ODTUG Kscope 2018 was held in Orlando, Fl. from June 10 to June 14
Seeing as only a fraction of the total APEX community can actually attend in person, it becomes necessary to report back and to provide our take, our opinions of the week that was KScope. This is also good information for those actually in attendance because with so much content being delivered concurrently, there’s just no way to catch it all.
Hard to believe, but true. This was my first time in Orlando. Back in the 80’s I did get a chance to go to Disneyland (Anaheim, CA) but never Disneyworld in Orlando. Wasn’t able to see any of the parks or anything, so a return trip is necessary. I’m thinking the HEUG Alliance Conference in March may be a good time to finally strap on the mouse ears.
On to the conference…
One highlight for me was the Insum Vendor Presentation. This year we took a different approach. We decided to effectively “yield the balance of our time.”
We took the hour and handed it right back to the APEX Community in hosting Mike Hichwa, Joel Kallman, and the entire APEX Dev Team. The interview format seemed most appropriate. Great crowd…great questions…even better answers. Did you know the first APEX external customer was the Chicago Police Department? Several longtime APEX Community members told me afterward they learned a thing or two about the origins of our favorite RAD tool. It was a good feeling providing visibility to those so responsible for the success we now enjoy.
My other highlight occurred Wednesday morning. Bright and early, Insum’s own Jackie McIlroy and I brought to the stage ‘Low Cost, Low Code BI with APEX and Analytic Views’. I must say I was nervous, no, make that excited, because we both stepped out of our comfort zone. We weren’t talking to an APEX audience in the APEX track. No, we were speaking in the EPM Reporting, BI Analytics, and Visualizations Track. However, based on the audience response (and session evals) it was a rousing success. It seems people are interested in inexpensive, simple solutions to their problems. Who’d a thunk it?
The week went by quickly, as is the norm, but this week there was a different vibe in the Insum booth. There’s a quiet confidence that comes with years of experience. Customers (and future customers) time and again came to the booth thanking us for the tweets, blogs, webinars and personal appearances throughout the year. Feedback like that only makes us want to do more. In fact, I tweeted this out….
Finally, if you’re reading this post, you’re aware we’ve rolled out a new website. I like it. It’s clean, professional and by my eyeballs…fast. But, it’s more important to know what you think. Drop us your feedback below!
Not sure why I bothered to bring pleasure-reading and gym clothes to Kscope … I should have remembered from last year that Kscope is packed to the gills with so many learning and networking opportunities that you barely have time to catch your breath. At every moment of every day, there are always several events you are missing. I had the privilege this year to present 2 sessions, an experience that helped me really feel like I was part of the broader APEX network. I came back from the trip more motivated than ever to further my learning and up my contributions to the APEX community.
Kscope 18 was a great time as always. I wasn’t able to see all the presentations I was hoping to but thankfully some of them were recorded and I look forward to seeing them soon. I have four highlights from the conference:
- Dimitri Gielis (@dgielis ) talk on AR/VR in APEX. It opened my eyes of some possibilities to use in the future.
- Emerging Tech unconference: There was a special sub-track focused on emerging technologies. I co-moderated an unconferece session on Wednesday morning with Natalie Delmar (@essbaselady). We got to see some great presentations on lots of technologies including chatbots, blockchain, Alexa, and AR/VR. If this happens again next year I highly suggest attending it!
- I’ve had the pleasure to know Adrian Png (@fuzziebrain) for many years. Over the years I’ve worked with him as a volunteer with ODTUG, on some open source projects, and at Insum. I was really happy to see that he became an Oracle ACE Associate!
- Like all years, Kscope is a great place to meet some really smart and interesting people. Talking with everyone has given me a lot of ideas on how to improve processes and also think differently about problems.
This was my twentieth consecutive ODTUG conference (Editor’s Note: Wow!) and my third as an employee of the best team in the APEX world. While my time at the conference was restricted this year by a coincidental extended family vacation, I did get to attend a couple of sessions, learning something new at each one. I love the invigorating feeling of discovery that this conference provides, and I can still recall that feeling from the very first time I attended. It absolutely changed my life.
I also got to catch up with some of the many friends that I have made over the years, and one such encounter made a lasting impact. A friend told me that this would be her last Kscope because she would be retiring this year, which is good for her, but not her employer. You see, she is the APEX-person in her shop; the one who discovered the tool and made applications that they now cannot function without. She told me that she has talked with coworkers and management, trying to get them to understand that even though APEX is “easy” it’s not trivial, and the applications that she has created will need support.
She is worried, and for good reason. But I was happy that I could tell her that Insum has an answer for her. As long as her company is aware of Insum and our ZenIT solution, she can rest assured that her applications will receive all the attention they need, so she can spend her days concentrating on more important things such as, remembering what a nap feels like…
I wish I had a record of the first KScope I attended. I think Rich Soule was there. We both worked at Oracle at the time, so it was at least 13 years ago, perhaps 18.
I’ve attended most years since and it is always a highlight of my year. The conference provides me with three great ways to improve my knowledge and skills. I’ve presented every year that I’ve attended. Each presentation is a stretch of my own knowledge. Refining existing knowledge and experience into a formal presentation brings greater insight into a topic—and often highlights areas that require additional research to truly provide guidance to others. Developing a presentation is as valuable to me as attending one.
Of course, attending presentations is the second way that KScope is valuable—and exhausting. There are always at least 2 valuable presentations in each time slot, and getting to as many as I can, plus waking up for a 5k run, makes for a long week, but all worth it!
And finally, meeting with the luminaries available outside of the scheduled events, around a lunch table or at the “special event,” provides an incredible opportunity to gain insights into the past, present, and future of our industry. More than all of this, though, I value the friendships I have with members of the community—great people to have built a career with.
Kscope conferences are not only full of content but also have plentiful opportunities to meet new friends, co-workers and most especially, clients! I enjoyed very much the interactions. Location-wise, Disney World was great for this year’s event, and it was pleasing to see many families coming along to enjoy the magical experience.
This year, of course, is an extra special year with the Oracle ACE Associate nomination. I am honored and humbled. The award is also an important moment to remember those who have contributed significantly to my career working with Oracle Application Express. The honor roll is too long to list, you know who you are. Going forward, the best way to demonstrate my appreciation is to pay it forward and help others grow and be successful.
This year, Kscope18 was, again, a super great conference. We had the chance to meet with long-time friends, make new ones and discuss with a lot of new APEX aficionados. This was my 12th Kscope and I am still impressed with everything that goes on during that week. Special events, technical sessions, hands-on labs, ACE meetings, Lunch and Learn sessions, exhibition hall, etc.
For me, two sessions really stood out:
-Vincent’s session on Progressive Web Apps using APEX. He was able to demonstrate that you can effectively have a disconnected APEX app and get the data to sync back with the database when the network connectivity gets reactivated. This has been a request from clients for years. All of this using Google PWA techniques.
-Our vendor presentation “An Hour with Mike Hichwa and the Oracle APEX Development Team”, Hosted by Monty Latiolais. This year we decided to donate our Vendor Session to the community and we invited Mike Hichwa, VP of Software Development and the creator of APEX at Oracle and Joel Kallman Senior Director of Software Development to talk about the origins of APEX. It was a great session and we had some backstage stories about how everything came to life. A big thank you to Mike and Joel who accepted to present and share the story of APEX with the community.
I could go on and on about other sessions, the booth attendance and the INSUM VIP event, but as always, it has all been great.
Oh, I have to mention that during the Special Event at the Mario Andretti’s Indoor Karting and Games, I finished 1st during my Karting race. Just saying. Well, that completed my perfect week in Orlando.
See you all soon at other conferences or at my 13th Kscope next year in Seattle.
ODTUG Kscope18 was my 7th Kscope, and yet there were a couple of notable firsts:
-For one reason or another, I had never attended the Community Service Day. This was my first time participating on the, newly renamed, Kathleen McCasland Community Service Day. This year we had a rewarding experience donating a few hours of our time to UP Orlando. UP Orlando provides crisis care, case management, transformative education, food and household subsidy, employment training and placement, personal empowerment training and active referrals to other collaborative social service providers to all people living in poverty and seeking to improve their situation. UP Orlando uses all these tools to provide a hand UP to the 180,000 people dealing with hunger in Orange County, Florida.
– First Kscope functioning as Content Chair. This year I had the honor of serving as the Content Chair for the Traditional Content which covers the APEX and Database tracks. The role involves many aspects, chief among, is supervision of the content selection committees and ensuring we have the best possible content. There are many behind the scenes duties and activities, but I won’t bore you with the details, because when it all works, the result is a memorable and enjoyable Kscope for all. This year we received over 1000 submissions, and more than 350 of those were for the Database and APEX tracks. The topics covered from the basics to the advanced and from the core database to front-end browser magic.
Kscope19 will be in Seattle, Washington. Although it’s a year away, preparations are already underway to prepare the best conference yet. Hope to make new friends and see old one there.