These are just my opinions, and I don’t speak on behalf of my employer.
On the Facebookers this morning, noticed one of my friends was contemplating coming out to San Francisco this year to join approximately 50,000 other Oracle and Java-heads for Java One and Oracle Open World.
I’m not going to try to sell you on this event – the location alone should be enough to get most of you excited. San Francisco is an amazing city to visit. The technical content, networking, and after hours social events are just bonuses.
That being said, here’s some advice on how to make the most of your time – not to mention your employer’s investment!
Use the Schedule Builder
Find 2 sessions a day that you MUST attend. Do your best to make it to these sessions. For the rest of the day, leave it to chance. You’ll stumble your way into many more sessions than just two, based on the advice of others or just what catches your eye at the time.
Build your own presentation.
This is the only homework I’ll be assigning you. When you get back to work, I want you to present to your group something that you learned at the conference. This is your chance to make sure it’s a ‘no-brainer’ decision in 2016 when it’s time to register for Open World.
You don’t have to parrot back things you heard. Maybe there’s an ongoing technical or process pain beleaguering your team or product. Make it your mission to find the experts at the conference that can give you some insight for improving the situation, or even fixing it.
Meet an Oracle Product Manager
We won’t bite. We like to talk to users, that’s why we’re there even. Introduce yourself, send us a LinkedIn invite, and follow-up a week to 10 days later with an invite for us to engage you further. It could be a demonstration or presentation to your group, or maybe you want to work closer with us as a trusted partner. Developers can be pretty cool too, so feel free to meet a few of those as well 🙂
Bring a backpack
To haul all of your stuff, all day. Here’s what to put in it each morning:
- Sandals or comfy footwear to change out of if you HAVE to be formal at the show
- a shirt or even a change of clothes – you might not be able to make it back to your room from conference time to ‘after conference’ time
- water – bring a good sized water bottle. Fill it up. Drink a lot of it. You’re gonna need it. Trust me.
- Lozenges or something for your throat – I go hoarse after the first day or two. You’re going to be talking a lot more than usual.
Dress in Layers
It can be hot or cold. Expect cold. But if you’re walking around a lot outside, you’re gonna get warm. Bring a hoodie or something you can easily take on or off. The conference is a month later than usual, so it will probably be on the cooler side. Definitely bring sunglasses and really, really good walking shoes.
If you don’t have a good jacket, bring a few extra dollars and buy one – lot’s of great shopping to be had. And they have a nice Oracle ‘mall’ setup in the Moscone to get your branded jackets, hoodies, shirts, and yachting accessories.
Don’t pay for food if you don’t have to.
You can probably find an event each evening where food or at least appetizers are gratis. Save those dollars, and again, make it much easier for your trip to get approved the next year.
Oh, and eat a good breakfast each morning. You might look up and notice it’s already 2 in the afternoon before you get a chance to eat again. Mel’s across from the Moscone is GOOD and CHEAP. And you can get a milkshake for breakfast if your your throat needs some medicine. They’re also really fast.
Coming out early, get active!
These are also good ways to network and meet other database nerds. If you’re a blogger, then the Pythian Blogger party on Wednesday before the Customer Appreciation Event is always really fun.
Speaking of the Customer Appreciation Event…
It’s a great show
Free food, free drink. The venue is great. Just be ready to queue up to the buses to get over and back. So that change of clothes in your backpack will come in handy. And it’ll be chilly over there, so have a good jacket.
Some Apps for Your Phone
Yelp to find places to eat. Uber to get around. Google Maps for walking directions. A good Twitter client for staying in touch with others at the show or making others back home jealous. Instagram for all of those great San Francisco vistas. Untappd to track good beers you find. Oh, be sure to get some Pliny the Elder on tap if you can find it, it’s one of the best beers in the world, and really hard to find outside of Northern California.
Speaking of beers, there’s tons of breweries in San Francisco to check you. And if you have a free day, get a car and drive over to Santa Rosa to visit Russian River Brewing Company.
Someone thought this would make a good video. So here.