Post Collaborate and on call week post

So, I was at the Collaborate 2018 Oracle user group conference last week and I am on call this week. I have not posted anything about the conference so I thought I would try to get something out there.

I did my Python and Toastmasters talks. I’m not sure how people received these. Both of these talks sort of loaded extra burden on the Oracle DBAs who attended. One talk said they should learn Python and the other said they should join Toastmasters. I think both had good information and valuable advice. But I got the feeling looking into people’s eyes that I was just adding a weight to their already heavy load. Maybe next time I do some talks I should focus on teaching something that can help lighten people’s load. They should take something away from the talk that they could use right away and not have to go do a bunch of extra work. I’m not sure.

The Toastmasters talk was poorly attended just as it was at RMOUG Training days. I was able to convince the people who run the conferences to let me do the talk but it didn’t attract attendees. Maybe the next time that I do a talk on soft skills I should give specific helpful advice instead of just talking about a program that people could join. A couple of IOUG leaders at my talk made similar suggestions. I guess with the two conferences behind me I’m reviewing what I did and how I can improve. Of course people were appreciative of my efforts since I’m just a volunteer speaker. But, I would like to get better.

I think next time I talk about Python I want to do a demo. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I think the same is true about demos. I talked about why Python is a good language for Oracle DBAs to use with just a bunch of slides. Maybe I could have made similar points in the context of a live demo. I have some Toastmasters talks coming up. I may work in a demo or two to get some practice doing that sort of talk.

I enjoyed attending the sessions. When I wasn’t presenting I attended a variety of sessions. In the past I would focus on Oracle performance tuning talks but this year I looked for other topics that are current.

I did go to two Oracle new features talks. One funny thing happened. I think both speakers talked about Oracle’s new autonomous data warehouse and how it would get rid of a lot of normal DBA work. Then both speakers went on to detail all the complex new features that are in Oracle 12.2 and 18c. It made me laugh because in the same hour talk they contradicted themselves. First they said all this DBA work is going away and then they listed a pile of new features that DBAs need to learn. Funny. I don’t buy all the autonomous stuff for a second. It is all hype like a lot of things. Think about SQL optimization. People have tried for decades to write a SQL optimizer and they still can’t make one that works. I think there are some things that we just can’t do and SQL optimization is one of them. I have no reason to think that the machine learning and AI that will supposedly drive the autonomous data warehouse will work any better than the optimizer. Time will tell.

I went to three talks on Kafka which was a little redundant. I also went to a talk on MySQL, Mongo DB, Devops, and a couple of talks related to SQL on Hadoop. I went to a couple of talks by Amazon Web Services employees including one on Oracle on RDS. I went to a couple of talks on block chain. Lastly I went to a little different talk about graph theory or network science. All of this is to say I was looking at a lot of non-Oracle stuff instead of just going to Oracle database performance sessions.

The funny thing is that I’m on a project at work that is talking about putting in a SQL on Hadoop system. I was able to apply the Hadoop stuff that I learned at Collaborate in my first day back in the office. I’m not a Hadoop expert but the exposure was valuable.

The graph theory stuff intrigues me. I learned some graph theory in the edX and OCW classes that I have worked through. I can’t help wondering if there are business or IT problems that we could be modelling with graphs in my work. I’m working on this issue of database links between older and newer versions of Oracle. I guess you could look at Oracle databases as nodes and database links as edges. But, I’m not sure beyond that.

Anyway, going to a conference always gives me a lot to think about.  It was good to do my two talks and to hear what others had to say.






About Bobby

I live in Chandler, Arizona with my wife and three daughters. I work for US Foods, the second largest food distribution company in the United States. I have worked in the Information Technology field since 1989. I have a passion for Oracle database performance tuning because I enjoy challenging technical problems that require an understanding of computer science. I enjoy communicating with people about my work.
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