Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Perth 2014 Professional Learning Event

There's a little over a week left to this year's major Oracle user group event in Perth, so attention all locals (or even east coasters) - if you're interested in picking up new skills & ideas - you haven't got much time left to register!

This year it's called a "Professional Learning Event" instead of a conference and the program reflects it - plenty of hands on workshops mixed in with normal sessions. Considering it's easily half the price of a typical training course, you'd be crazy not to go - particularly since there are plenty of side benefits to events like this.


Here's where you'll probably find me (if I'm not at the Sage Computing Services booth, of course):

Update from Oracle Openworld - this panel discussion sounds like a nice fun but informative intro to the conference

Data Visualisation - Chris Muir - data visualisation is a growing interest with a world of possibilities, and even though it's ADF based I hope to pick up plenty of ideas.

Flashback Data Archives - Björn Rost - I haven't found myself with my of a need to use flashback gadgets, but Penny suggested I give this one a go. After seeing Björn present last year I'm sure it will be informative and enjoyable.

jQuery for PL/SQL Developers - you certainly don't have to be an APEX developer to attend my session. If you've always wanted to learn jQuery but struggle to make the leap, give this a go. I'll be making regular breaks from the presentation content to get hands on so bring your laptop or tablet.

Building a building App - Branka & Craig - I was heavily involved in this project and it should make for a really interesting case study - an APEX application built specifically for a 10 inch tablet, and the journey it took to get there.

Building maintainable applications in APEX - Jeff Kemp - I'm always keen to see some thoughts on best practices from other developers.

Mobile mumbo Jumbo - Chris Muir - I'm sure Chris will offer some thought provoking insights into the current state of play from Oracle's perspective.

12c for Developers - Connor McDonald - how could I not go to this one?

OHarmony - Penny Cookson - great theme, great topic, great presenter, great boss. Learn more tuning gold from the master.

PL/SQL Masterclass - Tim Hall - I'm not sure I've heard Tim speak too much about PL/SQL, and I think everyone should learn at least one important lesson in these two hours.

Presentation Skills - Penny & myself - I'm excited about doing this one - it should be fun & engaging.

APEX 5x5 - a third session I quickly said OK to, but has come together rather nicely based on experiences from my first 6+ years of APEX development. I'll have to run fast from the previous room!

And while the sessions are great, conferences are a lot of fun and a great chance to catch up with past colleagues, and find out what other people are doing with contemporary technologies.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

ODTUG Webinar: APEX 5 Page Designer

I'll be presenting an online webinar for ODTUG not long after the Perth conference.

It will be the same session I did for AUSOUG back in July, which is lucky since it's 6am for us Perth locals. It's a close look at the Oracle APEX 5 Page Designer, and what it means to you as an APEX developer.

Check the webinar registration page for details on the abstract and help with the time zone conversion for: Thursday, November 20, 2014 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM EST

It was originally written as a Prezi, but due to my ordinary ADSL connection I've had to convert it to PDF. It translates ok but some of the magic is lost. I'll provide a link to the Prezi on the day and you should be able to follow along with the original if you wish.

Even if you're like me and still love the component view, I reckon once you see all the benefits of the new IDE, you'll be a convert and will be itching for the new release to finally arrive.

Friday, 17 October 2014

PL/SQL Challenge Roundtable

Do you write PL/SQL? Me too!

Trouble is, sometimes it's hard to decide how to structure your packages - particularly in an APEX project. Over at the PL/SQL Challenge website run by Steven Feuerstein and friends there is a page dedicated to roundtable discussions.

I submitted my question not so long ago and hope to get some interesting responses. Why don't you give the site a visit and contribute? The discussions usually last for about a month.

Past discussions are available to view - last time Steven asked for use cases for DBMS_RANDOM. You could even test out your PL/SQL while you're there and take a few quizzes.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

The moon is a sphere

I was fairly excited at the prospect of seeing tonight's lunar eclipse but I neglected to take into account not being able to see the eastern horizon from my house.

I missed most of the total but enjoyed the crescent of the partial eclipse re-emerging. It's amazing how distinct the shadow leading to the penumbra.

My friend said there will be some good shots in tomorrow's paper. I laughed and said here in the 21st century I could probably get a high res online right now that matched the view I had through my binoculars, with the moon sitting on a bed of a few dozen stars.

A Twitter search for #lunareclipse gave me this gem from Australian based astronomer Katie Mack.
Not quite hi-res, but certainly true to the view I had. Bring on the next of the tetrad.

My friend also suggested I could listen to update on the wireless, then I wondered at how the utilisation of radio waves were so revolutionary - being able to transmit signals with no telegraph poles.

I wondered what bit of kit we have today that our grandchildren will snigger at - and I figure it's probably smartphones.

"What do you mean we can't send signals by thought?"

Katie posted a few other great snippets, just as Neil Tyson often does with physics. I'll leave you to ponder this gem

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

APEX 5 not so near

It seems I may have jumped the gun a little.
Idioms - the bane of ESL speakers?

Reading Anton's comment on a Friday afternoon got me a little too excited - upon reading it again Tuesday (we had a long weekend) I realised it was tongue in cheek.

So instead I went to Twitter to find what's being said at Oracle Open World about #orclapex. Turns out there will be a third early adopter - a feeling I got from something I read back in March.

There will also be a beta program for the first time - details to come since so far the only source of this information so far (for those not at OOW) is Twitter.

Who needs reporters anymore when you have real time feeds & photos from actual events? ;p

Friday, 26 September 2014

APEX 5 imminent?

It seems the release of APEX 5 is due within hours - just in time for OOW weekend.

To quote Anton here
Apex 5.0 is going to be released in a couple of hours
It's a long weekend here in Perth, and I have a footy grand final to watch - but no doubt I'll be installing it somewhere soon!

All that being said, apex.oracle.com is still on 4.2.5, so don't hold your breath for too long.

Stay tuned...

Monday, 22 September 2014

Leisure Suit Larry Ellison

Larry Ellison 1978
So at 70 years of age, the man who's been heading Oracle since before I was born is stepping down.

While I admit I'm far removed from the reality of the situation, I find it a little amusing how it's been deemed as a 'shake up' when a few paragraphs before he's quoted as saying this (referring to new co-CEOs)
“I am going to continue to do what I have been doing the past several years and they are going to continue doing what they have been doing the past several years,” 

So I bet he's probably going to be working in the same office, just the title under his name on the door will read "CTO". So for us at the coal face, surely this means he will spend more time directing the nature of the beast and leave operations to those who specialise. That sounds to me like a good thing.

I enjoyed this New York Times article, but writer Quentin Hardy made me read one of the last paragraphs a few times
Mr. Ellison does not leave his company entirely untroubled. Besides continuing challenges in cloud computing, including acquisitions and new competition, the company faces a raft of new types of databases, first developed inside Google and Yahoo, that also threaten the dominance of the relational database.

I've been thinking recently what the next generation of databases will be like. The relational model was revolutionary at the time, but bigger data and intelligent networking will surely one day reach another punctuated equilibrium. No doubt it will come from somewhere like contemporary giant Google.

If I was a passionate billionare I think I would have left the business behind long ago, along with the suit.
Circa 1993 - no eyebrows then either