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… 🙂
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. 🙂
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. 🙂 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. 🙂
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… 🙂
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 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… 🙂
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… 🙂
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. 🙂 Having a large group of presenters in a room is not a good way to keep the volume down. 🙂
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. 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. 🙂
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. 🙂
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…
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. 🙂
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!
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 Closson made me. 🙂 Marcin worked through some of the pros and cons and gave a bunch of numbers and graphs to prove is points. Graphs mean science! 🙂
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. 🙂
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! My first session was “Put your feet up and have a REST. Take a Tour of JSON Support in the Oracle Database”. The second was “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. 🙂
After my sessions I went to 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… 🙂
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 data you can query 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. 🙂
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 Dinner at 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. 🙂
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. That was good because I hadn’t packed up laptop bag, which was also acting as my overnight bag. 🙂
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. 🙂
I arrived, registered and went straight to the first session, but that’s another blog post! 🙂
I left work after an hour yesterday and spent the day cycling between sleeping in bed and sleeping in the bath. In the evening I had a Machu Picchu incident and started to puke every few minutes until I eventually fell asleep. At about 05:00 I woke up, got in the bath and slept for another 2 hours. It was then time to leave for UKOUG Database SIG! 🙂
I was originally down to do a single session. I agreed to do a second session when someone pulled out sick. 🙂 The agenda had me up first and third. I asked Jonathan if I could do a swap and he agreed, so I was up first and second. That gave the opportunity to leave if I felt bad…
They seemed to go OK and there were some nice comments on Twitter. 🙂
As I expected, the Lemsip and adrenalin was wearing off by the time I finished my second talk and I had started to sweat like crazy. I had a quick chat with some folks during the break, then I got in my car and came home.
Sorry for doing a hit and run! Next time I’ll hang around for the day. I hope everyone else’s sessions wen well!
Similar to last year, I had a presentation on a day I wasn’t attending, so I used my “lunch break” to drive in, present and drive back to work. I did get to see a bunch of people while I was waiting for my session to start, including my dad and wife. 🙂
As a DBA and PL/SQL developer I’m a firm believer in the Thick Database Model, but we are no longer in a position to dictate terms. What we should be trying to do is make the stuff we develop, as well as stuff we have already built over the last 20+ years, as accessible as possible. You can’t achieve that by forcing people to use an Oracle client and telling them to call a packaged procedure. What you can do though is present them with a web service that makes it easy for them to use your code.
I’ve been pushing this message for years with XML web services and SOAP web services from the database. Nowadays the basic message is still the same, but the tools are a little different, and of course XML has been replaced by JSON.
So the question is, do you want to be legacy or play with the “cool kids”? 🙂
Thanks to everyone who came to my session and those that spoke to me during Sunday, Monday and today. Thanks to the folks at UKOUG for inviting me to come and play. As always, big thanks go out to the Oracle ACE Program for letting me continue to fly the flag in my cloud free skies. 🙂
I got a bit of a late start to the day. I had a some work stuff I had to do before setting off for the conference and it dragged on a bit longer than I expected.
My plan for the day was to go to sessions about stuff I don’t do for my job. I could dress that up as something strategic, but the reality is I’m now totally conferenced out. It’s been a tough six months. 🙂
The first session I went to was Mark Rittman with “Query, Integrate & Visualise All Your Data (In Real-Time!) Using Hadoop”. This was a strategic session, discussing the present and future direction of analytics over Hadoop. Every time I see a Hadoop session there are some new projects I’ve never heard of before and a bunch of projects that are now out of favour. Gotta do it in the cloud and forget about the plumbing. Mark was joined briefly by Tanel Poder, who discussed what Gluent are doing to integrate information from different sources.
After lunch I was planning to watch Robin Moffatt speaking about Kafka, but the room was full, so I went to see Neil Chandler with “It’s a Disaster! Making it Better Using FarSync & Fast Connect Failover”. So this is not exactly “not my job”, but Neil does this stuff at a bigger scale than I do.
I had arranged to spend some time speaking to Jennifer from the Oracle ACE Program, so I missed the next block of talks while I spoke to her and a few folks who dropped by, including a fully awake Jeff Smith. 🙂
Next I went to watch Chris Lawless from Dbvisit speaking about “Data Streaming From Oracle to Kafka”, but once again it was full. Do you notice a pattern here? Rather than miss out I sat in the corridor listening. I couldn’t see anything, but it was still a good presentation in audio only. 🙂
Next I was planning to see “Migrating to & Supporting Databases on Amazon RDS for Oracle” by Maris Elsins, but once again the room was rammed. I couldn’t face watching/listening from the corridor again, so I dropped out and went to get a coffee and some food.
The last session of the day for me was “When The Rules Change: Next Generation Oracle Database Architectures Using Super-Fast Storage” by James Morle. There is no way I will ever work on stuff this high-end, but it’s fun to watch and it raises a whole bunch of interesting questions about the cost:benefit ratio of caching data when the storage is super fast.
From there we went across to Thai Edge for the ACE dinner. Lots of food. Lots of drink for those that do. Lots of talking. Altogether a great evening!
Towards the end of the evening I got talking to Lothar Flatz and I ended up giving him a lift back to his hotel, before heading home.
I’m just about to post this and it’s 01:20. I’m at work tomorrow. It’s going to be a tough day! 🙂