Thoughts about Oracle OpenWorld

I hate to admit it, but the only reason I went to Oracle OpenWorld was that none of the senior DBAs in the team wanted to go. The Boss agreed to send one DBA to the event, and if any of the more senior staff were interested, I’d have stayed at the office.

Fortunately, the older DBAs hated Oracle OpenWorld. They found it too crowded, too intense, too marketing oriented and not technical enough. And they are right, it is all this.

But to me, Oracle OpenWorld was pure magic.

I spend most of my days in a mundane DBA world – we export and import, we backup and recover, sometimes we get to tune some bad SQLs. After a year of this, and you get convinced that being a DBA is slightly boring.

And then, for one magical week, Oracle becomes exciting again. You meet people who are excited about what they do with Oracle – whether it is RAC, indexes, Model clause or ASM. What’s even better – in the Oracle Magic Kingdom, everything works. All the new features have no bugs, all patches install easily according to metalink instructions, Oracle support listens to your problems and has the right answers, you have sufficient maintenance windows to perform all your tasks, and performance issues are interesting and yet can be resolved within 45 minutes. Magic.

My favorite part was meeting people who are as excited about the database as I am. The unconference sessions and the blogger meetup was especially good for this. Most of the DBAs I meet on a regular basis view databases as their job, they think I’m rather strange and geeky for getting excited about new features and talking non-stop about storage options. Not to mention that my strange habit of playing with the database on weekends is considered as a symptom of a sever mental illness. In Oracle OpenWorld I got to meet a bunch of people who are every bit as geeky as I am, many are even more so. Saying “Wow! I’ll play with this feature on the weekend” did not cause a single person to take pity on my lack of social life.

I hope my excitement about OOW didn’t cause some of my senior co-workers to decide to go next year, because I want to go again.

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6 Comments on “Thoughts about Oracle OpenWorld”

  1. Noons says:

    to me the value of these events is in the contacts you establish and renew with folks all around the world.
    the marketing side of it is just a show, it’s catching up with the “weekend warriors” that gives it the true value it has.

  2. prodlife says:

    Hi Noons,

    I completely agree with you. The conference was terrific because I got to meet and talk with many terrific people.

    Too bad I didn’t get to meet you.

  3. David McGrath says:

    Everything works, thats something I haven’t heard from a DBA, since I left the world of SQL Server. I must admit our encounters or should I say adventures with 10g Grid control and Application Server, do not resemble the Magic Kingdom or any kind of magic other than witch craft.

  4. prodlife says:

    Hi David,

    I believe you misunderstood my words.
    In OOW, everything works. Thats why its magic. When Lutz Hartmann converts his DB to ASM, everything works.
    Needless to say, the magic stops working when I arrive at the office.

    I wouldn’t say that in SQL Server everything works, they just have different bugs.

  5. Mohan says:

    Hello,
    You are right. It was such an exited week. I like very much Richard’s , unconferance session about Indexing, and Dan Morgan(new A’s)11g new feature. They are fantastic. It is worth to watch and learn. Thanks OOW

  6. […] was when I published my thoughts on OOW,  which is my most popular post ever. I can never guess why some of my posts become so popular, […]


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