I promised @oraclenerd that I’d make a video talking about why I thought KScope was a ‘must-attend’ event for all Oracle developers, but my web cam is acting up. In the meantime, here’s a quick plug for my favorite independent Oracle conference!
Full Disclaimer: I’m speaking at KScope. When I talk about how awesome the speakers are, I’m excluding myself, naturally.
ODTUG USED to stand for ‘Oracle Developer Tools Users Group.’ Their scope has broadened to include more than just the developer audience, but it’s nice to remember this was and mostly still is a group FOR developers BY developers. For as long as I can remember, OK since 2005 or 2006, the best speakers and experts have attended at ODTUG’s annual conference. So if you get paid to build stuff, fix stuff, make stuff go faster – then this conference is really designed for you. Less fluff, more content.
It’s the Experts, Silly!
However, it’s much more than just sitting in a chair and listening to Tom Kyte or Steven Feurestein wax on about bind peaking or PL/SQL collections. It’s about sitting down and talking with these folks and getting real face-time. I’ve personally witnessed folks coming in and having their most challenging technical issues solved in just a few minutes. All of the speakers are very approachable and willing to extend the conversation beyond their presentations. If not, then you can bet the ODTUG conference committee will think twice about having them back.
When I’m talking about Oracle SQL Developer, if someone stumps me, I can just yell out to @krisrice in the back – you know, the guy who writes the code and leads the R&D of the thing. Yeah, lots and lots of Product Managers and developers from Oracle come out to Kscope. So if you want the inside scoop on why something is like it is, or if you want to whisper to us your kick-butt ideas, we’re all ears!
It’s the Attendees, Duh!
There’s another reason I like KScope. The class of attendee is just as stellar. Dev shops send their ‘best’ coders. They ask great questions, challenge the speakers, and frequently transition from attendee to participant to speaker. As a product manager for a Oracle development tool, this is the best week of the year for me to collect feedback from our users and help shape our products going forward.
This also means the presentations are better because attendees are well suited to contribute and enhance the content. To have so many different perspectives on hand really makes everyone in the room that much smarter. I often learn just as much from the audience questions as I do from the presenters alone.
What a Bargain!
Look at a week’s worth of training and then compare that to the cost of attending KScope. It’s going to be close, but don’t forget to factor in that your KScope instructors are the folks that write the books, train the trainers, and love to share their knowledge – it’s not just a job. What you learn here, including contacts met & friends made, will be brought back to your workplace to be shared with your colleagues. And when I say it’s ‘cheap’ I mean it’s low-cost for what you’re getting. The experience is anything but low-budget. And I think the food will be a little bit better than your average training sub and pizza routine.
The after-learning activities are great. The events are always a blast. The host cities are must-see destinations in general on their own merits. You have the opportunity to make real friends here or solidify existing relationships. Also, it’s a great opportunity to look really stupid in front of your colleagues – it was my turn last year
This year I’ll be running my first half-marathon in Seattle the day before KScope starts with a few other crazy Oracle community folks. And it’s not weird that I would hang out with folks before, during, and after a conference. It’s a REAL community with REAL relationships.
So if you haven’t made your case for this year’s KScope, time’s a-wasting. It’s not too late to start seeding your boss’s head with ideas about Kscope15. What’s next year’s training budget? If I submit a talk and get approved, can I go? You know those top 3 most difficult dev problems we’re facing – I bet I can get free consulting and awesome answers at KScope…
I’ll see you in Seattle! And if you can’t make it, be sure to check out the awesome and FREE webcast series. I’ve done many SQL Developer themed sessions and are available for replay via the archives to current ODTUG members.