I have been wanting to travel to Ireland for a long time. It sounds like a great place, beautiful (some say similar to New Zealand, which is an amazing country), with great people and nice accent (whenever you manage to understand what they are saying).
I still haven’t had the chance to travel in Ireland, but when I heard that an OUG meeting was planned (I met Brendan in Helsinki last year for the OUG Finland conference), I immediately submitted a couple of sessions. Presenting a session in an OUG conference is a good excuse to go to places I want to visit. And I was very happy to get the acceptance email.
So I arrived on Wednesday, March 18th, at 10:00. The schedule is busy, many beers and also some Oracle stuff. On Wednesday, Guinness visitor center, then pre-dinner beer, Oracle ACE dinner, then some more beer and off to sleep. Thursday is the conference (I’ve been scheduled to be first after the keynotes) and of course some beer in the evening after the conference. On Friday, a couple of hours walk in the city and heading to the airport to catch my 17:00 flight back home.
The first day went according to the plan. The six of us (Brendan, Alex, Roel, Gurcan, Martin and myself) went to the Guinness visitor center which was indeed nice and interesting, and the pint at the end was great. Then we continued to a proper Irish pub and met Debra to have another pint. The dinner after that was really excellent, I ate and drank so much that I really needed a rest (it was a long day after night flights).
The next day was the conference. My session was the first one after the keynote and it went well (in my opinion). I have presented this session a few times in the past and I like it. It’s about locks in the database, mainly table and row locks during DMLs and DDLs. After my session I had the time to listen to others. I started with Jonathan Lewis talking about performance issues, as usual, and was great, as usual. Even though it was 2 sessions long, I left after the first one to listen to Tim Hall talking about PDB architecture and how it can break your environment. He immediately teased me about not having shopping bags, but that’s something for OOW. He was funny as always and laughed at himself. The session was good, talking about important things to know when moving to PDB architecture, but wasn’t as scary as he thought it would be. Later I went to hear Marcin Przepiorowski talking about automating DBA tasks, it was good to hear about Ansible. Apparently, quite a good automation tool that allows you to run scripts on several databases at once and other cool stuff. I definitely need to check this out. The last session was by Martin Widlake, a very nice English man I met for the first time the day before (and spent quite a lot of time with him since), he talked about disasters he experienced (or actually caused) over the years. It wasn’t very technical, but it was good fun.
After Martin there was a keynote by Maria Colgan. She was excellent! In just about 40 minutes she managed to cover in-memory database main concepts and features and gave us a few laughs (especially when explaining in-memory using a speed dating analogue, I have no idea where this came from). She is really easy to listen to and very interesting. I hope she’ll agree to come to our ilOUG conference we are organizing in June.
After the keynote we had some drinks (it’s Ireland after all) and we headed back to the hotel just to go out again, have dinner and some more drinks.
On Friday we woke up late. Brendan took Gurcan, Martin and me on a 2-hour walk in the city. I was quite amazed how much he knows about it, I could never do the same for my city. We had a good time, just wandered around, saw the main sites of the city, took quite a lot of pictures and rested a bit (it was too early for beers though).
In the afternoon I went to the airport with Martin and Gurcan, each heading to his own country after this successful and fun conference.
On a final note, I’d like to say many thanks to all the great people I met, especially Debra Lilley and Brendan Tierney for the conference and the activities.
If you are reading this post but don’t know the people I’m talking about, you are probably a friend of mine who has nothing to do with databases. Anyway, these are the links to their sites and twitter (alphabetically):
Alex Nuijten – blog twitter
Brendan Tierney – blog twitter
Debra Lilley – blog twitter
Gurcan Orhan – blog twitter
Jonathan Lewis – blog twitter
Martin Widlake – blog twitter
Roel Hartman – blog twitter
Tim Hall – blog twitter
Hope to see you soon,