Friday, November 18, 2011

I've been to DOAG!

This week I attended my first DOAG (German Oracle User Group) Conference. The conference was hosted in a part of the N├╝rnberg Conference Centre. The venue was excellent : All sessions where in the same area on three different levels - so everything was in a short walking distance. The conference rooms itself where very good as well: a stage, just slightly higher than the audience, perfect lighting, good sound and screen quality and a wireless mic. Everything a presenter - and an attendee as well - needs!
Something else that DOAG does better (not necessary healthier) than most other conferences: you can have food, snacks and drinks all day long. Not only during "coffee break" or lunch you can have slices of pizza, hot dogs or sweet cakes, but really all day long. And the quality of lunch and dinner was excellent as well: three courses and plenty stuff to choose from.
Then onto the content itself. There were 20 concurrent sessions, all started right at the hour (with a bell sign!), in al lot of different tracks, like: Database, Datawarehouse, BI, Development, Java, MySQL etc. Apart from some sidesteps now and then, I mainly focussed on the APEX Development area (no surprises here). I was very curious what the German speaking community does with APEX, as I wasn't familiar with most speakers. And I guess I am being spoilt by conferences like KScope, as a lot of the content couldn't adhere to those (high) standards. But the audience seemed to like it, so it probably complies with the overall expectations... (And I should more often go to sessions where I know nothing about!)
And what about my own presentation? I think it went pretty well, although I ended somewhat early. I rushed a bit though the first part, because a slot lasts "only" 45 minutes, so I had some time left in the end. But I think it came across quite well. Not that I got that many questions during my presentations (usually Germans don't interrupt the speaker) and just a few at the end - maybe due to the fact they thought they had to ask their question in English, which wasn't necessary of course. But in the next few days I got more questions during or between other sessions ;-).
Another minor thing, while I can understand German pretty well (about 95%), I really do prefer English for these kind of tech conferences... But still I might come back next year!!
So, next on the agenda, in a few weeks...UKOUG in Birmingham!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

APEX Application running native on an iPhone

This video shows how native an APEX application can run on iPhone. And yes, it is really an APEX application you see. And the whole movie is just one take.
You can see how a customer from the standard APEX Demo Application - "re-templated" to an Mobile APEX Application - is stored as a regular contact on your iPhone.
 

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

The "blind auditions": Evaluating Kscope12 abstracts...

Last week (and both weekends) I evaluated all the abstracts for ODTUG KScope12 in two tracks: APEX and Developer's Toolbox. In the APEX track 76 abstracts where submitted, Developer's Toolbox has just a few more, 82. All the abstracts will be evaluated by a team of (around) 8 people, so it doesn't all depend on my rating ;-)
For the first time, the abstracts where anonymous. So you don't know who wrote the abstract when rating it. In some cases, you can guess (and some had their own name in the abstract or summary, so that's easy). But I have to say, it makes it more difficult to evaluate. Because, for some people it doesn't really matter what the abstract says, you know it will be good anyhow (and for other ones, it is just the other way round). But luckily we have to rate the presenters as well - as far as you know them.
We had to rate every abstract between 0 and 5, where 5 is a top one. My totals are: little under 20% I rated as 5, almost 40% got a 4, 30% received a 3 and the rest is 2 or lower.
The hottest subject in the APEX track is, without any doubt, mobile development. Seems like a lot of presenters are anxiously awaiting the next APEX release. In Developer's Toolbox, the subjects are more diverse, but, to my surprise, analytic functions are a trending topic! Not that these are new, but there seems to be a more general adoption and interest in this feature.

And what did I learn from these "blind auditions"? 
That it is very hard to write a good abstract. And when you submit one, there always a line saying: Don't copy your abstract as a summery (or the other way round). They have two different goals. The abstract should convince the evaluator to select your presentation, while the summary should convince the conference attendee to attend your session. So you should give away more in the abstract - but please, not pages long - and maybe just make people curious in the summary part. 


But seeing all these great abstracts, I am really sure that Kscope12 will be even better than this years!

I revamped my blog

I revamped my blog recently by enabling the latest Blogger feature: Dynamic Views.  You can pick your own view using the "Magazine" menu on top.
I hope you like it. I do ;-).