Friday, January 23, 2015

Riga Dev Day 2015

While waiting at the airport for my plane back to Amsterdam, I have some time to write down my experiences of the last few days in Riga.
After arriving in the hotel, I walked to the old part of town and strolled around. The old part looks very medieval (it is - so no surprises there) with cobblestone streets, old houses and very few cars. Nice!
Then back to hotel, in time for the "official" speaker tour. With a small bus we toured around town for 45 minutes and we walked the old town (again) for another 45 minutes - but now including some stories about the buildings we saw. It was rather cold, so I was quite happy when we got back to the bus and on to the restaurant for the speakers dinner. All very well organised "extra's". Thanks guys!

The event itself was held in a movie theatre in a mall. About 400 attendees filled up the large keynote room pretty quickly. The nice thing about this setting is that the screens are huge and excellent: I've never seen my presentation that big! Also the fact that some people were eating popcorn during the presentations added something to the "movie effect". I would like to see more events in venues like this!
As they conference was a combination of three user groups (Google Dev, Java and Oracle) it was very easy to attend a session that is way out of my comfort zone. So I did a few sessions on Android, Node and REST API's. Just to see something different. My own session was well attended with around 50 people. Just a few of them were actual APEX Developers, the rest was DBA, PL/SQL - or out of their Google/Java comfort zone.
After the event we grabbed a cab bak to the hotel to drop off our bags and a cab back into the old town for the afterparty. Music, some food and lots of drinks. It was fun. Afterwards a cab back to to hotel for the after-afterparty. 
This morning after checking out, I walked back into the old city to check out the parts I haven't seen yet, like the big market halls. Then taxi back to the airport...

All in all a great event, very well organised. Thanks for inviting me - and thanks to the Oracle ACE program for the support !
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