Reporting from Perth AUSOUG Conference 2008

Posted in: Technical Track

My presentation was on the first day, right after the keynote, and following my habit of reviewing the slides before the show, I spent this keynote hour one-to-one with my MacBook. I could never underestimate the importance of this review following one fiasco I had in the past when I neglected to thoroughly review the existing slides of my older presentation before presenting it.

At the beginning of the session, once again I realized that DBA audience at AUSOUG conference is relatively small percentage. On the other hand it might be Tim Hall who has stolen my DBA audience to his session about PL/SQL 11g new features. Yeah… it must have been Tim as it turned out later he is the number two speaker in Australia. ;-)

My few jokes on the initial slides were not as good as they would be with larger audience but, at least, resulted in smiles so I guess I can call it success to a certain degree. The presentation itself went well I think but I wasn’t too trilled about it and there are few places I want to change before I present it at Gold Coast. Well, live and learn. I’ve got some positive responses afterward and even a piece of photography art tagged by “excellent” courtesy to Francisco Munoz Alvarez:

Alex Gorbachev presenting in Perth

I managed to fit comfortably within 45 minutes with few question during and after the presentation. It’s been traditionally very difficult for me to manage 45 minutes slot but I guess I’m getting better at it.

I can say only good things about the lunch. It was buffet style but the food was very good which I don’t always (read rare) find in buffet lunches. I also can mention couple interesting sessions I’ve been to that day. One from Penny Cookson about APEX reporting. The lessons I learned — APEX can work very well for reporting but it does get ugly from my perspective. However, it seems that dashboard style development works nicely with APEX and that’s what I’m mostly interested in at this time.

Another session was from Connor McDonald and it was the most entertaining session of the conference. Amazing presentation style. I was thinking if I could adopt it and my answer is negative — I simply can’t make it flow that naturally over 300 slides in 45 minutes. Connor has this talent for sure.

The evening started in the exhibition hall and nothing can beat free beer and food. Maybe too many free beers… Later, I ended up in the CBD Bar at the same table as Saturday in a small company. I took fish of the day — Swordfish — and it was a great dinner. Beez Neez was a very good addition as well.

The next day in the morning, I had a pleasure of meeting a Senior Trade Adviser from Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia. I could only confirm that Western Australia is excellent target for Pythian services taking into account extreme shortage of qualified IT personnel. It loos like a fear of recession in WA due to dropping demand for natural resources is very high and this might contribute even more to Pythian success — historically, crisis played well for us forcing companies to adopt different strategies for resourcing their IT needs — something different from consulting and long-term outsourcing contracts. But I digress.

I was back to the conference just in time for Penny Cookson’s presentation about SQL and PL/SQL Result Cache. Thanks to Penny for mentioning Alex Fatkulin’s posts on this topic and debates it caused.

It turned out I had another appearance at the conference — there was a session scheduled called ACEbook with 8 Oracle ACE’s on the panel and a bit more than that in the audience. It’s been a bit confusing what was expected from this panel but it turned out to be nice informal Q&A session about the program and community involvement with many good laughs.

I’ve got a bit sidetracked after the ACEbook session and missed Scott Hollows presentation “Babbage vs Oracle”. Too bad — it seems like the content was very entertaining. Well, I’ll have another chance to see it at Gold Coast next week where another round of AUSOUG Conference will take place on 13-14 October. If you are coming — see you there!

In the meantime, it’s a pleasure to spend another 3 days in this wonderful city of Perth and hope to squeeze some sightseeing in between my business meetings here.

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About the Author

What does it take to be chief technology officer at a company of technology experts? Experience. Imagination. Passion. Alex Gorbachev has all three. He’s played a key role in taking the company global, having set up Pythian’s Asia Pacific operations. Today, the CTO office is an incubator of new services and technologies – a mini-startup inside Pythian. Most recently, Alex built a Big Data Engineering services team and established a Data Science practice. Highly sought after for his deep expertise and interest in emerging trends, Alex routinely speaks at industry events as a member of the OakTable.

4 Comments. Leave new

Alex: They were just intimidated by someone of your stature in the community and settled for the easy option. :)



Matthew Watson
October 8, 2008 1:54 am

Yep, it was probably Tim who stole your audience, he gave a great presentation. The whole show was very applications heavy though, but had lots of good stuff too.

Jurijs Velikanovs
October 13, 2008 12:42 am

Hi Alex,

I am glad to see that there are high level professionals around willing to share their experience and knowledge.
Just wonder if your presentations are available somewhere publicly?

Best regards,



You are the master presenter. I learned a lot from your RAC presentation at OOW. It is always great advice to review and perform a few dry runs before the conference.

Ben Prusinski

PS: Tim always wows the crowd with his PL/SQL and Oracle wizardry.


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