

That pretty much wrapped up the conference. I popped into Starbucks to chat to Mia, Debra and Fiona, then it was a bus home and that was that.

Cheers

Tim…

UKOUG Tech17 : Tuesday

Tuesday was a work day for me, so I was in work until the late afternoon, then left for the conference to do my APEX session. A little while later I was sitting in traffic thinking, “I’m not going to make it!” The traffic opened, I got a parking spot really quickly and I made it with 3 minutes to spare… ๐Ÿ™‚

The session was based around API first development for APEX. I was quite nervous about doing a talk in the APEX stream, because I have a long history of being bad at APEX and I know some of the things I say contradict the way some APEX developers like to work. The session was based around a number of things already on my website, but I might put them together to put out an article that aligns with this session, even if it just ends up as a glorified links page. I enjoyed giving the session and I spoke to a few people after it and got some nice feedback. Remember, it’s all just my opinion, not the law. ๐Ÿ™‚

After the session I spent some time speaking to Gert Poel. He had done a session in the APEX track the day before, which had a lot of crossover with mine. Great minds think alike. ๐Ÿ™‚ Then it was coffee, more talking, and the evening bash. Not surprisingly I spent a lot of time chatting to people, eating some food and had a couple of sneaky diet cokes. At about 22:00 I drove home and crashed for the night.

So Tuesday was a short day from a conference perspective for me, but I got to chat to a lot of people, which is the best bit about any conference. ๐Ÿ™‚

Cheers

Tim…

UKOUG Tech17 : Monday

I couldn’t face the traffic, so I walked to the station and got the train into town. I got to the event in time for the first sessions, but got waylaid meeting people, so the first session for me was the morning keynote, where I got my 30 seconds of fame as they announced the speaker awards.

After the keynote I grabbed a drink and went to watch “Flashback Features in Oracle Database” by Connor McDonald. Connor is always good to watch, although I felt a little cheated as he only used about 260 slides over the 50 minutes. It was practically sedate for him… ๐Ÿ™‚

Next I went to see Pete Finnigan with “GDPR for the Oracle DBA”, who had a full room. As a techie it’s really easy to focus on the tech aspect of GDPR, but it’s such an expansive subject, spanning all aspects of the business. After the session someone tweeted,

“So you could say the architecture that underpins Oracle technology is not GDPR compliant, or did I miss something”

My reply was,

“I think you missed something. I don’t think any app is GDPR compliant itself. It’s bigger than that.”

I’m struggling to see how companies will even scratch the surface of GDPR…

After lunch I had my session called Multitenant : What’s new in Oracle Database 12cย Release 2 (12.2). It was in the big auditorium, but most people sat towards the front of the room, so it didn’t feel like I was just presenting to chairs this year. ๐Ÿ™‚

After me came the community keynote “Solving the Most Common User Request …. Make it go Faster!”, which was a tag-team made up of Connor McDonald, Chris Saxon and my sister-in-law Maria Colgan. I think this format is fun, and the general message about us needing to be more user-driven is important. At one point Connor was talking about instrumentation and showed a screen with V$SESSION information on it, asking the audience how anyone could tell which row represented the problem session. I shouted out it was row three as a joke, and it turned out to be true. I am available for performance tuning work. I don’t need to see you’re system. I am data-sensitive… ๐Ÿ™‚

From there I went to see “Making the APEX Universal Theme Your own” by Marc Sewtz. I’m possibly the worst APEX developer in the world, so I have to keep throwing in APEX sessions, just so I feel a little less guilty… ๐Ÿ™‚

On the way out of the previous session I got talking to Stew Ashton, and we missed the last session of the day chatting, mostly talking about #SmartDB. From there we headed up for the drinks and mingling. A little before 20:00 I headed across to the Oracle ACE Dinner, where we had a family table. ๐Ÿ™‚ Having a large group of presenters in a room is not a good way to keep the volume down. ๐Ÿ™‚

A short taxi ride home and Monday was done for me. I’m at work on Tuesday, but I will be in to present my session called, “Using PL/SQL and ORDS to Develop RESTful Web Services for APEX? Why?”, in the APEX stream.ย  I understand the irony of me being a crap APEX developer and doing a session in the APEX stream, but if you see it I think it will make sense why. ๐Ÿ™‚

Cheers

Tim…

UKOUG Tech17 : I’m Speaking

Just a quick note to let you know what I’m doing at UKOUG Tech17 during the 4th-6th December.

I’ve got a couple of normal presentations.

Multitenant : What’s New in Oracle Database 12c Release 2 (12.2)
Stream: Database 1
Length of slot: 50 minutes
Day: Monday 4th December – 14:25-15:15

Using PL/SQL & ORDS to Develop RESTful Web Services for APEX? Why?
Stream: APEX
Length of slot: 50 minutes
Day: Tuesday 5th December – 15:40 – 16:30

I’m also doing a 25 minute session on Wednesday for students, which isn’t currently listed on the Agenda. It’s part of a UKOUG and Oracle Academy collaboration.

At some point in the week I’ll be picking up the “Best UK Speaker Award” for a session I did at Tech16. It’s funny because I wasn’t originally presenting at that event, but I was asked to fill a gap in the schedule when someone dropped out. Happy accident. ๐Ÿ™‚

Similar to previous years I will be in and out a lot. I have to give priority to colleagues who don’t get to come to as many conferences as me. It’s only fair…

See you there.

Tim…

OUG Ireland 2017 : The Journey Home

I left the hotel bar with Martin, Chris and Neil and after an abortive attempt to get an airbus, we got a taxi to the airport.

I was convinced Dublin Airport was one of the few airports that don’t want you to unpack your laptops from your bag so I didn’t and my bag got flagged. I have no idea where I got that idea from, but I felt like a dick. ๐Ÿ™‚

We then went to get some food and wait for our respective flights, whilst discussing our favourite movies…

When it was my time to board I said my goodbyes and headed to the boarding gate…

All three seats in my row were full and all three of us were of a “fuller figure”, but fortunately the row across the aisle was free so I got to “upgrade” from a middle seat to my own row. Happy days!

The flight home was about 45 minutes, then it was a taxi ride home to complete the journey. Wrap-up post to follow!

Cheers

Tim…

OUG Ireland 2017 : Day 1

I arrived at the Gresham Hotel, registered and went straight down to the first session of the day…

First up was Maria Colgan presenting, “What to Expect from Oracle Database 12c”, a quick romp through the cool features in Oracle 12c (12.1 and 12.2). The room was full so I had to listen form the corridor, with my head occasionally popping round the door to see the screen. Maria’s sessions are always great value, so definitely get to her if you can.

Next up was Marcin Przepiorowski with “Direct NFS for DBAs”. I’ve used this for some time, but only because Kevin Clossonย made me. ๐Ÿ™‚ Marcin worked through some of the pros and cons and gave a bunch of numbers and graphs to prove is points. Graphs mean science! ๐Ÿ™‚

I then moved on to Christian Berg with “Doing Oracle Analytics this way? STOP IT!”. We are transitioning to Oracle BI for the on-prem warehouse associated with our Oracle Cloud Apps stuff. I’m not part of the project and I don’t understand any of this stuff, but I just want to understand some of the vocabulary. I’m definitely understanding some more of the words now. ๐Ÿ™‚

Next up was Martin Klier with “42 facts for Grid Infrastructure, ASM and RAC”. This was a quick-fire introduction to RAC and ASM. I’ve used both for some years, but I still find it really cool to see a summary like this, from someone who can actually do it for real.

Then it was me with back-to-back sessions. I brought my underwear, but forgot my pointer, so I had to borrow one from the mighty Maria Colgan. Thanks Maria!ย My first session was “Put your feet up and have a REST. Take a Tour of JSON Support in the Oracle Database”. The second wasย “It’s Raining Data! Oracle Databases in the Cloud”. Both sessions got a good crowd and I really enjoyed them. Judging by the reactions on Twitter some of the audience appreciated them too. ๐Ÿ™‚

After my sessions I went toย Gerald Venzl with “Supercharge Your Code to Get Optimal Database Performance”. He had the word Java on the title slide, but by his own admission it applied equally well to any programming language that interacts with a database. He discussed a number of things like the impact of commits, set processing, array processing and bind variables etc. For some of the points he did live demos to show the impact of getting it wrong. It’s exactly what you need every developer to hear before they are allowed to develop against a relational database. I think Gerald has spotted a gap in the market and is positioning himself as “The New Tom Kyte”, so from now on he will be known as Gerald Kyte… ๐Ÿ™‚

Kamil Stawiarski with “Back to the basics: TABLESPACES… but a little bit low level style”. In this session he spoke about how different operations affect the contents of the datafiles on disk. Not the dataย you can queryย from SQL, but actually what is written (or not) to disk. He demoed it, by performing the operations in SQL and displaying the contents of the datafiles using a little C++ utility. It’s important for people to understand this stuff from a space-manangement perspective, but also from a security perspective. Just because you’ve deleted the row, it doesn’t mean you can’t read it from the datafile (assuming you are not using TDE) etc. ๐Ÿ™‚

After the last session we got together for drinks. The queue was pretty big, so I went across the road and checked into my hotel, then came back and got a pint of Guinness. We headed off to the ACE Dinnerย atย Rustic Stone, which was quite fancy. From there we moved across to a local bar and I was “forced” to have another Guinness. Then it was back to the hotel, where Christian “forced” us to eat rather expensive chocolate. I ended getting to bed really late. It was a really fun day at the conference and the evening. ๐Ÿ™‚

Let’s see what tomorrow brings… ๐Ÿ™‚

Cheers

Tim…

OUG Ireland 2017 : The Journey Begins

There is something about early starts that get me so nervous I can’t sleep properly. As a result I was awake before my 05:00 alarm, which gave me plenty of time to get ready. Thatย was good because I hadn’t packed up laptop bag, which was also acting as my overnight bag. ๐Ÿ™‚

The taxi ride to the airport was pretty standard, but I did have a conversation about Roza Bal in Kashmir.

I only had hand luggage, so I didn’t have to wait for the bag drop and security was mercifully quick. They did an explosives test on my phone, but ignored my laptop, cameras and huge power bank. Go figure…

Boarding happened on time and there was a gap in our row, so I was able to get the laptop out, which is always a bonus. The flight took about 40 minutes and was generally uneventful.

The journey from Dublin Airport to the conference venue was pretty simple. The AirLink Express takes you straight to the Gresham Hotel, so no drama there.

It is easier and cheaper for me to get to the OUG Ireland events than it is to get to London events. ๐Ÿ™‚

I arrived, registered and went straight to the first session, but that’s another blog post! ๐Ÿ™‚

Cheers

Tim…