Tuesday, 8 November 2011

AUSOUG 2011 Conference Review

I think this year was successful. We had a superb line up this year, which inherently meant there were a few clashes on the schedule - especially for the DBAs. My apologies, some of those were hard to avoid due to many changes that were necessary in the final weeks before the conference. (thanks Qantas ;-)

My first year experience as the Program Chair was interesting, and I'm more than happy to take on the job next year. If anyone has any feedback they'd like to provide on the schedule, the conference, or the user group in general - we welcome & encourage all thoughts or suggestions.
In fact, every month we hold a committee meeting, and there is an AGM on Nov 23 that all are welcome to attend - even by webinar. Alternatively, you can send any agenda items to Tony.

We had some issues that were responded to well during the conference, and many others have already been addressed in a committee face-to-face over the weekend. Hopefully we can shake things up a little next year.

Visit here for my small photo gallery. I'm sure Ailsa will have some more professional shots available soon.

As for the sessions I attended:

Day 1
Us exhibitors started early. Too early. Well, my stomach was confused and someone was handing out these t-shirts with SAGE written in big white letters. I listened to Martin & Ian's intro, then went back to help prepare for the next two days.

Chris Muir - Ultimate Sales Pitch for ADF - While I had seem something similar during the Sage JDeveloper half day, I thought I'd listen to the skinny on why people should choose ADF. I must say, it was a pretty good sales pitch, but it made me feel like a Cobol programmer that desparately needs to update their skills!

Gabriel Ilarda OBIEE / Ray Tindall WLS - I started with Gabriel partially because I've been encouraging him to present each year. It seemed his pairing with colleague Dale had him under good control, and it looked pretty good. I had some things to do, so I snuck out and also caught a bit of Ray's look at Web Logic Server. It was going over my head, but he had a captive audience and apparently it was well received.

Alwyn Woo - OLM - Alwyn's another local I've encouraged to present. It was his first presentation and had hintered preparation, so I was impressed to see a clear, well thought out presentation. I asked a random question half way through about remote queries and he responded well.

Jeff Kemp - Simple ETL - I've worked with Jeff before on a project that involved some heavy ETL, and I was curious to hear what he had to see. It ended up being an interesting case study on a ETL project that was relatively small, but Jeff still had plenty of information to share. I was expecting something a little more technical, but to his credit Jeff did point out at the start what the deal was. Tom Kyte would have been impressed - I saw one SQL statement - a merge - that had plenty of good business logic going on. Golden rule - do as many things as possible in SQL - check!

Graham Wood - Oracle Hidden Features - One of many clashes due to such a great line-up. Unfortunately I skipped Penny's winning show - figured I'd seen enough ADF today by going to Chris' presentation earlier, and after seeing Graham in Sydney earlier in the year I was curious to see what sort of features he'd be talking about.

Day 2
My third morning with the alarm at 5am, after a few weeks of burning too much candle on both ends - this time I somehow managed to ignore it. So I missed the Introduction to the ACE program. Instead, after arriving with 10 minutes to spare, I had to find Penny to borrow her laptop (I planned to travel light), find Connor to borrow his pointer (I left my dongle in my laptop at home) and find a Burswood stage-hand (my room must have been 30C!)

Scott Wesley - Apex 4.1 Security - what an awesome presentation ;-) Actually, my run through the night before led me to believe it was going to go pretty well. On the day though I must say I had no idea how many people attended, let alone who was in the audience. Usually I'm reasonably aware of this, but my blinkers were on pretty hard! So thank you for those who voted positively... the new style was (apparently) a winner, and I think I'll stick with it when the topic or content will suit.

Mark Lancaster - 4.1 Minor upgrade or not - Given the conference lead up, I really haven't had a chance to play much with Apex 4.1 (beyond the security features), so seeing Mark cover the differences and features at the level he did was excellent.

Frank Nimphius - Adding Mobile & Web 2.0 UIs to Existing Applications - The Fusion Way - given the mass amount of Fusion content, the schedule adjustments, and my feeling that mobile UI is only going to get more important - I figured I'd check Frank's session out. He's a good speaker, but at this point I had hit a wall so I was struggling to concentrate. I believe Eddie spotted me blinking...

Panel Discussion (User Groups) - I think this was a success. We were always going to be struggling for time, but Vinod kept a tight ship. We had a good discussion with decent participation from the audience. I think we should open up topic ideas for next year. Yury has this session recorded, so stay tuned for visibility.

Chris Muir - Angels in the Architecture - I had seen Graham talk Exadata in Sydney at length, so I skipped Graham to watch Chris talk ADF blueprints. I currently lack the ADF skill to really comprehend what Chris was trying to illustrate, but he did it really well and I could see the rest of the audience was loving it.

Connor McDonald - A year in purgatory - diary of 11.2 RAC upgrade - I find Connor never disappoints, and while his presentation this year wasn't as technical as usual, his tale of hell enthralled the room. He also received a heartfelt applause when he announced (spoiler alert) the upgrade was ultimately successful - on time. Not only that, he kept the audience awake in the last session of the day.

Good work speakers, for having the tenacity to write the presentation; for having the confidence to present it; and the patience to put up with scheduling changes.

Thank you to all the delegates. I hoped you enjoyed this year's conference enough to come back again next year. Thanks for listening and appreciating our speakers share their experiences.

Special thanks to Burke, Penny, Francisco & Chris for assistance with the conference schedule, and those who reviewed the abstracts.

And a big thank you to all the user group committee members & volunteers involved in bringing it all together. This includes the exhibitors that greeted all those attending with a smile.

Let's make next year so much better.

Scott Wesley
AUSOUG 2011 Program Chair
Sage Computing Services


Social Networking Design said...

It must have being a pleasant experience.You must have gained some incredible information.

Scott Wesley said...

It was indeed. Full of great laughs, learnt a bunch and, um... maximised the use of daylight hours available - our sun rises early ;-)

I've had a quiet few days... working still, just not at night! Except maybe now... depends on your perspective