In this post:
- Reasons to submit a paper for an Oracle User Group event
- What should you talk about?
Just a few days ago I received a reminder email from Burke Scheld for the “AUSOUG National Conference Series – Perth 2011 – Call for Papers”. I had an event-related conversation with several Oracle guys in my professional networks and the answers I received triggered this blog post. Some of the very good Oracle professionals I personally respect said “…I am not sure what I would get out of it …” or “…I haven’t done anything exciting for the last FEW MONTHS …”.
The answers I received shocked me a bit. Typically I am in the opposite situation where I have so many good things happening I would love to share with the world that I had to choose from too many topics to submit several. I am sure that I am not very different from other folks who work with Oracle technologies on a day to day basis. One just needs to see the opportunities around you.
Let me get back to the conversation and cover each of the statements one by one.
Reasons why you should submit
or “…I am not sure what I would get out of it …”
Let me start with the obvious:
1. “RESUME” – any participation as a speaker adds a solid record to your CV. If you’ve never spoken before it will bring your RESUME up to a totally new level and it gives you an advantage over any other candidates for the next role you may be applying for.
2. “RECOGNITION” – and it isn’t just your boss who we are talking about here. It is your family and friends who you will make proud. There is also your workmates and professional network. You will get visibility among event participants and the industry in general.
3. “IT’S A WAY TO BIGGER EVENTS” – if you think that an event you just received an email about isn’t a big and recognizable event and it isn’t worth trying at all, think about it again. It might be hard (but still worth trying) to be accepted as a speaker for a very big event (like OpenWorld) right from the beginning. Participation in a smaller event will give you a good base for future conferences you may have dreamt about. So keep trying even if your proposal is not accepted on the first try. Occasionally you will get there.
4. “EASIER TO CONVINCE YOUR BOSS” – it is much easier to convince the company management you are working for to sponsor your participation in a conference if you are accepted as a speaker than just a participant.
5. “TRAVEL TO NEW PLACES” – obviously participating in conferences gives you an opportunity to visit places you have never visited before.
6. “HAVE A BREAK” – this is a good chance to have a break from your regular life. For several days you will get away from your work, friends, town and family. It will give you a chance to have a look on your life from the outside and maybe help make it a bit better in the future.
7. “NETWORK” – any event provides a great opportunity to meet new people as well as old fellows from the same industry you haven’t seen for a while. Each next year you will have a chance to make your network even bigger.
8. “LEARN NEW THINGS” – typically you have one or two presentations for an event. The rest of the conference time you listen to others and learn.
9. “GET ENERGIZED” – for the last few years the biggest take away from conferences I participated in was the energy I received from other presenters. It is always a great pleasure to listen to such speakers as Tanel Poder, Tom Kyte, Jonathan Lewis, Cary Millsap and others. You see how enthusiastic and energetic they are and that makes you ready to follow in their footprints to investigate, research, think (differently) and learn.
10. “LEARN EVEN MORE” – I find that I am learning a lot while preparing for my presentations. During the preparation phase you experiment, test things and become an even better expert on the topic you like to speak about. Therefore it is important to choose the right topic for your submission that you know about and would like to investigate even further.
I hope these 10 benefits have convinced you to have a go. Let’s talk about possible topics.
NOTE: If you have some other good reasons in mind (I am sure there are some other good reasons) please do not hesitate to post them in the comments for this blog post.
What should you talk about?
Or “…I haven’t done anything exciting for the last FEW MONTHS …”
… I am sure you have ;) You just didn’t notice. One thing that I would suggest you keep in mind while thinking about a topic for a conference is the fact that most event participants are like you and me. They are part of an Oracle User (Group) community and interested in sharing and using your real life experience. Any interesting issue or solution you worked on today, yesterday or last week may be of value to others.
Other advice I would give is to keep thinking about possible topics while you are working on a day to day basis. Keep it as an ongoing process rather than a one time brainstorm session. Next time you come across something interesting (what you possibly would like to investigate in detail) make a short note in a text file and keep going. At the end of the day you will find several dozen ideas in a relatively short period of time.
As an example from my current list I can mention the following:
– Oracle db scheduler and scheduling windows overlapping (if there is an overlap tasks may start as the time you do not expect those to start in).
– How to find TOP SQL generating the most changes in a database (blogged)
– Simple shell script to return Excel taking an SQL text a parameter via Apache
– How to Install Oracle Grid Control from Oracle VM template provided by Oracle having limited RAM installed
– Time Zones implementation in 11G advanced queuing
I am sure that you will have many more ideas to add to the list… Just don’t stop asking good interesting questions and keep going. I’m sure that at some point in time I will meet you at a conference and will learn from you!
Please don’t be shy and submit your paper proposal for the next Oracle User Group conference or an event! It doesn’t cost much and it has huge benefits for you and the community!
For those who would like to have a go I have a very good opportunity for you! Please submit your proposal for AUSOUG organized conference in Perth, Australia! Hurry up! You have just a few days until the deadline of 10th of August to do it.
NOTE: If you are aware about any other Oracle event around the world that calling for papers at the moment please do not hesitate to post information about it in this blog post comments.
Hope to see you soon,