Celebrating the joy and power of Oracle SQL with the Oracle Developer Advocate team

Reflections on Collaborate 15

Chris Saxon
Developer Advocate

Last week I was in Las Vegas for Collaborate 15. Here's a summary of my experiences from a week in Sin City.

I gave two talks at the event - a quick tip comparing indexes to M&Ms and an hour long session about using edition-based redefinition with PL/SQL. These seemed to go over well, with the audience having many questions at the end which I take as a good sign (if you'd like the slides for these you can find them here). Bryn Llewellyn - product manager for EBR - was in the audience for the EBR talk which came in handy for the Q&A as he was able to answer some things I didn't know (e.g. the maximum number of editions in a database is 2,000 for 11g. It's been increased for 12c).
I was also part of the panel for the codetalk session Steven arranged before he had to pull out. This proved to be better than expected. We ripped apart some gnarly code, discussing ways it could be improved (head here to see the code in question). I was joined by fellow advocates Dan and Blaine along with Jared Still - a consultant at Pythian. While there was a small audience - due, I suspect, to a combination of it starting at 8am, Steven no longer attending and it only appearing on the schedule late on - those attending did get involved, despite the oversized room. We were in one of the large ballrooms; had it been full I think people at the back would have struggled to take part. It's a format that shows promise and I look forward to doing more of these in the future.

The biggest issue for me was deciding which sessions to attend. Collaborate is in effect three conferences rolled into one (IOUG, OAUG and Quest), so in any given slot there was up to 50 concurrent talks! Even narrowing this to the IOUG presentations still normally left over 10 sessions to choose from. With so much choice, I found the session planner hard to navigate. Others commented on this too, so this looks like one area the conference could improve next year.

Depsite the size, many of the sessions I attended were only about half full. I'm not sure whether this is a result of having too many concurrent sessions or just me choosing less popular talks - apparently some such as the one on OpenLDAP were standing room only!

I managed to battle my way through the planner though and find some great talks. My favourite was Dan McClary's where he explained how Oracle's Big Data SQL product works. This is an area I've not played with yet, so I found it very useful for getting up to speed. It's certainly a feature I plan on spending more time with.

I have to say thanks to the folks at Solar Winds for inviting me to their shindig on Monday night. This proved to be a great chance to meet new people over a few drinks. :)

The trip was also a great chance to meet the newest member of the Developer Advocate team - Blaine Carter. He's focusing on open source development and helping show that we here at Oracle are happy to work with open source products. He's got some fantastic ideas, so keep a lookout for content from him over the coming year.

Overall I had a great time, learning about some 12c features I'm not fully up to speed on and Big Data SQL as well as meeting some great people and catching up my with my colleagues. Viva, Las Vegas!

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