HomeUncategorized › UKOUG Tech and EBS Conference – the writeup, part 2! (Tuesday)

UKOUG Tech and EBS Conference – the writeup, part 2! (Tuesday)

Tuesday – #ukoug_tebs Day 2
Despite having promised myself an early night on the Monday night, it was quite late when I finally went to sleep, so I decided that I would give Bob Mycroft’s “Getting connected!” a miss and take advantage of a bit of a lie in, although in the end, I didn’t lie-in for long!

Tom Kyte – All about metadata; why telling the database about your schema matters
I found myself nodding a lot to what Tom was saying, as well as despairing at the 3rd party database we have <whisper>that doesn’t have any foreign keys</whisper>. Most of this presentation was reinforcing things that I’d hope most if not all database designers/developers/dba should already know, but I know from experience on the OTN SQL and PL/SQL forum that people consistently use the wrong datatypes (particularly dates; people seem to hate using the DATE datatype for some reason!).

One thing that was mostly new was the Dimensions thing. Whilst I do vaguely touch a snowflake schema in one of my databases, it really isn’t a datawarehouse, so I haven’t really needed to dig all that deeply into tuning it. But I now understand the Dimensions constraint thing better than I did, and it’s now there in my mental toolbox *{:-)

Connor McDonald – 11g features for Developers
Wow! This was incredibly faced paced and packed with humour! I’ve no idea how he managed it, given that he was also jetlagged! I really enjoyed this presentation, even though Connor thought it wasn’t all that great (?!?!), and I had trouble writing everything down in my notes, there was so much stuff!

Lots of things that I wasn’t aware of in 11g that sound like they’ll come in useful (eg. error logging in scripts; now that does sound useful… plus he mentioned 10g there, so I shall investigate when I get a moment!) and some that I already knew about (eg. virtual columns). Good stuff!

I’d definitely go watch Connor present again, even if it was in a subject area I had no interest in; he was amazing!

Afterwards, when I came out of the presentation, Rob van Wijk introduced himself to me, so I can at least say that I did meet one of the people I had really, really wanted to meet at UKOUG, albeit that I was a bit shellshocked from both presentations of the morning so wasn’t exactly at my best *{:-( I didn’t talk to him for as long as I would have liked, but I now have a face to go along with the name! (Rob is one of the people on the OTN SQL and PL/SQL forum that I have huge respect for and he always gives well thought-out answers and explanations. I am kicking myself that I didn’t chat longer with him *{:-( )

another pause in the proceedings
I was meant to be going to Jonathan Lewis’ “Introducing Partitions” but I gave this a miss, due to feeling information overloaded and also my eyes needed a break. So I headed to the lounge and pootled around for a while, having lunch etc, until the next presentation.

Julian Dyke – Vital Statistics
I have to say, I was disappointed by this presentation. I’d heard that Julian was a pretty good presenter, and I went along, expecting to learn a lot more about statistics than I already knew.

Unfortunately, what I got was something that more or less walked through the documentation, something that I have already done for myself. I was hoping for something that extended what the documents said and gave it context and meaning, but that was sadly lacking. Perhaps my fault for not having read the abstract clearly enough.

I did learn one thing, though, so not a total waste of time – copy stats. How on earth I’ve missed this procedure is anyone’s guess, but it will make copying stats from one partition to another easier than what I do at the moment (export the stats, faff around changing things in the stats table, reimport the stats to the intended partition)!

Chris Dunscombe – RAC – What’s the difference?
This was my last presentation of the day, and I was in two minds as to whether to stay for it or not, as I knew it was oriented towards DBAs, which I am most assuredly not *{;-) There was nothing else I wanted to see, and I had picked this one because it sounded like it might give me a basic idea of what’s involved in setting up RAC, should I ever become involved with working with RAC databases. In the end, I decided to stay (and no, the offer of chocolate that Chris gave us was not really an incentive for me to stay *{;-) ).

All I can say is, wow! I’m *so* glad I’m not a DBA; there’s a lot of server and storage considerations etc, and really, my brain is not geared for that territory! Still, I was glad that I stayed for this, as it did give me an overview of the kinds of things that would need to be thought about, and will allow me to help give the DBAs the right kinds of information if I’m ever involved in setting one up (from a development point of view, obviously!)

It was a good presentation – Chris managed to get people interacting, providing information etc which is not bad for that time of the day! I liked that Chris was able to take new ideas on board and run with that right in the middle of his presentation!

The Fire and Ice parties
So, after briefly (and I do mean that!) heading in to the meet the speakers bit and not seeing anyone I could talk to (only recognised Jonathan Lewis, and I really didn’t feel like I could just barge up and say “Hi! I think you’re fab!” when he was already in the middle of talking to someone else…) I went and hid for a while. I popped my head round the doors for the ice party, didn’t see anyone (again other than JL) that I recognised, felt sorry for the ladies stuck in the middle of tables, dressed up like loo roll covers and headed off to the fire party.

This had scalextric, pool tables, table football and random jugglers (who were *amazing*… I can just about manage 3 balls in a basic pattern for about 30 seconds, but they were making the balls do incredible things and just kept on going!), and after having a drink and wandering round watching people playing, I gave up and headed out into the foyer bit for the internet suite.

They had notebooks or whatever they’re called, and my goodness the writing was tiny! I ended up hunched over and peering at the screen (must have looked really odd!) just to be able to read the screen properly! Anyway, just before I was going to call it a day (it was cold in the foyer, brrr!), Doug showed up after having had a snooze. So I stuck like a limpet to his side for the rest of the evening and managed to meet and chat to loooooads of people! At one point, I was in a pub surrounded by all these big names of the Oracle community! Little ol’ *me*?!?!

Highlights were doing a spot of not-being-able-to-find-one-good-thing-to-say about a certain someone with a whole crowd of people, talking to Chris Dunscombe re. his presentation and how I got loads out of it (along with other things), meeting Alex Gorbachev after having bantered with him over Twitter and oooh, just about everything, actually!!

I bowed out of the pub early (at 1.15am?!) and headed back to my hotel, where I realised I needed to pack. Ended up procrastinating and didn’t go to sleep until about 2.30am! Whoops…

6 Comments.[ Leave a comment ]

  1. I did try to meet you – anyone who is good enough to test out what I said on Oraclesponge’s blog is worth meeting 🙂

    Now you have seen it done how about speaking next year? – if I can do it anyone can (mind you I have not been asked back recently – just ask Doug how good it was)

    • *laughs*

      I have to admit, I was curious about the nvl/coalesce thing! I think I’ll probably stick to nvl for constants, but coalesce for functions, since there didn’t seem to be all that much difference between the two for simple things.

      As for speaking…. Not bloomin’ likely! If I can’t pluck up the courage to go and speak to the people that I’ve already talked to online (well, in the forums!) and wanted to meet irl properly, what makes you think I’ll be able to stand up in front of lots of people and talk coherently?! *{;-)

      *shudders* I think I’ll stick to trying to help out online *{;-)

      ETA: Re. “I did try to meet you” – crikey; I hope I didn’t ignore you unintendedly or owt like that! Perhaps next time instead! *{:-)

      ETA2: Just had a thought… it’d be worse if I had met you but couldn’t remember what you looked like, wouldn’t it? eek; there were so many people that I got introduced to on the Tuesday night, so very, very sorry if this is the case *{:-(

      • Well you may have seen me on the Rittman Mead stand (and no I was not a smarmy sales person) – I didn’t stay long in the pub on Tuesday – I had this cold and my head really couldn’t take the the pace of an evening keeping up with Alex G…. the last time I tried that was in Denver when we both spoke at the same conference..

        So no, you probably didn’t see me, so no you probably did not blank me.

        Anyhow I was impressed that you actually tried what I had said to prove (or disprove) it – – that’s what’s it is all about. Keep doing that and you will get a reputation (is that a good thing?)

        • Phew! I’m glad I didn’t make that mistake (I probably shouldn’t admit that I have, in the past, walked past my grandmother without seeing her… despite being on the lookout for her. *{;-) ).

          I sympathise on the whole cold/head thing but I couldn’t possibly comment on keeping up with Alex G for an entire evening… *{;-)

          I don’t know what time the rest of the guys stayed out until, but I had to force myself to leave, otherwise I’d probably have been out until long past the wee small hours of the morning! That may or may not have been due to the sheer quantity of diet coke I imbibed that evening, though, hehehe.


          Anyhow I was impressed that you actually tried what I had said to prove (or disprove) it

          Sometimes I am far too curious for my own good – but sometimes it has its benefits. *{;-)

          • From Doug

            (Because I can’t be bothered logging in to post comments! LOL)

            We only carried on until a little after 2. The Tap and Spile got ridiculous and I know the time, because our hotel bar had just shut.

            … and no, you didn’t blank Peter or anyone else that I can recall.

          • Re: From Doug

            We only carried on until a little after 2.

            Lightweights! *{;-)

            But seriously, I had a great evening! Thanks! *{:-D

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