Tuesday 3 May 2016

TROUG 2016 - Istanbul

Last week I took part in the Turkish User Group conference(TROUG) for the first time and it was also my first visit to Istanbul, I loved both.

Fellow ACE Director Gurchan Orachan and Gökhan Atil have invited me before to Turkey and I was really pleased this year that the timing worked and to OTN who agreed to fund my travel through the ACE program.

The event took part in a Technical University, on what we would call a science park in the UK and I was really impressed with the location. The AV equipment was really high class and both my presentations looked good on the Screen, something I no longer take for granted.

There were 3 streams over 2 days which is the first time TROUG has held a two day event. The attendance was good but they had hoped for more, however Oracle held a Partner Day which clashed which was in another city and meant there was very little partner presence. The next EOUC meeting is in June in Romania and this will be as ever high on the list. Clashing of events hits Oracle User Groups hard and there seems to be no way to avoid it completely. UKOUG have regular meetings with Marketing and yet we have the same this month with a Systems Event.

Anyway, back to the TROUG agenda , the proportion of local to overseas speakers but about 60 / 40 which I think is a really good mix. It hopefully attracts a larger audience but also encourages local users to take part. There was plenty of networking between sessions and the people I spoke to seemed to be enjoying it. I also felt very ‘Tim Hall like’ when after my second session several delegates asked for my photograph.

My daughter and I at the Blue Mosque

I spoke on day one on PaaS4SaaS and have recently updated this presentation to show all the improvements that have been made both in the PaaS itself but also in the way SaaS handles the call out. I try to make the point that SaaS has matured so much over the past years and hopefully this is indicative of what to expect in the PaaS world.

On the second day I gave the new presentation on Cloud Apps Around the World. This was well received but I had a schoolgirl error in my presentation. 

Grand Bazaar
This session has only been given once at Collaborate last month and is based on my white paper. One of the examples I give is about translated words not being suitable in the context needed. I use the word “Leistung” in German, which does technically mean ‘Performance’ but wouldn’t be used in the context of people. I had Bjern Rost in my session and he looked confused, my slide said ‘Lesting’ and he didn’t recognise it at all. It wasn’t too big an issue in this session, it still makes the point but afterwards I checked the white paper, and was really annoyed with myself that I had spelt it wrong on the slide. When I went to amend it, it changed it again, ughhh - auto correct!

As I said I thought the two sessions went well. It was a technical conference but there were people who were interested in Apps and Cloud and on the second day I had a couple of self discussions.

The user group were great hosts and after the event on day one they took the speakers for a traditional Turkish meal at the wonderful Bereket Hatay Sofarasi restaurant , and I was really grateful they included my daughter who had travelled with me. Bjorn’s wife Connie was also there (she and Brooke did a lot of sightseeing). The dinner was entertainment and my favourite foods were the breads (every meal in Turkey I had to try and remember not to fill up just on bread), the chicken cooked in salt (Tuzda Tavril seen here on fire) and stuffed with brown rice, and the metre long kebabs. It was a wonderful evening and I want to say thank you so much to TROUG for arranging this.

Istanbul was beautiful and not what I had expected and so I was really impressed my daughter had persuaded me to spend the long weekend there after the event. We did the major tourist spots including the obligatory BigBus and I discovered so much I didn’t know about the city. I loved all the old buildings and how so much of the original city wall is still in place. But what amazed me most wasn’t the Grand Bazaar, or the Blue Mosque or any of the Palaces, it was the lack of graffiti closely followed by the beautifully tendered verges. I have been to many amazing cities and graffiti has always let them down. Not so in Istanbul.

We were in Istanbul for 1st May which has been a day of unrest so the police were out in force, and most places were closed as there is also a very high level of security at present. In fact on Saturday I got a call from Oracle Travel to check I was ok as there was a report of an attack in Istanbul. It trend out to be a very isolated domestic incident but showed the heightened level of concern. I was very pleased to know that Oracle care.

So on the 1st, we took a boat to the Princes' Islands and did as the locals enjoying the sunshine.

We travelled everywhere by Uber which was very simple although the choice was XL which were luxury vans, or standard which turns out to be ordinary taxis, without the normal Uber promise of basic level. The one I caught today to the airport was very ropey and no seat belts. 

Thank you again TROUG and the ACE Program.