Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Oracle OpenWorld 2011. Days 2 and 3

This year my schedule here in SanFran is surprisingly busy. And not just because of social events :-) It is my 5th OpenWorld in a row - and for now it holds #1 spot for the technical content. Overall, from Oracle's side there is much less marketing people presenting their products / much more technical leads explaining what is going on under the hood. So, I apologize for a small gap in my story-telling and will try to catch up!

Day 2. Monday, Oct 3
For the first time in all of my conference years I decided to come to hands-on training. The topic was one of my favorites, Cost-Based-Optimizer, but still, I had some doubts about how well it could be illustrated as "hands-on". Big surprise - it worked out pretty seamlessly. Each problem case had a step-by-step analysis option and "do-it-yourself" option. Considering my limited experience with Oracle 11g (we only recently switched our main environment to - so my performance tuning skills in that version are sub-optimal), I picked up a guided approach. Good for me - there was a lot of 11g-only concepts in the process (even so I correctly got one out of four tasks without any hints). Summary - learned a lot, need to spend more time with 11g.

Next presentation I came was done by people whom I know already for years - Bryn Llewellyn and Martin Buchi talked about modularization of PL/SQL code in large projects. That was definitely interesting for me, because looks like Martin's design patterns are very close to my "thick database approach".

After that talk I came to Paul Dorsey's "Building Systems in the Developing World" to provide DBA's support (if needed) for his primarily architectural talk. It was very educating to see how people coming from different backgrounds were reacting on our stories about building government systems in Ethiopia. A lot of confusion to be fair, and not a lot of understanding on real local problems...

As usual, final part of the day was much more optimistic! ODTUG had setup a cocktail party in a very nice French bistro.The combination of old friends+good vine+very creative snacks was well appreciated after so many hours wondering around the conference

Day 3. Tuesday, Oct 4
Yesterday was as busy as Monday. For the first time (thanks to Apress) I've been invited to Oracle Publisher's Seminar. An environment where you get a chance to communicate with such people as, for example, Andy Mendelsohn, was a completely new experience for me... It was a bit scary at the beginning, took me some time to relax a bit! Anyways, a lot of useful info (sorry, internal-usage-only :-) ).

After the seminar (around 2pm) I finally decided to wonder around the vendor hall. And as usual I got stuck at DemoGrounds... I just cannot miss the chance to harass developers/managers from Oracle with the problem I've found. And considering that usually I dig pretty deep, sometimes I surprise even Oracle specialists. This year my poor victims were two great guys developing DataPump engine - the game finished with 1:1 draw: they showed me a fix to one of my problems that I just missed in the documentation (next week I will have a post about it) / I showed them an issue with function-based indexes to be logged as an enhancement request. Jokes aside, such discussions for me is the most critical part of the OpenWorld at all. Thanks for the great job, people...

In the evening...Of course, yet another party! :-) This time one of the publishers was organizing a small meeting between authors/potential authors and their acquisition editors. A lot of insightful discussions about technical books. Definitely a well-spent time!

That's it folks, time to get back to the conference center! Hopefully, the weather today will be at least a bit better than forecast...

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