I flew out today to Finland. And I ended up having the opportunity to share my flight with Björn Rost.
The reason this time was to participate in the (meanwhile legendary) Oracle User Group Finland presentation.
After arriving I got picked up by Ann Sjökvist and we travelled to Oracle Finland HQ for a meeting in preparation for the World Premiere of the Oracle Standard Edition Round Table. After this meeting Ann dropped me of at GLO art Hotel, which looks like an ancient castle for her to proceed in the preparations for OUGF14.
A little later I went out on the town with Alex Nuijten to find the rest of the international crew, and we did! We joined forces with some of the biggest names in the Oracle community today like:
- Björn Rost
- Brendan Tierney
- Gurcan Orhan
- Heli Helskyaho
- Ilmar Kerm
- Fellow Pragma Illoon Wolf
- Fellow Pragma Joel Goodman
- Kamran Agayev
- Kent Grazo
- Oyvind Isene
- Peter Scott
- Fellow Pragma Philippe Fierens
we took the legendary Helsinki City Sight Seeing tour by Heli which led us to the Speaker Dinner, where the crew was complete, adding:
- Brynn Llwelleyn (no nothing of this new social mumbo jumbo)
- Graham Wood
- Kuassi Mensah
- Mogens Nørgaard
- Piet de Visser
- Roel Hartman
and many more!!
Day two, the start of OUGF Harmony 2014, started with a nice stroll down to Helsinki City Center where we met up with all the speakers and participants of the convention to travel down to Haltia Finnish Nature Center.
At this greatest of all venues, you could be for a tech convention, we had breakfast to kickoff the convention by a keynote presentation by Heli Helskyaho.
And this day got to be even better than it started.
The keynote by James Morle made it clear that opinions matter where IT is concerned. Arguably the best keynote seen in many years! Mindless following of Marketing-ized ideas, best practice and Google will turn you into an idiot instead of a genius.
There were a lot of good session, more than anyone could attend…
The sessions I attended (besides the keynotes) were:
- Gurcan Orhan: How to handle DEV & TEST & PROD for ODI – with a perfect example of how quickly a smart implementation can become utterly intricated for nothing
- Björn Rost: The Ins and Outs of Flashback Data archives – explaining the use of flashback even within a Standard Edition environment
- Keynote: Bryn Llewellyn: PL/ SQL Enhancements in Oracle Database 12c
At 14:00 I had the opportunity to host my own talk on APEX for Electronic Patients Records (if you are interested in the slides, please drop me a line), having a good attendance. The day ended with a nice musical performance of a band formed by Oracle employees while some preferred the sauna experience and a dive in the lake near the venue.
Most of the participants returned to Helsinki while a small group of heroes stayed on site for a camp close to the venue.
Day three, the second day of the convention started with a keynote by Graham Wood of the Real World Performance Group while the twitter-stream on #ougf14 was revived showing camping and jumping pictures (a tradition initiated by Yuri Velikanov) from the day before!
In preparation of the Oracle Standard Edition awareness campaign I followed the well attended session from Ann Sjökvist talking about the Standard Edition DBA, a different approach to the trade.
At 12:00 we kicked off the first ever Oracle Standard Edition Round Table which was quite a succes! In a very lively discussion we got to discuss CPU’s, sockets, tooling, investments, bridging gaps and creating awareness to leverage the #1 database in the world for even many more situations and projects as we are all used to!! We even got to launch a brand new three letter IT acronym “TCL” which represents the Total Cost of (data) Loss for an organization.
With many unique get togethers this day also slowly drawn to a close. On request of Björn Rost the entire remaining gathering of Oracle enthusiasts made The Jump which, for me, was a unique experience, captured by Philippe (we had to jump a few times, yes :-))
As often, the best is kept for last! By ways of being the cherry on the cake, during the “hunt for food” by The Pragmas, downtown Helsinki, we stumbled on the Helskyaho-company at Yume (or even Twitter), possibly the best restaurant of Helsinki and they were so good to invite us to join them. This way we got to spend a dinner in the company of the legendary Chris Date which will possibly be a once in a lifetime experience.
With OUGF Harmony 2014, the standards for Oracle Usergroup conferences again was raised by a magnitude! A great job by our Finnish friends and a promise for next year.