UKOUG – A Retrospective

This time last week I had just arrived in Birmingham ahead of my first attendance at the UKOUG. Apart from a quick note after Day 1, I gave up on daily summaries, so it’s about time I did a summary of my experience.

It was four days of presentations in the Oracle Server Technology stream, some days were better than others, some periods were a bit sparse and there were a few too many lulls for my liking, but at times there were some tough choices over which presentation to attend.

Socially, it was good to meet people who I only “knew” via their blogs and to run into a few people from previous years in an Oracle-centric consultancy.

Technically, in terms of theme, I went to a variety of presentations. I skipped some tempting presentations because I thought I knew the majority of the subject in favour of broadening my educations.

In terms of 11g, it was interesting but not surprising to hear that there were no/few sites running that version on production (my current client might go that way in March). In terms of 11g new features, I came to the conclusion that there was no killer app. But there were some cool additions – e.g. partitioning enchancements, result cache, sql replay, virtual columns – and I hope to investigate and blog on at least one particular aspect of those imminently.

11g aside, I picked up some interesting information on TimesTen, Oracle Spatial and Oracle Rules Manager (which I’ve fiddled with briefly before and which was referenced as a underpinning technology in some other features). And I attended a number of session with a Security focus – both security in general, auditing and hardening a database, and also focused on Database Vault features- in order to boost my knowledge in that regard.

From the conference, there were two major things that I took away. Firstly, it was the first time that I had attended presentations by Tom Kyte and Jonathan Lewis and I was so impressed by their ability to deliver technical material so effectively. Everyone else was good, certainly no-one I saw was bad, but in my opinion these two gurus were head and shoulders above the rest in terms of a complete presentation – both presentational ease and technical content. The second thing that I took away was just how much I knew already. There were no revelations.

Overall, I’m glad I went. I’m particularly glad that I went to a conference following a major version release. I would go again but not every year.


One Response to UKOUG – A Retrospective

  1. Doug Burns says:

    It was good to meet you, Dominic.

    I know what you mean about presentations, they can be a bit hit and miss but a few good presentations tend to make it worthwhile for me.

    I also learn from conversations I have with others, but that aspect has definitely improved from my early visits.

    Lots of people commented on the lull on Tuesday in the Server Tech stream in particular, so I’m sure I’ll feed that back to the organisers.

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