OOW07 – Day 3

I’m losing track of the days now, they’re all merging into one long jet-lagged day. Anyway, it’s tuesday and once again I woke up around 4am.
I almost missed the big presentation from Tom Kyte on “How do you know what you know”, I almost missed it because I was convinced it was on tomorrow, but by sheer chance I checked the schedule online and spotted that it was due to start in 20 minutes. Fortunately it was in the Hilton so I only had to race downstairs to make it in time.

The room was absolutely full by the time Tom started and I wouldn’t like to guess how many people were there but it was a *lot*. I read later on Tom’s blog that he still gets nervous when presenting to that many people, which is completely understandable, I just thought that he had done it so many times now that it was second nature to him. So, as a relatively new presenter at these sort of events, I’m not sure if I find the fact that even people like Tom still get nervous as a good thing or a bad thing!

Tom, as always, gave an absolutely superb presentation and you really can listen to him for a long time, no matter when he’s talking about something technical, or something less technical (as this presentation was).

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After some quick breakfast, it was time for another APEX session, this time it was “Steal the Show with Oracle Application Express” by Bill Holtzman. This was another very full session, with the room filled to capacity. Bill discussed the application he implemented for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association and showed some of the techniques and tips he learned along the way. It’s always good to hear, not only technical details, but also the business focused side of things in terms of how someone was able to ‘sell’ APEX as a solution for their particular needs.

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I’ve seen Bill posting on the APEX forums for a while now, so it was good to meet him in person and had some time to chat with him during a walk down from the Hilton to the Moscone later on and he’s a nice guy to talk to, very friendly (a common theme amongst most APEX developers!).

After lunch it was time Carl Backstrom to present his eagerly anticipated “Advanced Oracle Application Express: Building Web 2.0 Applications”, this was definitely a ‘hot presentation’ as Carl was going to show some of the ultra-cool APEX 3.1 features. Unfortunately the gremlins were out in force today and Carl suffered a nightmare with the connection of his laptop to the projector and ended up having to use another laptop, which meant he couldn’t show his live demos, but worse than that the ‘borrowed laptop’ kept shutting down at the wrong moment.

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Don’t beat yourself up though Carl, you recovered the situation very well and the presentation (albeit without demos) was very impressive. Carl covered how to debug your AJAX and JavaScript problems with a nice simple 4 step process and also covered where APEX was heading in terms of the cool JavaScript and AJAX functionality.

Next it was time for the “Oracle Application Express: Creating Advanced PDF Reports” hands-on lab session, hosted by Marc Sewtz, Marco Adelfio, David Peake and some others, this one was again packed out. I heard someone say that over 200 people had registered for around 100 places, so it was a very popular one (it’s always good to do the hands-on stuff since you get a better understanding of how things work). There was a slight hiccup at one spot, but as usual it was down to some Microsoft VB/ActiveX problem!

Later on I caught the next Tom Kyte presentation on “The Top 10 – No 11 – New Features of Oracle Database 11g”. Of course, this presentation was packed out as well and Tom covered 11 different features that make 11g a ‘must have’. Features ranged from caching through to compression. Despite the fact that Tom announced right at the beginning that the list was not in any particular order, I heard someone behind me saying that they disagreed with the order he was showing them in (do some people just not *listen* any more?).

I had planned on going to the Blogger Meetup at the Thirsty Bear, in fact I’d been looking forward to it for a while, but unfortunately I had some work to do which I figured would take about 30 minutes to do, but 3 hours later I was still working on it, so unfortunately didn’t make it to the meetup, so apologies to everyone for not making it, but next year I’ll plan better!

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