Most of the morning (woke up at 4:30am today), was spent polishing my presentation and live demos for session in the afternoon.
Around lunch time it was time to wander down to the Moscone to catch Tony Jedlinski’s “Mastering Application Express Email” session, which was interesting and there were a lot of question from people who obviously didn’t know that this feature was available in Application Express. Tony also is a much better judge of timing than I was, since he finished spot on time, so I still felt guilty about overrunning my slot earlier in the week since this time it was my turn to follow him and since he finished perfectly on time allowing me enough time to setup in time to start.
Then it was time for me to present my final session, it was a tough-gig as they say, since not only was I on at exactly the same time as Dimitri, who was presenting on advanced PDF printing, but we were also presenting one of the last sessions on the last day, the day after the appreciation event (i.e. people were tired, hung-over, and thinking of the travel home).
I took my camera to take a picture of the audience, but right when I went to take a picture the camera shut down with a ‘no battery’ warning…at this point I thought perhaps it was an omen that things were about to start going downhill.
The room was pretty full (around 80+ people I think) and I didn’t see anyone fall asleep, which is always a good sign!
It’s difficult to tell (or rather I find it difficult) whether you’re pitching the presentation at the right level, if you make it too technical and advanced, you lose a lot of the audience, if you pitch it too low and basic, you lose the other part of the audience. I’d set myself a bit of a challenge again since I added extra material to this presentation because I wanted to show 4 different techniques that you can use to really increase the performance and scalability of your APEX applications. Fortunately I finished about 5 or 6 minutes before time was up and I also managed to squeeze in some Q&A.
There are no feedback forms at Openworld, so I won’t get to find out what the audience thought of the presentation, which personally I like to do, for me the worst thing would be if I walked out thinking I’d done a good job, but the audience thought I’d done a bad job. Anyway, on the sliding scale of presenting, I think this one went pretty well judging by the comments I got at the end.
It can be very nerve-wracking to put yourself in the position of standing up infront of nearly 100 people and talking pretty much non-stop for an hour, but it’s also incredibly rewarding and you get a good feeling afterwards (although I have to admit I definitely feel the post-adrenaline dump too).
Afterwards, we headed over to the 4th Street Bar & Grill for a post-OOW drink with Carl Backstrom, David Peake and Patrick Wolf. Although we got parted in the crowds, and when Dimitri and I walked into the bar we spotted Doug Burns sitting with Chris Muir and we joined them for a well-earned beer (sorry David, Patrick and Carl, we weren’t ignoring you, we just got waylaid). Pretty soon we were joined by Laurent Schneider, Tim Hall, Steve Bisson and some others (sorry my memory for names gets worse with age!).
I’d left my camera back at the hotel, but Dimitri has some pictures over on his blog.
We all then wandered over to the final wrap-up event at the Yerba Buena, which meant more free food and alcohol and chats about Oracle and life-in-general.
After the wrap-up party we were wandering up to another bar, but I wanted to drop off my laptop case before I went, a fatal mistake, as I ended up crashing back at the hotel, a combination of the alcohol, tiredness and the adrenaline-dump hitting me all at once.
All in all, a very nice end of the day.