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.
Now, that really is a gorgeous picture. But there’s something I want you to key in on specifically in that picture:
The speakers across all of those subject areas are awesome. I can’t think of many conferences either that allow you to cross train if you want to pick up some new skills, or just see what the ‘cool kids’ are doing over in XYZ-land. I know I really enjoy hearing and learning from the Hyperion/Essbase crowd.
It’s the Experts, Silly!
However, it’s much more than just sitting in a chair and listening to these very well known evangelists was on about their favorite tools and techniques – although that’s very fun too. What it’s really, really about is sitting down and talking with these folks and getting real face-time.
I’ve personally witnessed multiple occurrences of 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.
This year I’ll be snorkeling with a few others and the certified divers on the boat will be a few fathoms deeper than me, in the beautiful, clear, warm waters of the Florida coast.
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 Kscope16. 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 Hollywood, FL! 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.