Despite others best attempts - "Just one more" - I managed yet another early-ish night and so by the morning I was in a better than expected state for my Oak Table World presentation at 9am. I certainly looked in a better state than Tim Gorman, but thanks to him for showing up! When I put my name down for this, I didn't really think through the 9am slot, but I *did* think through going for the smaller of the two rooms that OTW had expanded to. 50 rather than 100 seats suits my modest persona and, man, I love that circular room! Better still, it was absolutely packed. Your slides projected on the wall, strangely effective acoustics and feeling that you're almost sitting on the laps of the other people in the room, many of whom are people I think the world of! Weird. Check out a couple of Kyle Haileys photos here and here. Oh, and yes, I was wearing my Sinclair ZX81 T-shirt again! What can I say? I like it so it tends to turn up on special occasions.
I had fun!
Some days things just work and, whilst the actual content of the presentation might not be the best (but don't tell anyone ) good presentation days can compensate for that a little. Certainly, the feedback I had from people was very positive although as I tweeted at the time, when I have fun presenting then it generally means it worked well for other people too. Maybe there's a Best Practice in here?
When you're having fun doing something, the results are probably good too.
One or two people asked for the slides, which are now on Slideshare here but, even better (as long as it doesn't shatter my illusions) is that I think all of the OTW2013 presentations were videoed and should appear on the Oak Table World site at some point in the future.
There you go ... Sometimes I walk away happy! (Well the one thing I wish I hadn't done was .... Let's not start that!)
Actually, there was one follow-up item I should have covered better. I wish I'd had a much longer conversation with the guy who came up at the end of the presentation to discuss global statistics and aggregation on partitioned tables. It's not a straightfoward subject and in the absence of time to cover it properly I suggested he checked out the paper I wrote on the subject, but I think I might have been a little curt so if he's reading this, I would love to discuss it more! Hopefully he picked up one of the extremely bling but slightly out of date business cards I'd just had made up, with the *old* OakTable logo. It's the one including the .net and was changed just after I'd ordered the cards. Never mind, it will make them collectors items.
Thanks to Kyle Hailey and all of the sponsors for their contributions and hard work putting Oak Table World together. I didn't spend nearly enough time there because it was during my two days of presentation worry and the recovery, but the reports I heard back from others were consistently good and I hope every effort goes into continuing this event. It's not just a vendor party or some more free food and drink but some additional knowledge-sharing of a completely different but complimentary nature to the main conference.
So now I was FREE and full of adrenalin but just ready to do nothing at the same time. Strange feeling I vaguely remember just walking around the conference enjoying the sunshine, eating food and being happy before settling down in Howard Street to watch the second major keynote. Yeah, the one that was obviously less interesting than a boat race. However, perhaps with the advantage of the sun, some beer (you are allowed to sneak a carry-out in, right? ) and the infrastructure focus of the presentation on various as-a-Service offerings, I kind of enjoyed it. In fact, Thomas Kurian is growing on me as a speaker. Larry is so hit-and-miss these days and, working with the grown-up clients that I do, I think Kurian delivers what I expect from a keynote. Maybe not sexy and fun, but professional. Although the freakiest thing was when he kept saying 'Announcing' but he didn't need to because all I could see was that 'Announcement' slide from that template I was still trying to get out of my brain!
I know Oracle announced some Cloud stuff last year which always seemed a bit Mickey Mouse to me and the announcements this year will take some time to be fully developed, but it felt like they were finally starting to think about the professional services that real customers might actually want and clearly the Nimbula deal was a central part of this.
The thing I probably enjoyed most about the keynote, though, was an hour and a half of the sun on my face with no upcoming responsibilities
My final presentation of the day was the Maria Colgan and Jonathan Lewis tag-team effort - 'Oracle Optimizer Boot Camp - 10 Optimizer Tips You Can't Do Without'. (It probably needed two of them just to come up with that title!) With two terrific presenters on top form and lots of useful content, it was definitely one of the highlights of the agenda for me. You can grab the presentation slides at the Optimizer Development Group Blog.
By now the power on all of my devices was giving out (a theme of the week as I can be lazy about charging any my iPhone 4s is on it's last legs) so I decided to make moves back towards my hotel, only to bump into Graham Wood who persuaded me to have just one beer now that the presentation was done. The next thing I knew, and it really did happen quickly, a bunch of Oak Table types descended on Chevys and before I knew it I was being dragged off kicking and screaming to a very enjoyable Chinese meal. As well as being able to catch up with some friends, they were carrying charging devices which took some of the stress away! I had been keeping an eye out for Cary Millsap so I could give him one of my new business cards. As a man of taste and style who is obsessed with typography I just knew he would admire them deeply I think he truly appreciated the effort although they might be a bit Vegas for his tastes!
By the end of the evening I'd given quite a few out and so insisted on a group shot.
My thanks to Dan Norris' lovely girlfriend Anne for helping us out with the picture. We hadn't been in the bar of the W long, but she was still probably in better condition than most!