I had an amazing time in Long Beach CA last week for ODTUG Kscope 11. This was my fourth time attending the Kscope conference and I must say that the ODTUG committee, along with YCC, made it the best one yet!
It all started for me on Saturday. Once I arrived in Long Beach I went to register right away. Along with registration (which went flawlessly thanks to Lauren) I had my picture taken with Crystal in the new social media lounge. Lori, from YCC, did an excellent job promoting social media at Kscope 11 and I think it was a huge success.
Sunday was the symposium day. Not surprisingly I attended the APEX track which were presentations given by the Oracle APEX team on the upcoming 4.1 features in APEX. Mike Hichwa gave us a glimpse of some of the long term plans for APEX. There's some really cool things coming up that he discussed including an APEX App Store.
After all the presentations were done we had the Welcome Reception in the Grand Ballroom. It was really nice to catch up with everyone and meet a lot of new people.
Following the Welcome Keynote, the individual sessions started on Monday. It was really tough to chose which talk to go to. So many times throughout the conference I wanted to be in two or three places at the same time.
I really enjoyed Dimitri Gielis's presentation on APEX charts. He also mentioned that we may* (in the future) be able to have HTML 5 charts instead of flash charts. This would be very good for applications that run on iOS devices.
On Monday there was the APEX Open Mic night. This is something I was really looking forward to because you get to see a lot of live demos of APEX being used in organizations. Wayne Linton, a fellow Calgarian, kicked things off with a demo of his APEX application for managing roles in the database.
Following the Open Mic night James and Tom from RedGate took some of us out to dinner at Parker's Lighthouse. Great food and good times with those that were there.
Tuesday morning I hid away in my hotel room as I was doing some last minute prep and practice for my presentation. I gave my first talk, APEX 4 + HTML 5 = Awesome, right before lunch to a packed room. It went really well and was a lot of fun.
In the afternoon I went to Roel Hartman's XFiles presentation. It is a cool application for storing and managing files in the database using XML DB. You can even download the application on SourceForge: http://sourceforge.net/projects/xace/
The final session of the night that I attended was Dimitri's APEX in Big Projects with Many Developers. Dimitri showed how he, and the team at APEX Evangelists, develop their applications. It was really interesting to see the list of tools they use and why they use them. It also encouraged me to start tracking time I spend on non-billable items such as writing blog posts, plugins, and answering questions.
Following the presentation everyone went to the Grand Ballroom for Happy Hour where we had some drinks and appetizers.
In the evening I attended the Oracle ACE dinner put on by Lillian Buziak. It was my first ACE dinner and I was very excited to be there and meet some of the other ACEs. After dinner I had a drink with some of the usual suspects (you know who you are) at the hotel bar and then headed off to bed.
After Tuesday's long day and great dinner it was tough to get up on Wednesday morning, but I schleped through it. The first presentation that I attended was by John Scott on APEX 4 plug-ins. The room was packed and, as usual, John did an excellent job highlighting how plugins work and showed off a few that he built. It was really cool to see that John integrated one of the HTML 5 items that I had demoed in Tuesday's presentation into one of his plug-ins.
After the morning sessions I took the rest of the afternoon off to deal with a critical client request and catch up on some rest (I didn't get a lot of sleep over the past few days so it eventually caught up to me).
Wednesday night was the big social event aboard the Queen Mary. The ODTUG committee went all out; it was SPECTACULAR. There was food everywhere, open bar (I was on best behavior since I had to present the next morning), jazz band, dueling piano, poker room, boat tours, and a cover band on the deck. The evening finished with some fireworks. I don't know how they're going to be able to top this event next year but I'm sure they'll find a way :-).
Those that woke up on Thursday morning were pretty tired from the long week and the previous night's soiree. I gave my second presentation, called How to be Creative II, at 8:30 AM. A lot of people shockingly showed up and things actually went really well given that everyone was a bit groggy. I threw in a few extra jokes to help keep the audience awake. Dan McGhan was also giving a talk on Dynamic Actions at the same time. Unfortunately I wasn't able to attend (since I was presenting) but I heard it went really well.
I attended part of Raj Mattamal's presentation on Collections. Raj is a very "dynamic" speaker and always puts on an interesting talk. I also caught part of Shakeeb Rahman's talk where he converted an APEX application to mimic Apple's home page (he called it iToons). It was Shakeeb's first solo talk and he did an excellent job.
I also had a bit of a surprise on Thursday. At the closing ceremony I won the Best Speaker award for the APEX track and the overall Best Speaker of the Year award! I'm very honored to win the awards.
For those of you who didn't get to attend you really missed out on a stellar conference. The good news is that you can already register for Kscope 12 at www.kscope12.com which is going to be in San Antonio, Texas. Hope to see everyone there.