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Remember Collaborate!

HVR is an official IOUG partner and was also an exhibitor at Collaborate this year. Here is a recap of my experience at #C19TX.

It had been a few years since I had attended Collaborate.  It was an annual event for me for quite some time.  The event is typically in Las Vegas so having the chance to go to San Antonio was a welcome treat for me.  If you aren’t familiar with Collaborate, it is an annual event for Oracle technology users to network and learn alongside the top faces in names in the Oracle Community. The IOUG (Independent Oracle User Group) Forum provides content and educational opportunities for the Oracle Community.

Welcome Blasts from the Past

The IOUG welcome reception was a bit like a high school reunion.  I saw dozens of people I knew from past working environments, former colleagues, former business partners and former customers.  It was great to catch up with so many familiar faces and met quite a few new ones. 

The Presentations:  Keynote, Kafka, and Docker

The introduction to the keynote that I read on the IOUG website intrigued me.  It didn’t look like the typical keynote.  Stacey Hanke was not the typical conference speaker.  Rather than an technical message or an inspirational one, Stacey was there to teach us a few tricks that we could use starting right away.  Stacey was all about straight communication.  Whether that communication is via email, via public speaking, team meetings or one on one meetings.  I really enjoyed her talk. She had three main points that the audience could immediately put into practice.

  1. Ask for feedback: When speaking to a large group or a small group… ask for feedback.  Not just “how did I do?” Dig deeper ask them for specifics on what you did right and what you did wrong.
  2. Deliberate practice: Practice Practice Practice.  That is the only way to get better.
  3. Accountability: Take ownership of the items that aren’t living up to your expectations and work hard to make them better don’t just accept some flaws when you are speaking.

Feeding Kafka

KafkaRight after the keynote, I headed over to see my coworker, Sreevani Abbarraju’s presentation on Kafka.  Sreevani laid out the great use case by HOP! Airline. Their challenge was that they  had issues with internal communication because of batch processing vs having data moved in real time.  Sreevani took us through the evolution of how the system was created that lead them to having HVR’s real-time data replication software move the data from traditional OLTP databases to Kafka all in real time. It was really interesting to learn about a use case where the airline was able to save money by optimizing costs, improve employee morale, increase on-time departures by using new state of the art technology using real-time data.

Oracle Talks 

Later that afternoon I had a chance to see my former colleague Nick Wagner speak about Oracle GoldenGate.  I have known Nick for years.  It was great to see his talk and to learn about a few of the changes that have happened to GoldenGate.  Nick and I then had a chance to catch up after his talk as well.  

 I was very impressed with what Docker can do.

After that I had a dilemma, there were two great talks at the same time, each by an Oracle AceMike Donovan was talking about the Three Principles of Logical Replication and Anton Els was speaking about Getting started with Oracle and Docker.  I know lots about logical replication and have seen Mike present before so I opted to go the Docker presentation. Anton started with a demo and then went through what Docker does, what it is and how to get started.  I was very impressed with what Docker can do.  Docker is a great way to get computing environments up in running with a few simple commands.  I always thought of Docker as ‘another virtual machine.’  Docker environments can act like virtual machines but they can be quite much more.  It seems that these are great for demo environments, simple testing, and a great way to automate many computing environments.  Anton’s presentation was a great introduction to Docker. You can learn more from his blog.

Booth Buzz: Going Hybrid

After the talks, we were ready to staff the booth.  People stopped by to play Plinko as well as talk to us about moving to the Cloud.  Quite a few people talked to us about having databases on-prem that needed to migrate to the cloud as well as those that wanted to create a new data lake or data warehouse in the cloud.  Each of the three major clouds were mentioned and we also talked with some folks who wanted to keep their on-premises databases as well.  

Fiesta and…Sloths?

Tuesday night was interesting as one vendor had a sloth in their booth that attendees could take pictures with.  That was kind of cool.  One of my coworkers joked that we should get an animal for Collaborate 2020… stay tuned to see what we come up with!

A few work calls prevented me from attending the Fiesta party on Wednesday night but I heard from a few people who said that it was a great party on the Riverwalk with food and drink aplenty.  Thanks IOUG  for a great event.  I do appreciate having Collaborate in a city other than Las Vegas.  Looking forward to Collaborate 2020, although I did learn it would be headed back to Sin City in April 2020.


About Chris Lawless

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