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UKOUG Conference approaches. November 26, 2009

Posted by mwidlake in Meeting notes.

Well, it’s that time of year again. It’s dark by 4pm, weather is miserable and I’m already sick to the hind teeth with Christmas, thanks to the never ending drive by the commercial sector to bully me into buying tatt and rubbish “to make christmas special”.

But there is another staple of the season of the end of November/start of December, which is to trek over to Birmingham for the annual UKOUG conference. Except of course that there are now several conferences run by the UK Oracle User Group, for different Oracle sectors and regions, but this is The Technical Conference. Back to three days and focusing on the database, application server/E-business suite and development. Just like the good-old-days before Larry bought up 300 companies and a big chunk of the software business services industry.

I’ve been lucky enough to go to a couple of Oracle Open Worlds (OOW) and mighty impressive the event is. But I prefer the UKOUG annual conference. It’s not the huge (and, I feel, overwhelming) size of OOW, but still pretty big, I think 10 streams of presentations, workshops and panels this year, and has the added bonus of being more Real. The presentations are to a large part independent from Oracle Corp and even the Oracle Corp presentations tend to be a little less Corporate and a little more Real. People say “how it is” at a User Group.

Plus there is more a feeling of meeting friends and colleagues and like-minded practitioners of every-day living and learning with oracle.

For those new to the scene, it’s far more easy to get to grips with than OOW and yet with Big Names doing top technical presentations, spread over a range of levels from introductory to the esoteric details of stuff most of us never need to know. Plus everything in-between.

Since 2003 I have presented every year except last year {when I decide to go play with elephants in Thailand instead}. I’m not presenting this year either and I would be lying if I said I was upset. I’m utterly gutted. But then I saw the spread of talent and interesting topics when I helped score the abstracts back in May and competition this year was fierce. I’ll be chairing a few sessions though and trying to meet up with people I know, and also people I don’t know but would like to.

If you see some small (5 foot sod all) chap with little glasses, short, brown hair and cream trousers, that is probably me. Come over and say “hi”. If you already know me and come over and say “hi” and I look like a rabbit caught in headlights, well you should know me by now and that I am utterly rubbish at recognising faces or remembering names, but that’s OK as I rarely bite and will be happy to apologise for my lack of social skills. If I’m anywhere near a bar, I’ll probably buy you a drink too, but then you have to buy me one. I’ll be under the table first though.

So, if you are also heading to Birmingham, see you there. If you are not, you are missing out on a fantastic Oracle event.




1. coskan - November 26, 2009

Will be there only on Wednesday and I hope I will catch you at any of Tanel Poder sessions or lunch time (if I won’t fall asleep somewhere because of long morning journey )

2. Frits Hoogland - November 26, 2009

Hi martin, I’ll be there, hope piet introduces us to each other. I have a presentation on tuesday, at 5 o’clock.

3. PdV - November 26, 2009

Hi Martin, Coskan, Frits.

Martin, good to see at least one blogger who is not plugging his own sessions.
Frits, I’ll introduce you If and only If you come to my session (I think Martin is chairing so he cant escape!).

btw: did I mention my session (plug, tout, shout…) is on Wed. And next door will be presenting Jonathan (the bearded, serious guy on the left), and James Morly (the smooth talker on the right), so I really need to lure in my audience. Unfortunately, marketing handouts are strickly forbidden at ULOUG…

mwidlake - November 26, 2009

Not plugging my own slot? I don’t have a slot!!! They cast me on the scrap-heap after years of dedicated service, the uncaring swine! All that time slaving away at SIGs and triple-presenting at conference and buying all the ladies at the UKOUG chocolates! (ahhh, forgot to buy the chocolates…)

It’s a tough gig you have Piet, but I will be there for you. I want to meet Frits (hehe).

Coskan, I am mostly chairing sessions on Wednesday, come to Piet’s talk or Christians’s after lunch, I’m chairing that one too.

4. PdV - November 27, 2009

Thanks Martin.

It is nice to know I have at least 1 person, my session-chair, in the room.

I know the UKOUG chair-briefing papers have (had) instructions on what to do if 1) no audience turns up or 2) no speaker turns up. So every eventuality is catered for.

In case the speaker doesnt turn up, you are not allowed to take his place (I did suggest that once: “I know that ppt, I can recount it…” ).

btw: those sessions by Jonathan and James are on Wed, 12:35, in case someone wonders (but I wouldnt want to plug my own session)

5. Angela - November 27, 2009

Martin this is a great blog post we’re gonna add it to twitter!

mwidlake - November 27, 2009

That’s fine by me, I’m glad you like it {or are you just trying to get the chocolate I mentioned in the comments? 🙂 }

6. kurt - November 27, 2009

You can always find me at all-bar one 😉

mwidlake - November 27, 2009

Will you be wearing an ORA600 Benlux T shirt Kirt? 🙂

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