I had the chance to ask John Scott, Oracle ACE Director and author, some of the questions that I have asked previously of both Cameron Lackpour and Lewis Cunningham. Let me know what you think of this series of posts, and if there are questions that you would like to have me ask, let me know.
John Scott’s bio (click on his name above to find out more), if you don’t already know, includes some impressive accomplishments. Recently, John’s (andDimitri Gielis‘s) company APEX Evangelists joined forces with Scott Spendolini‘s (and Doug Gault‘s) company Sumner Technologies to form a new company called Sumneva. All four of these experts will be presenting at ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2010 in Washington, DC. To register, or find out more information, please click here. Early Bird Registration ends on March 24th, so sign up now to attend this training event at the lowest possible cost.
MR: Which presentation of yours is a “can’t miss” session that Kaleidoscope attendees should plan on attending, and why?
JS: “I’m doing a session called “APEX Features We Should All Be Using…but Probably Don’t “. It’s an interesting presentation because there are many features in APEX (and the imminent release of APEX 4) that people either might not be aware of or simply don’t use which can increase your productivity or maintainability of your applications.”
MR: Who else should Kaleidoscope attendees plan on seeing a session from, and why?
JS: “APEX related, I would say the APEX Keynote by Mike Hichwa (Oracle) is a “must”. If you have any questions about the current and future focus of APEX then Mike is the guy who can authoritatively answer them. Mike’s presentations are always a highlight for me.
Non-APEX specific, I’m a big fan of any SQL or PL/SQL related presentations. One presentation I would love to make ‘mandatory viewing’ for anyone touching the Oracle Database is “How to Write Efficient SQL” by Jonathan Lewis. Jonathan has a great presentation style and I always come out of his sessions with a list of things to take-away.”
MR: What differentiates Kaleidoscope as a conference from other conferences out there?
JS: “It sounds like a cliche, but I think it’s really the people who make the difference. Many of the attendees do attend other conferences (myself included), however Kaleidoscope always has a certain ‘air’ about it that makes it much easier to network and idea-share. It’s almost impossible to walk around and not bump into someone who can answer that problem you’ve been struggling with, or to bump into the Product Manager of the product you’re considering purchasing etc. The ODTUG conference organizers do a fantastic job to not only make it an enjoyable and rewarding conference but to also make it the conference that I would choose to go to if I could only go to one conference a year.”
MR: If you’ve been to Washington before, can you recommend one thing that a first time visitor should take advantage of while visiting during Kaleidoscope?
JS: “I’ve been to many places in the US, but it’s my first time in Washington. So thank you ODTUG for helping to show me new things! I must admit I’m a complete travel geek and I do try to soak up everything local whenever I visit a new place, so I’m open to suggestions!”
MR: Can you tell us what your best memory is from a Kaleidoscope conference that you’ve attended previously?
JS: “I have so many, it’s difficult to pick a single one. One that really stands out was in New Orleans (2008), we had an APEX meetup one evening, there was a large group of us including Carl Backstrom (Oracle APEX team member, who sadly passed away later that year). Carl was glued to the TV screen watching the Lakers losing. It was a great night, spending time with old and new friends. You can’t put a dollar amount on that type of networking.”
John goes on to say the following: “If I could only go to one conference, it would be Kaleidoscope..hands down, every time.”
MR: What advice would you give to potential first-time Kaleidoscope attendees?
JS: “Throw yourself into it. It can be daunting if it’s your first conference but don’t be afraid to talk to people you don’t know (yet!). Remember that everyone there is there for pretty much the same reason.”
That sounds like good advice for anyone wishing to attend Kaleidoscope. Plan on attending, and if you don’t know John, go up and talk with him. He’s one of the most personable and friendly guys around. Tell him I sent you!