Dan McGhan: The Kscope Experience

Dan McGhan.jpgGuest Blogger: Dan McGhan

Every year the Oracle Development Tools User Group (ODTUG)puts on an amazing conference called Kscope. I first attended Kscope in 2008 in New Orleans, when the event was still known as Kaleidoscope. Kscope was my first real conference experience and, while I didn’t know it then, I was being spoiled! During that week I learned more than I could have imagined possible and forged relationships and friendships that continue today—all while having a blast!

There are many factors that make Kscope such a great conference, a lot of which are interrelated. I want to discuss some of these factors and share some of my past experiences in hopes of convincing anyone on the fence about attending, to join us this year in San Antonio.

Great Content

At the core of any great technical conference is great content and Kscope brings plenty of it. Whether you’re attending to get solutions to problems or inspiration and new ideas, you will have lots of great content to choose from. I recommend that attendees carefully plan the sessions they would like to attend in advance. It’s also a good idea to take some notes which can later serve as an actionable roadmap to follow up on. There will be a LOT of knowledge transfer—be open and ready for it.

Great Speakers

Great content is nothing without great speakers.  When you combine both great speakers with great content, you end up with… well, Steve Jobs, or hopefully something close :) Speakers should be passionate about the topics they are presenting, and the vast majority of the speakers I’ve seen at Kscope are incredibly passionate about what they do. I always leave Kscope feeling enlightened and inspired; that is what great speakers are capable of.

Access to Speakers

Speaking of speakers, you may recognize some of their names. Perhaps you’ve exchanged e-mails or participated in an online forum together. However you’ve interacted online, if you are both at Kscope, this is your chance to put a face to a name. To meet the people you’ve been conversing with, learning from, or better yet, inspired by, is a great experience. I was that guy that had to getSteven Feuerstein’s signature—it was awesome!

Insight into the Future

As an Application Express developer, one of my favorite parts of Kscope is the Sunday Symposiumfor APEX. The APEX development team takes over and speaks about the really exciting stuff they’ve been working on. Depending on the timing, the topics may be on features just released, features right around the corner, or features being considered for the distant future. While the legal disclaimers will discourage you from making plans based on some of what is said, it’s always nice to get a sense of where the product is heading.

Great Memories

During the day, Kscope is all business. But at night things are a little different. The team at ODTUG always does a great job of choosing locations that everyone can enjoy. After a busy day of learning, it’s fun to get out and enjoy the activities each location has to offer. This year the conference will take place at the JW Marriot San Antonio. The location offers all kinds of fun things to do, and there will be many activities and meet-ups as part of the conference. When you throw in the Special Event that’s planned for this year, you will be hard pressed to leave Texas without some great memories.

As I said before, these are just some of the factors that make Kscope such a great conference. Others that have attended would most likely agree with these points and add a few of their own. But the best way to find out what makes Kscope so great is to come and experience it yourself. I hope to see you all in San Antonio.

Oh, one last tip…register soon because the hotel will sell out!

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