Sunday 17 July 2016

2016 Kscope - What Did I Learn?

Oops! This has taken me two weeks to write, I got back to UK and was just so busy. I thought perhaps it was too late but I still have the same nail polish on I had done at the end of Kscope so I guess it is OK.

As a user group leader you miss out on a lot of the great education delivered by your own group, especially when you want to cover multiple streams. My main area is Cloud Apps but I am also very interested and need to know about the technology, so every year I try to go to KSCOPE the ODTUG conference, simply as a speaker / delegate.

This year the event was in Chicago, and I intended to arrive in time for their Community Service Day, but the travel gods were against me and I was delayed over a day. I was very vocal about the journey, on both twitter and in this blog, but I did eventually arrive Saturday evening and believe I have earnt enough good travel karma to get me through the next couple of years.

Jennifer from the ACE program took a few of us to dinner the first evening to a celebrated restaurant. They then went onto Navy Pier but I had had a long day and went back to the hotel for a good sleep.

Chi Gung Class
Next morning I started early, as I did every day and have done every event since Kent started his Chi Gung sessions. I still can't do it very well but it is a great start to the day.

Sunday is the Symposium and for me that means ADF. The day was dedicated to Oracle product managers giving updates on their products and I think they did brilliantly. The talked about the great range of PaaS products available and only said 'Cloud' about a dozen times.

The welcome event kicked off the evening and the major sponsors, Interrel had a photo booth, and I love a good photo booth

Me & Michelle Malcher

Alex Nuijten, Chris Saxon and Me

I attended many sessions about the new Application Builder Cloud Service for the Citizen Developer and am working with Sue Duncan back in the UK to see if we can duplicate our PaaS4SaaS proof of concept. This included taking part in a hands on lab session, which seems OK but didn't include integration with SaaS which is what I need to do. When Sue and I have finished I'll blog again.

My own session was on UX being the secret sauce in Cloud Applications, and how this is created with ADF. I was presenting to developers and sharing all the tips and help they can get from Oracle Development and their UX team.

one of the scavenger hunt tasks
Last year I came in the top 10 of the Scavenger Hunt, and we tried a version of it at UKOUG, although I think the american ability to openly encourage ridiculous things, plus not worrying about off site tasks means this is much better suited here. I didn't do too badly and won Google Chromcast and a Tile.  Read their side of the story here.

I also spent more time with Jennifer from OTN, she was encouraging people to take up a cloud trial, give it a go and see what you can do with it. I also made a two minute top tip with Bob Rhubart and a longer video for OTN with I am hoping they will be at UKOUG doing the same.

They certainly know how to party at Kscope and this year it was in the Museum of Science and Industry, a beautiful venue and the theme of the evening was the roaring 20s, another great opportunity to dress up. They used the scavenger hunt to encourage people to visit all areas of the venue, I looked in a submarine, went down a mine, became a lego master builder and looked into many aircraft.

I took part in the Women in IT event, as a table facilitator, there were a lot more men there this year and it was great to have discussion about challenges and opportunities.

On the last morning I took the opportunity to take a much recommended Architect Tour of the river, and it was amazing and much better than my last trip to Chicago which was in the winter.

I know it sounds like it was all fun, and it was, but I also learnt so much, spent time with several product managers learning about how their developments may shape the applications I work with, and just as importantly giving them feedback about this affects real customers.

I also got the chance to have a real slow weekend, just chilling out with Michelle Malcher and her family. Others came and went and it was BBQ most days. I felt very welcome in Michelle's church and they let me read (in my beautiful english accent).

Michelle & I
And finally, my journey home was great, British Airways gave me an upgrade, so much better than the way out.

I love Kscope, and next year it is in Texas, see you there.

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