I thought I would have a posting to try and summarise my experiences at this years Oracle OpenWorld. First off I had a brilliant time, I think it was better than I was expecting by a long way. I really, really liked San Francisco. I don’t think I’m a great traveller but I thought the city had a great buzz & energy about it, and that was without the 40 odd thousand OpenWorld attendees.
It’s pretty hard I suspect to go to OpenWorld and not come back enthused about Oracle. Yeah, it probably means it’s good marketing, but I suspect it is also the superb community surrounding the products that gives you an extra ooomph of enthusiasm.
The conference is superbly organised, I really thought it was more like several conferences within a conference. I hardly left the Moscone South, (apart from to go to the OTN lounge & the keynotes). This meant I kept bumping into the same faces, and I must have bumped into a bloke from BA about half a dozen times at least. I think this is a good thing, as it makes the conference feel a bit less intimidating and it probably helps with managing the flow of people.
It’s the Networking Stupid!
I would be the first to admit I was the worst “networker” in the world. Simon Haslam has my personality nailed with the following: “…the old definition of an “extrovert techie” : “someone who looks at *your* shoes when they’re talking to you”. You know, that picture of a bloke with an apple in front of his face is there for a reason 😉
However, the real value add of OpenWorld is in all the fantastic individuals you can chat to. Sure, there are the Oracle employees and I would say one of the best things is being able to button hole the people that are intimately acquainted with any particular Oracle feature that is of interest to you. I had a great chat with the Active dataguard guys, and heard some real interesting stuff from Nitin Vengurlekar.
There is also the opportunity to chat to various well known characters, in the Oracle community, and yeah the OTN lounge was definitely a great place to meet people who know far more about Oracle than you do.
I did enjoy the bloggers meet-up, but I’ll be honest – I hardly recognised anybody, and I’m certain no one had read any of these scribblings!
So the actual presentations may not have been all that exciting and I did go to a few where I thought hang on, I’ve seen this material before. There did seem to be a lot of generic sessions just going over what were the highlights of the new features in 11g. I would say that the UKOUG Birmingham Conference has far more in-depth presentations.
Another point I noted about most of the presentations I saw, was that they were all presentation 1.0. What I mean by that, is that there was slide after slide filled with a load of bullet points. Presentation Zen should be required reading!
That being said, these were I thought the stand out presentations that I saw:
Graham Wood & John Beresniewicz: Performance Fundamentals for oracle Database 10g & 11g. I found this the most interesting of the Oracle presentations, a bit less generic than many others. As we know it’s all about DB Time.
Alex Gorbachev: Under the Hood of Oracle Clusterware. This was a masterly executed presentation, particularly the demos.
Larry Ellison: Exadata Announcement. I think Oracle had the marketing for this spot on, they really built the excitement up during the week. Yeah, I’m a techie, but I was quite pumped up for this announcement. You never know, I might even one day get my hands on a couple of exadata cells.
Tips for Next Time
I got heartily sick of taking so many cabs, so next time I’d really like to stay a little bit closer to the Moscone Center. That means I need to secure my OpenWorld ticket earlier than I did this time, it all felt a bit last minute this year, and the hotels fill up so quickly!
Failing that, I probably should have walked a bit more, but I think I got a misguided sense of the scale of San Francisco by doing too much touristy stuff the first 2 days.
Do More networking! Definitely need to drink more beer with more techies! Which would probably help with the jet lag – I certainly went to bed too early on the first night, I’m sure the key for avoiding jetlag is to try and stay up as late as you possibly can, and beer can surely only help with this!
I would heartily recommend Oracle OpenWorld to anybody thinking about going next year. Just make sure you hit those Oracle booths in the exhibition hall and pump the employees for all their worth. Oh and quench your thirst of an evening with a good selection of techies.
What more could a DBA want?