OOW07 – Day 2

OpenWorld Day 2

Another early jetlag start…4am on the dot, wide-awake and unable to get back to sleep. The only thing that makes me feel better is that every second or third person I speak to at OOW seems to be having the same problems.

I’d booked in for a couple of APEX sessions today, the first one was “Creating Dynamite Applications That Deliver” by Kathy Hunsicker of Washington Mutual and introduction by David Peake of Oracle. This was not a technical session on APEX (Kathy herself stated that right upfront), but was instead an inside view on how they (WaMu) ‘sold’ APEX internally and got management buy-in to use Application Express to replace their multitude of Excel Spreadsheets, Access Databases and other desktop systems which should have only been used as a stop-gap but eventually turned into day-to-day ‘production systems’ (such a common occurrence).

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Now while I’d class myself as a ‘techie’, I am also a Company Director (of Apex Evangelists), so I did find the presentation extremely interesting because lots of the concerns and resistance to change that Kathy brought up are echoed amongst the clients that we speak to, so it was great to hear Kathy’s take on how you can position the development tool to overcome that resistance and how you can ‘sell’ the tool (which is a strange concept considering it is 100% free!).

An excellent presentation I thought and it just goes to show that even if you’re a ‘techie geek’ then you can still enjoy a non-technical presentation.

After Kathy’s presentation, a choice had to be made between “APEX Introduction and 3.0 New Features” by David Peake or an Unconference presentation by Brad Brown of TUSC on ‘Advanced APEX’. Davids’ presentation was in the Hilton whilst Brads’ presentation was in the Moscone, it just so worked out that I was closer to the Moscone, so I plumped for Brads presentation (sorry David! It was purely down to the scheduling and the fact that I couldn’t cope with another run between the Moscone and the Hilton!). I’d seen Brad present this topic before, but the Unconference setting put a different spin on it, it was a much more relaxed and ‘intimate’ (perhaps not the right word, but I guess you had to be there) presentation. I think it’s great that someone pitched up for an APEX Unconference session, I did think of doing one but it’s finding the time to do it which is the problem!

I spoke to Brad for quite a bit after the presentation and he’s a really nice guy to chat to, so once again…even if you’ve seen the presentation before then you can always get something else out of it by seeing it again.

Later on, it was time for the Application Express meetup, unfortunately I forget to take my camera so I have no pictures to post. However Dimitri (who is usually official photographer on these types of things) probably took lots of pictures so head over to his blog to see some pics. There was a very good turnout for the meetup (I thought the turnout last year was impressive, but this year there were even more) it’s great to meetup with like-minded people, chat about some APEX and life in general over drinks.

We had originally planned to head over to the OTN Night after the meetup, but as it turned out we all headed out to a restaurant (again, no pics from me, but plenty of others were taken…so if you have some and you don’t blog then send me some copies please!). I really enjoyed going to the restaurant, I went to the OTN Night last year which was great, but it was also good to ‘extend’ the APEX meetup.

Once again (as last year), Mike Hichwa picked up the tab at the end of night, sorry Mike I didn’t realise that until later and didn’t get a chance to thank you, but it was extremely generous of you and much much appreciated. I just hope you don’t have too many problems putting those expenses through this month!

After the meal, still eager for more drinking time we wandered across the road (some tripping on the way) to an Irish Bar, I forget the name, despite having been in it a few times this week already…err perhaps that doesn’t sound so good when I read it back, but the first couple of times was just for some food, honestly. The bar was really packed and at times it’s difficult to hear exactly what someone is saying to you, so if someone asked me an APEX question and I completely misheard you, I apologise, I blame the loud music and it had absolutely nothing to do with the alcohol.

Once again, sleepiness just crept up on me and I had to head back to get some sleep (I really wanted to stay for a bit longer but knew I’d regret it in the morning).

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