Friday 7 July 2023

Reflecting on KScope 23


So Kscope23 was the last of the three global user groups in the summer season in the US and as I said in my last blog my favorite, although I may be biased as I am on the board of directors.


Kscope is the ODTUG flagship event, ODTUG stands for Oracle Development and Technology User Group, and this is the event where people come to learn from the best.

This year Kscope was held near Denver in the Gaylord Rockies. This resort hotel had plenty to do outside but I only managed once before the conference and once after; it was a very busy week.


As a board member we had meetings before the event, so I threw flew out on the Thursday for those. 


At ODTUG we pride ourselves on how close we work with Oracle development bringing new technology and functionality to users direct from the people responsible. The user group has four main communities APEX, EPM, Analytics and Database and we are constantly revising to ensure that we meet the requirements of the user group and that the members are served.


This year the APEX community held an APEX boot camp where those with little or no experience in APEX came to learn the basics from the very best. I joined the start of this boot camp and was really impressed at both the students’ enthusiasm and the Oracle syllabus put together for the event and by the end of the week this group were whizzing through hands on labs and excited to go back to their organizations to use their newfound skills. This is something we will be repeating.

Another new venture was my own stream for extending Oracle SaaS Applications, for a long time these applications were locked with no way to extend apart from complex coexistence, this is all changed and there is a lot for SaaS practitioners to learn and ODTUG makes a great home for these people ,so we had sessions around when you should extend, how you should extend, how to actually use Oracle Visual Builder and how does this compare to APEX which has been more traditionally used for extending. We had two customers Elizabeth Ferrell from Kroger and the State of North Carolina who shared what they were doing to extend their Oracle SaaS investments. Luc  Bors, Bashir Khan, Gustavo Gonzalez and Peter Koletzke shared their experiences and had just how far Oracle have come in this discipline. We will be following up this event with web casts starting with Lynn Mussenger on the Redwood platform later this fall. Numbers were small, but this is a new community and to be honest drew people curious from other streams but we hope to build on this community so that next year we can be even more successful.


In this stream I spoke on what technology does for Oracle Applications to set the scene for the week and then finished with the discussion on Oracle Visual Builder and APEX, this last session was very well attended and a very interesting discussion around skills and use cases.The panel was Blaine Carter from Oracle Visual Builder product development, Karen Cannell and Gustavo Gonzalez. I'm currently contributing to an Ace Program book where my chapter is on this very very topic.

Me, Blaine, Karen & Gustavo - APEX - VB Panel


As a member of the Ace Program, I also had the opportunity to take part in some of their Content. There was a database panel session facilitated by Cary Millsap were I was able to contribute far more than I expected. I love it when I can talk about the value technology brings to the applications. 

I also managed to do several videotapes sessions with Lauren Cohn who will create amazing videos I just don't know what for yet. I spent time with her at Oracle cloud world just answering general questions and she made two great videos one on my perspective of the ace program and one on the benefits it has given my career thank you


I was also videoed by Connor McDonald for his 60 seconds with series which was very weird as on the first take I couldn't think of any answers this second take there's not much better from my perspective but as ever a great video from Connor check out the other aces he managed to talk to at the conference on his YouTube channel.


As with any conference there needs to be more than just educational content at the general session we said good bye to Tim German and Karen Cannell who are stepping down from the board this year having completed their term limits, there were videos to say goodbye to them which were very emotional but highlighted all they had done for the community over the years.


The keynote speaker was a deviation from external speakers and actually talked about sports analytics from Carrie Nielsen and Dr Abby Giles-Haigh, their presentation was entertaining and educational. Abby as well as being a data scientist and ace director is also a soccer coach and uses the is analytics not just for customers but also for her team. Carrie talked about how Oracle analytics are making such a difference in many sports most notably Formula One and brought along an F1 simulator for the Oracle stand which proved very popular. Having recently had the opportunity to visit Oracle Red Bull at their MK7 headquarters in Milton Keynes I really appreciate how the analytics are being used.


Kscope always kicks off with community service on the Saturday before the main event starts this year we helped at a community centre for the temporarily homeless teams did deep cleaning and weeding although with my broken shoulder I was a bit limited and just fed people pizza this is a great tradition where ODTUGers give back to the city that's welcoming us for our event


The ace dinner was a great place to catch up with Jen Nicholson who runs the program and all the old and new members of the  program.

photo again from Lauren

The special event was at Denver aquarium, and the dress up theme (I love a dress up) was rockabilly.


2023 ODTUG Board
Back in February when we were onsite planning KScope I had the  opportunity to actually go in the tank with the sharks. As a keen scuba diver I loved it, but I didn't know then it would be my last dive for a while, breaking my shoulder just a few weeks later (I am hoping to be back in the water October. 

Thursday finished with Hands on Labs and Blaine did an Oracle Visual Builder with Redwood - it was great to see people from other steams come and have a go. SO I was pleased with my stream, the overall conference and we are already thinking about 2024 in Nashville.

See you there