Why to Attend OOW?

I tweeted and mentioned reasons why people should attend Oracle Open World, but apparently I haven’t written an actual post about it, so I decided to do that now. This post won’t be too long, but it will contain the things I like most in this amazing conference.

I divided the experience of OOW to four parts:

Meet the People

This (2016) will be my 7th OOW, and during these years I think this is the best part of it. I call it “meet the people behind the screens” and by that I mean the people at Oracle that actually do the job. They develop the product, design it, support it and much more. OOW is probably one of the only places everybody can meet these people and talk to them. Over the years I have talked to support engineers, directors and VPs, developers of various features, development managers of several components including the optimizer, PMs of many components such as Data Guard, ASM, RMAN, In-Memory and many many other interesting people from Oracle itself. These people usually really like to talk to people who have a lot of experience with the product they are responsible for and they obviously know as much as possible about these products.

If I have only one recommendation for OOW, it will be: go to see the “people behind the screens”. Go to the demo grounds, talk to them after they speak or whenever you can, you won’t regret it.

Networking

It depends what you’re looking for at OOW, but it is a great place to meet people. Everyone involved in the Oracle community will be there: Oracle User Groups, Oracle ACEs, consulting companies, product companies, security companies and more. Find the companies that interest you, as a partner, as a customer, as whatever, and make the connections. Find people from your region, find your local OUG and talk to them. If you are already part of the community and looking for conferences, tips, speakers or anything else, you can find the right people at OOW.

Professional

When people go to OOW for the first time they think of it as a regular conference, so they think about the sessions. I have to admit that I’m not a big fan of the regular sessions. If you go to OOW and completely fill your schedule with sessions, you’ve missed the point.

Having said that, there are some great sessions that you should attend, but you need to pick them carefully. This is what I would suggest:

  • Pick a speaker – ask people about great speakers and go hear them, even if the topic is not exactly what you are looking for
  • Pick the PM/architect – if you wish to hear about a specific feature or tool, choose the sessions that include the relevant Oracle PM or architect. Usually, these talks are more technical, more accurate and you can always approach them at the end to chat
  • Pick a session – look for the more unique and non-trivial sessions. Maybe something about new stuff that was just announced, maybe something you heard about but never used

And again, in general, I would try to go to only a few sessions and fill the rest of the time with other meetings, networking events, etc.

Fun

Lastly, I can’t deny that OOW is awesome! There are many events, lunches, dinners, beers… and there is the appreciation event of course (this year the concert will be Billy Joel).

For me, it will be great to meet the Israeli people that I haven’t seen for a while now. I also hope to meet other people (mainly from Europe) that I met over the years and grab a beer or two.

If you are coming from far away, San Francisco is a great city – take the chance to travel a little bit, see the city, do some tourist attractions.

I also have to write (after Tim mentioned it lately in his post about Data Guard broker) that US is great for shopping (not now when I live in Canada, but definitely when I was living in Israel), so every year I went with friends to the outlets around San Francisco and we kind of cleared the shelves…

Summary

This is why I love OOW so much. I have a lot of plans for this year, but there is always free time as well. If you come to OOW and you want recommendations or just want to hang out and have a coffee/beer, let me know.

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4 thoughts on “Why to Attend OOW?

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