About 2 hours before I set off to drive down to the UKOUG (thankfully no trans-atlantic Jetlag inducing journey for an Oracle conference this time!) I realised I’d ‘lost’ my IPaq which I use for GPS.
Knowing that my chances of driving down to Birmingham and finding the hotel (Jurys Inn, where all the ‘tech people’ seem to be staying apparently) without getting lost were next to nil, I had to race out to buy a new TomTom GPS from PC World (I know, I know! Desperate times call for desperate measures though, besides I’m not the only one who had to call into PC World at the last minute).
I also managed to forget to pack the cable to connect my camera to my laptop, so there’ll be a distinct lack of photos from these posts, although I can use my iPhone (with it’s woefully inadequate camera).
I literally bumped into Mark Rittman in the lifts at hotel on monday morning and we had a very quick chat before Mark had to race off to fulfill all his duties.
UKOUG is much smaller than OpenWorld, but that’s actually a nice thing (after the ‘excess’ of OpenWorld) since it increases the chances of bumping into people you know (or people you jus met the day before).
Registration was very straight-forward, then I did the usual ‘check my email’ early morning task while sitting down on one of the comfy beanbags. When someone came over and said ‘hello’, it turned out to be H.Tonguç YILMAZ, I’ve been reading his blog for a while now so it was really nice to meet up with him, like I say, it’s so much easier to bump into people at UKOUG!
It was time to head over to the Keynote headed by Ian Smith which was the usual sort of opening Keynote you’d expect from such a conference, talking about ’30 years working with our customers”.
Tom Kyte then talked about “30 Years of Oracle”, Tom was his usual self, very easy to listen to and a great presenter. I particularly liked his joke about the 1.0 Clock and 2.0 Clock (I guess you had to be there to be appreciate it though).
I then watched “Oracle Application Express 3.0: Introduction and New Features” by Barry McGillin, which was a good overview of all the nice ‘juicyness’ in APEX 3.0 and 3.1 for those people who aren’t currently using 3.0 (or have not seen the 3.1 demo/beta evaluation). The presentation was full with a few people standing up at the back, Barry did a great job trying to fit in all of the features in the time available.
Next I went to the “Playing Russian Roulette with Silver Bullets” session by Jonathan Lewis, Jonathan (like Tom) is another fantastic presenter, so no matter what the title of the presentation chances are I’d have gone along to listen to it. The content was extremely topical (especially if you follow the OTN forums), since Jonathan covered not only those people who suggest ‘Silver Bullets’ to people who post problems, but also covered people who actively search for ‘Silver Bullets’. There were also a few funny quotes and examples thrown in for good measure, very entertaining and highly recommended if you get the chance to see it in the future.
After lunch there was another APEX related session on, this time by Jagdev Panesar about “Oracle APEX and Photographs, a mashup made in….”. This presentation was about Jaddev’s requirement to build an application to manage his photographs (and of course he chose APEX to do it), whilst Jagdev said at the beginning of the session that it wasn’t a technical session, it actually was in places, there was some good technical content particularly when he discussed using Oracle Text to help to index his data to make it easily searchable from his APEX application.
Final session of the day was back to Tom Kyte for ’11g New Features for DBAs’ where Tom covered some of the features that make 11g an almost ‘essential’ upgrade in terms of making your life as a DBA easier.
Then it was time to head back to the Hotel (bumping into Doug Burns on the way) and catch up with some work, I then planned to go to the Blogger Meetup however unfortunately the fates conspired against me and the ’30 minutes work’ I had to do turned into 3 hours, around 11pm I decided it was far from sensible to go out and start drinking at that point.
Perhaps the most worrying thing from Day 1 was noticing that the session I’m presenting on Wednesday, ‘Debugging APEX applications’ is scheduled to be in Hall 1. Hall 1 is the same place that was used for the Keynote speed, it is *HUGE*.
Now I’m hoping at this point there’s a severe misprint in the schedule and they’re going to relocate it on wednesday since I seriously cannot see enough people being at the session to make it worthwhile being in Hall 1.
On the plus side, I won’t need to ‘zoom in’ during my demos, as the projection screen in Hall 1 is about the size of a small house.