Thursday, December 3, 2009

UKOUG 2009

UKOUG Conference Series, Technology & E-Business Suite 2009 is over. Three days were filled with highly technical presentations in several streams. It was my first time, and I hope it wasn't my last time.

The presentations I saw were:

  • John Scott - Building Scalable Applications with Oracle Application Express
  • Joel Goodman - Oracle Database Links part 2 - Distributed Transactions
  • Jonathan Lewis - Writing Optimal SQL
  • Randolf Geist - Understanding the different modes of System Statistics
  • Wolfgang Breitling - Seeding Statistics
  • Anthony Rayner - Building Rich Web Applications! Inside look into the Oracle APEX 4.0 Development Lab
  • Graham Wood - What's new in the Oracle Database?
  • Connor McDonald - 11g features for Developers
  • Jonathan Lewis - Introducing Partitions
  • Julian Dyke - Vital Statistics
  • Andrew Clarke - PL/SQL API Design Workshop
  • Randolf Geist - Everything you always wanted to know about FIRST_ROWS_N but were afraid to ask

On Wednesday I had my own presentation "All About Grouping". Unfortunately I was starting to get sick on Tuesday afternoon. My walk from the hotel to the International Convention Centre included passing a nice Christmas market. On Wednesday morning everyone on this market looked like they thought it was cold (a few degrees Celsius), but I was walking there sweating like crazy and with a running nose. I skipped a few sessions, ate only the fruit and salad from my lunch bag, hoping I would feel a little better when the presentation started. When I had started my presentation I noticed I forgot to plug in my presentation device. I decided to move on and just stay with the speakers stand. I started to sweat again heavily, and not (only) because of nerves. Half-way through my stomach became empty and started making some noise. Nice, with a microphone just above your stomach ... Previously, this presentation took 50 minutes. Because I had an hour, I decided to get one more example in. Still, I finished in 45 minutes this time, so I guess I should slow down some more. If anything, this was a great learning experience for me about presenting. Supposedly, the audience doesn't experience a presentation in the same way that the presenter does. I very much hope that's true.

The slightly adjusted presentation and demonstration scripts can be found here and here. A white paper about grouping will appear shortly on this blog.


  1. Rob,

    the presentation was excellent content-wise, due to your cold your voice was sometimes a bit low but it was definitely very informative. The slides were very good and I finally understood what happens if you have multiple grouping set clauses in the GROUP BY :-)

    Thanks for making this great presentation in spite of your condition.


  2. Hi Rob,

    It was great to meet you, although apologies if I was a little short/abrupt/overly-confused/not-with-it at the time! Was feeling very overwhelmed at the end of Connor's presentation (so much stuff in so little time!!) *{:-(

    Next time, I'll hopefully be much more with-it and less shy, so we can have a proper conversation!

    I enjoyed your presentation and now understand in lots more depth about how the grouping sets/rollup/cube interchange etc. - Pascal's triangle gets *everywhere*! *{;-)

    I thought you managed admirably, considering you were suffering with a cold; I definitely didn't hear your stomach making noises, so I think you can rest easy on that one!!

    Thanks, and well done! *{:-D

    Ps. Hope you feel better soon!

  3. I think I can explain some of this and/or from the viewpoint of a non-native (English) speaker. I noticed that I, as said due to the fact that I am not a native speaker, stick to the topics on my slides, instead of my (extra) usual anekdotes and extra interesting info around the slides at hand.

    So instead of the normal minimum 60 minutes I would need during a Dutch presentation on the same topic, I will end up finishing in 45 minutes or less.

    Nowadays I keep this in mind and until now I have a 1 minute to 1 slide ratio...

    Another thingy that doesn't help is when you are going abroad and have to deal with a jetlag. During OOW and presenting on Sundays straighht away, you will be tired and it will be difficult to come up with the proper words. It is much easier to present when you would have the time to adjust and had the same presentation 3 or so days after arriving...



  4. @Randolf

    Thanks for the kind feedback. And it was nice finally meeting you. I enjoyed your two sessions!


    No problem, I realised it must have been a surprise. Maybe you shouldn't wear that little thing that made me recognize you :-)

    Thanks for the positive feedback. And it's good to hear that somebody who sat near the front didn't hear stomach noises.


    That is an excellent explanation of what must have happened with the time. Thanks for sharing!

  5. *{:-)

    I still have no idea how you recognised me; it was like you were waiting for me, and I know I was right at the front of Connor's presentation!

    So colour me amazed and impressed! *{;-)

    Also re. the language thing; I'm always impressed by anyone who is fluent in more than one language; my French is rubbish and my German is even worse and as for Dutch? I only know one word!

    Marco's explanation makes sense! *knikt*


  6. I was one row behind you, at your right side, so I got a good look at your sign when you walked in. I wasn't completely sure, but seeing that person playing with her phone as if she was twittering and having interest in Connor's 11g features for developers, it was a rather safe guess.

    Groeten (now you know two Dutch words),

  7. Heh, all I can say is that you've got good eyesight! *{:-)

    hope you're feeling better now, btw!