Monday 27 June 2022

'C 'to the power of many - a quick look back at KSCOPE22

My June conference season is over. 3 weeks back to back, and it finished with KSCOPE22. The conference of ODTUG for whom I am a board member. My UKOUG board experience meant I knew what I was letting myself in for, and as expected is was non stop.

ODTUG Board 2021-22

As I made a list of things to include in this blog I realised most began or could begin with 'C', so as KSCOPE is all about empowering those attending, 'C' to the power of many seemed a good title.

Composition - ODTUG serves 4 communities - APEX , Database, EPM & Analytics - 

At first glance, what is in this for me? Well I dabble in solution architecture and need to know a bit more than just the applications I work with. Also extending around the applications, the development of these extensions is my dream for the Modern Apps Development Track within the Database, The OCI tools plus the APEX, EPM and Analytics we use.

At the last KSCOPE we had good content but very few attendees in this area. This year the sessions were  better attended. Not necessarily attending just for this, but crossing streams and that is something I really encourage.

Coming Together - the week started for me with a full day board meeting. Planning for 2023 has already started, and there is more than that to plan and strategise on. Being all together gives us the chance to spend a full day in person.

Carpet - the location was the Gaylord Resort at Grapevine Texas, and there was no forgetting where you were with a bright colour carpet to remind you. in the conference centre. 

Community Service Day - it makes the week long, but many people give up their weekend and start Saturday with giving back. This year we helped at the thrift store process for GRACE, a local organisation supporting those in need. It was very hot and although we only worked for a couple of hours we got a lot done. Michelle Hardwick and I priced more Christmas decorations than I ever want to see again.

Conference Keynote - after the board said their bit , Tim Tow, a great friend but also Chief Geek of AppliedOLAP who where the Titanium sponsor spoke and then introduced the motivational speaker - Miral Kotb - ILuminate wow, she never gives up and almost uses setbacks to refuel her ambition. Simply amazing. She talked about us all 'being artists of code' a term I heard repeated many times during the week, but all those of us who are adopting it. Here is another link if you are interested.

Congratulations - during the keynote Karen Cannell, VP and Conference Chair announced that the Oracle Contributor Award from ODTUG would be renamed to Joel Kallman Oracle Contributor Award in honour of Joel, and that Jennifer Nicholson , who manages the Oracle ACE Program and some of the many user groups would be the first recipient. Jen and not yet arrived so Karen asked everyone to keep the secret. Despite a couple of almost slip ups, the secret held and Jen was presented her award at the ACE reception.

Community within a Community - The ACE program in the early days got together at KSCOPE and it has always been seen as a home for us. This was our first get together since OOW 2019, and it was just amazing to hug everyone and catch up. IT was also good to have some alumni, great ACE Directors who are now at Oracle like Connor, Doug, Scott & Michelle. 

Can't Eat it All - I also attended a Texan BBQ with some of the ACES and Jen, and learnt that whilst portions may be bigger in Texas, my capacity to eat more is not!

Can't Dance - Later in the week we would be Celebrating 25 years of ODTUG, and as this is Texas there would be dancing. They had 2 step lessons on Monday evening and a fair group (mainly us from overseas) took part. It was great fun but not sure I moved from useless along the scale very much.

Contributors - the sponsors and exhibitors are what makes the event possible, it was great to talk to them about their products and services, and for me several conversations about how that might add value in my world of the apps.

Content - Sunday is Symposium Day, each community has an in depth look at what is coming from Oracle or community speakers. 

Then 3 days of full program finishing with Hands On Labs or special Sessions on Thursday. I couldn't attend as many as I wanted as I had board duties but learnt so much from those I did,

The speakers were amazing, I can't highlight them all but I do want to call out Abi who stepped in to run a Thursday deep dive at the last minute and Ruben who agreed to do a Digital Assistant session in the MAD track.

Challenge Coin - I was presented with an APEX challenge coin, this is an amazing honour. I do not know who sponsored me but thank you. Adrian Png who runs the program said it was to do with blogs supporting the community as use of APEX.

Celebrating Diversity - The Women in IT lunch was a great opportunity to talk with other attendees and had a good sprinkling of men. I think there needs to be more but we can work on that. My group talked about how Covid may have changed the dynamics, in many different ways.

My WIT Table ladies

Celebrating our Silver Anniversary - the party, so we dressed in silver and I loved it. The dance lessons didn't help but never mind.

Connor McDonald and I in our best silver

Collaboration - One of the biggest values of ODTUG is how close they are to Oracle Product Managers and the board and community leads had meetings with each group to understand how that can grow even more in the future. The list of those attending from Oracle was unbelievable and all of them presented to their communities. These are the people who build the products, not salesmen or marketing.

Controversial? - The APEX v Visual Builder question was explored again. I talked more to product management and I started (will finish) an Oracle Live Lab on Visual Builder. As my colleague Dermot says, time for another look. I speak on the value of VB for extending SaaS and need to update that presentation. My talk at this conference was on what Inoapps have learnt extend at scale, creating SaaS products to extend Oracle's.

Cary Millsap - Cary gave an in-depth look at performance, based on his book FASTER. I knew there was a story from me in the book, he had my permission and I had read the pdf last year. The book contains > 100 quick stories that explain how to improve system performance. What I didn't know was that the book cover was a simple picture explaining the problem depicted in my story. 

Certifications - Michelle Malcher held exam krams and I am pleased to say I passed the Data Management Associate exam this morning.

I also worked my way through a hands on lab for Fusion Analytics Warehouse, so the training was pretty intense at times.

Catching Up with Friends - I can't list them all but it was so fantastic to meet old friends, catch up and meet new friends. 

Clap, Clap Hard - thanks to everyone who attended, the sponsors, exhibitors, presenters and attendees. Thanks for all the learning and conversation and thanks to YCC the team behind the logistics who pulled off another amazing conference. 

Continues - Next year KSCOPE is in Aurora, Colorado 25th June 2023 - see you there.


Saturday 18 June 2022

As KSCOPE Kicks Off A quick look back at Blueprint4D & ASCEND 2022

 In an earlier post I talked about my busy conference season. Almost done, but I've kept the best for last - KSCOPE (I am on the board of ODTUG and my interest is the technology we use to extend SaaS, VBCS, APEX, OCI, ODA etc etc.). 

Actually that is an unfair claim, user groups have a specific audience and which one is right for you is your choice, but do be a member of at least one. Just yesterday a friend posted this on twitter - I don't know the context but boy do I agree.

So let's look at the other two I have just attended, Blueprint4D and ASCEND, both in Vegas.

First up was Blueprint4D, the QUEST event at the MGM Grand.

I have always loved QUEST and this event did not disappoint. There were a lot of sessions on Fusion that I attended and learnt from. Learning more direct from Oracle Development on HCM My Experience, which is timely as I was preventing on my take of this exciting new area. I spent many hours discussing our thoughts and plans for ME with HCM strategy.

QUEST represents JDE, PeopleSoft and Fusion plus the technology previously covered by IOUG. The JDE lead, Gary Grieshaber also has responsibility for some industries in Fusion JDE, so it was really interesting to hear his take on JDE & PeopleSoft customers who want to make the move.

For years I have had the pleasure of sharing time and sometimes lodgings with other former female usergroup leaders (and more importantly such friends), and this year was no different, apart from the amount of catch up required. 

Sue Shaw led a workshop on the Stairway to Cloud, well attended and great questions. Sue uses a decision chart (with my permission) on what to consider when deciding your next move and that chart is part of my still most popular presentation, exploring whether to stay on premise, use OCI, move to Fusion or a hybrid approach.

Michelle Malcher is also at all 3 conferences, holding exam cram sessions for various OCI and Database exams. 

At the end of the event the 3 of us had a tiny girly weekend and had the chance to go see Sting, which was excellent.

Then a quick move to the ARIA for ASCEND. OATUG & OHUG event. This covers EBS and Fusion as well as some PeopleSoft and EPM. There is a fair bit of AppsTech which is great as I love this.

A couple of months ago at UKOUG Scotland, I rekindled my EBS knowledge, spending a lot of time with Nadia Bendjedou and I shared that in an earlier post. I was able to follow up with Nadia, meet with her boss Cliff Godwin and spend time with Jeanne Lowell, talking all things EBS and when it does make sense for an org to move to Fusion Cloud. I really wished I could get my session mentioned above included in this conference it was so relevant to the whole audience, but competition was so high and I never got any paper accepted. I did offer to step in for onsite drop outs but it never happened. Perhaps next year.

I kicked off my ASCEND by attending one of Michelle's exam krams and if I ever find time may give Data Management a go, it is a new certification.

ASCEND had a motivational speaker who talked about being your own rockstar. It was high energy and thought provoking the key to a good motivational talk. I love this picture as if you weren't there you have no idea what he is talking about. But Marvellous Mark was great and you can get some of it on his website

On the Fusion side, my awesome friend Floyd Teter (Customer Connect fame) was there, talking more about journeys and I learnt so much more. Floyd included me in his sessions and allowed me to talk about my experience and thoughts. I met again with strategy including Prabu Iyer were we discussed APEX v VBCS. The answer I think will be hybrid as both give value depending on customer preference, skills and use case.

I also stepped up and gave a partner comment on the Rapid4Cloud session. We use this tool in our implementations it saves so much time and opportunity for error. 

All too soon it was time to say goodbye to so many friends and new contacts and time to join the travel chaos and make my way to Dallas for KSCOPE.

Amazing was meeting up with so many friends and making new ones, and meeting on the dance floor an old colleague I had no idea would be there. Awesome.

Lucia Jarrett, what an awesome surprise