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OOW13 - Day 1 - During Presentations

Monday
No drinking, an early night and a little work meant
that the meeting with Graham the next morning went well and we were
almost ready to go. Well, I had one more slide to do, but that was fine
;-)

Demogrounds time, then, particularly to catch up with the OEM
performance guys and 12c multi-tenancy people. I was supposed to be
scouring the exhibition for the perfect (or most imperfect) souvenir for
Andy C, but I did a frankly awful job of that and just picked up a
T-shirt or two. Eventually I gave in and went back to the hotel for
lunch, a change of clothes (man it was *hot*) and to drop my laptop off.
One of the beautiful aspects of a co-presentation is when the main
presenter has to supply the laptop and carry it around all day while I
just needed to turn up and speak! ;-)

I sneaked in to the back of the Real World Performance Groups session on working through a detailed analysis of why SQL is running slowly, looking at different possible problems and attempted solutions. What I saw of it was good stuff as is usually the case with those guys. Graham was in there too so I spent some time looking over the slides on his laptop and still managed to spot one last slide that needed to be removed - talk about cutting it fine ;-) - then left the session so I could pace around a bit outside and get myself ready.

I think the session went well enough in the end based on the responses we had and Graham seemed pretty happy so job done. I suppose I always walk away from things feeling slightly dissatisfied. But I was pleased that the messiness of real world examples didn't detract too much from the main message that AWR is really a set of reports (standard, compare period and SQL, to name three) that allow you to narrow your search through the data when identifying core performance issues. The number 1 message might be - before you start wading through detailed reports - 'What does ADDM say?'

A small difference to this years agenda which I think I'm right about and other attendees agreed was that there were slightly longer gaps between presentations - 30 mins. I liked this because it gave you a chance to do something useful or to take a break and not feel like you were constantly running from pillar to post. It had its downsides though ;-)

My next planned event was to go and see one of the key senior managers on the client project I'm working on present on that very project. I was interested in how he would cover it because he's delivering the project and I'm one of his customers, but wanted to meet him too because he's based in the US so I didn't even know what he looked like after working closely with him for 3.5 months. Alternatively (and you can probably guess where this is going) I could sit in Chevys having a few beers with a couple of friends from a previous client in Scotland who I only see at conferences.

I decided I would do both but we got so heavily into chatting about tech stuff and the conference that the time zipped by and I'd missed the presentation. I'm guessing people will think this is just an excuse but, as well as just liking these guys, all we really talked was tech and it's become one of the most valuable aspects to a conference - knowledge and idea sharing. I'm glad I stuck with them because, frankly, I probably knew the project too intimately and would have seen the slides lots of time already! There and then, I decided to catch some of the client guys second session later in the week.

Of course, I now had to get ready for one of my favourite events of the conference - the Friends of Pythian party at the W hotel. As I planned a #nevertrustaseahorse theme I had to go back to my hotel to change out of presentation style clothes into the related t-shirt and await Susan's arrival at the W. At this stage, all but the most insane or regular reader won't have a clue what the hell I'm talking about, so perhaps I'll just include a picture and leave it at that.

Other than to say thanks again to all the good folks at Pythian who know how to host a good party - but particularly Vanessa Simmons and Paul Vallee and to the other people there, who made it a fun night and a great way to celebrate getting the first presentation out of the way. Possibly not the best preparation for a 9am presentation at Oak Table World the next morning but, as I'd signed up for that slot, I only had myself to blame ;-)

Disclosure: The OTN Oracle ACE Director Program paid for my flights
and accommodation. My
conference pass was paid for by being a conference speaker. Pythian took wonderful care of me and many others, as always.