Sunday, 20 December 2015

My UKOUG 2015

UKOUG as ever seems to have gone in a whirl, and for me even more so.

your elected board members 
Normally I have a little ritual, I arrive on the saturday, do my christmas cards on the sunday morning and then stay an extra night to come down from the adrenalin rush before facing the last minute set of objectives before Christmas. But this year it was all different, I was on the APAC tour and arrived in Birmingham just an hour before Super Sunday started, and then I had to leave an hour early to get to London for my company Christmas Event, so it really did run past quickly.

Every year the number of sessions submitted and delivered are amazing and this year we not only held Tech and Apps at the same time but also included JDE. Just look at the statistics, they are fantastic. We had a great exhibitions as well.

To me what makes it even more special is what I call the off piste events, the added member value that make the events so popular.

As I mentioned we kick off with Super Sunday, conference content at the weekend. This is when delegates are eating into their weekend to learn, amazing content normally in more depth than the main conference. 

Sunday evening is now also the traditional ACE Dinner, as the program grows so do the numbers attending UKOUG. This year we were honoured to have Logan Rosenstein who is new in OTN and responsible for the Systems communities attend. 60 ACE members and a sprinkling of product managers had a wonderful meal in our favourite Thai Edge. This restaurant looks after us well, serves great food and makes it a wonderful occasion, I wouldn't be surprised if we are back again there next year.

Monday morning is the start of the main Tech and Apps conferences and the Tech conference key note was brilliant with some amazing tweets. I felt that what Neil Sholay had exactly the right message and that it would have been equally suitable for Apps. In fact on Tuesday when Jeremy Ashley did the Apps keynote it was a follow on and that Tech people would have loved it too. It was fantastic to see such full auditoriums.
Jeremy heads up the UX team in Oracle development and they as usual were present in great numbers. The UX labs in were place giving us the opportunity to try out things they are looking at. The Appslab were at UKOUG with their 'UKOUG conference explorer'' where they used gamification to  encourage us to take part in a number of tasks. 

UX tell the story of their UKOUG on storifty

In the same vein we had a report jam to enable Cloud customers to challenge Oracle to write reports fro them. Remember when using SaaS everyone has the same code and therefore can share their reports. These reports can be shared on customer connect.

Linda Barker
Monday evening I had the pleasure of joining our President Linda Barker as she hosted Cliff Godwin and Nadia Bendjedo from EBS and Jeremy Ashley for dinner. And Wednesday morning I had breakfast with John Schiff from JDE, all old friends of UKOUG.

JDE had their first located conference with us and showed us all how to party, although I am sure the Hawaiian shirts had something to do with it. 

Tuesday kicked off with our Women in IT breakfast. I was really proud of this, a great turn out split over the conferences and with a good showing on men. The session was sponsored by Evolution who presented their findings on WIT survey which was completed by a lot of UKOUG members. I also spoke about how we want to combine WIT and next Generation and concentrate on encouraging young people to look at IT as a serious career choice and that includes women. You can read the Evolutions findings in their white paper

The socials on Tuesday evening saw us all have a good time, quiet and not so quiet areas, and many people continued to 'network' in Broad Street once the ICC had said goodnight.

I also took part in the testfest but for a beta exam so it will be a while before I know if I was any good.

Wednesday was another great day with some of the best sessions left to the very end, and when I left the place was still buzzing. UKOUG will look at all the feedback, work out what worked and what we need to change and by the end of January we will have started the planning all over again for an even bigger and better UKOUG 2016.

(most of the photos and many more can be found on the UKOUG Facebook page)

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