Today was the big ‘APEX day’, with 3 APEX presentations and the APEX roundtable.
I met Dimitri at the Hotel as he’d just flown in and had been unable to make the start of the conference. We headed over to the ICC for the first APEX session of the day –
- Programming Real Applications with Application Express – Andrew Woodward, Yorkshire Building Society
Andrew did a good job of covering lots of the features he used to build their applications, as well as discussing things from the business perspective.
Next up, it was time for me to present my session on “Debugging APEX Applications”, by the way the title of this post is a blatant lie, I didn’t actually share the stage at the same *time* as Tom Kyte, but I did share the same stage he used for his Keynote speech. This room was absolutely huge and I’ll be surprised if I ever present in a room bigger than this one.
The room was not full obviously (there weren’t that many people at UKOUG interested in APEX!), so I’m still not sure why they put me in that room, but from my perspective it had two great advantages:
- I didn’t need to zoom in for my demos that much as the screen was enormous
- It was very good experience to present in a room of that size, truely nerve-wracking, but also a very good feeling afterwards when it all went well.
There was one downside to this room and it was the fact that on the stage the lights shine straight at you so you can’t really see the audience that well (at least nobody past the first couple of rows anyway), so it’s difficult to see if people are yawning or whether you’re showing them something they’ve never seen before. Anyway, judging by the comments afterwards the presentation seemed to go down well for some people (which is all you can ask really!).
Oh, I almost forgot, for this session Dimitri was my session chair. I’d ‘pre-warned’ Dimitri that my timing was tight and I needed every second of the 60 minute slot to fit all the material in so I asked him to keep his introduction nice and short….meaning keep it to less than a minute or two. Dimitri didn’t let me down…it took him 8 seconds to introduce me (there’s a nice big clock built into the stage in that Hall). I know I said ‘keep it short’ Dimitri, but there’s short and there’s short 😉
After my presentation it was time for the APEX Roundtable, I arrived a bit late as I stayed back from my session to answer a few questions and also it took me a while to put my laptop etc away. The roundtable was hosted by Jeremy Duggan and the panelists were Dimitri Gielis, Anthony Rayner and Peter Lorenzen. As usual with the Roundtables, there were lots of good questions covering a varied range of topics and the panel did a good job of answering them (I wasn’t on the panel for this one, but I did pitch in with a few answers).
After lunch, I started to unwind after giving my presentation (there is definitely an ‘adrenaline dump’ after you give a presentation) and also sat with Dimitri doing some work related things while he prepared for his presentation on “Integration of BI (XML) Publisher and APEX”.
I’ve seen Dimitri present this topic a few times now, but he always puts a different spin on it every time he presents it, so it’s always worthwhile watching it again. The audience was quite split between people who had used BI Publisher with APEX before and those who hadn’t used it at all before. Afterwards I heard a couple of people discussing how impressed they were because they didn’t know that level of printing integration was possible, good job Dimitri!
After Dimitri’s presentation I met Borkur Steingrimsson, whom Dimitri already knew. Borkur told me that he’d already made dinner reservations for us to wind down after our presentations. This meant that he’d called Mark Rittman and Peter Scott and arranged for us to meet up. This was exactly what I needed, so thanks Borkur!
We headed over to some bar (which I forget the name of) and had some great tapas and a few good beers.
I’ve met Mark before at Collab and OpenWorld, but I’d never met Borkur or Peter before, they’re both really nice guys and very easy to talk with. After the food we headed over to another pub which was pretty empty when we arrived, but soon started to fill up and rapidly became a ‘who’s who’ of the Oracle world, with Lisa Dobson, Doug Burns, Marco Gralike and many many others arriving.
I lasted till around 11:30pm and then had to head back to the hotel to get some sleep…however I found out the next day that some people managed to stay in the pub until 4:50am…I won’t name names, but you know who you are 😉