UKOUG Oracle Conferences – why bother?

The excellent DOAG Oracle conference is currently taking place in Nuremberg in Germany.

I’ve been thinking about the UKOUG Conference due to take place in Liverpool on 3rd-5th December 2018. About 2 weeks away.

UK Oracle User Group Tech18 conference image

Why would you bother paying to attend these conferences? Why should I, or my company, use our money to attend? Oracle provide free conferences and 1-day events around the world talking about the Oracle product set. Oracle Partners also provide free events with their speakers too. They are FREE! FREE! FREE!

I only need to convince my boss to take time out of the office. They don’t need to raid their budget – they just need to let me out!

BUT! Those events are effectively a sales pitch. If you are not paying in cash you are paying in other ways, with partners and Oracle looking for you to adopt them and pay them via licensing, support and consultancy. I’m not saying those events are not without worth; learning about Oracle’s new product and partner offerings certainly has value and I would encourage people to attend those events. But what are they not offering? Running those events isn’t free and large corporations are not known for their philanthropy.

An Independent User Group, like the UKOUG, doesn’t do sales pitches. It has speakers from around the world coming to share their SUCCESSES AND FAILURES! They talk about what worked, and what didn’t. They talk about the limitations and the excellence of the software and services which you are being sold.

If you want to know what happens AFTER you’ve bought the software. AFTER you’ve seen the amazing new features and where they ACTUALLY WORK or FAIL, you need to talk to people who are doing it, not those who are selling it.

liver buildingAnd you can talk to them, and me, at the UKOUG. There are networking events; you can look into the eyes of the speaker who just told you something was great and ask them a question about how they know it’s great and how it could be great for you! And the networking events are, above all, FUN. It’s not all work. It’s also play. Have a drink, a meal, a chat, a coffee, a beer with like-minded individuals.

The event is in Liverpool, well known as somewhere to enjoy yourself as well as seeing the historic buildings and great sports teams. It’s just over 2 hours to get there on the train from London. Not as far as you might think!




See past the sales? See you there!


UKOUG Applications 18 conference image link


Outside Interests – not work!

So, what do you do that isn’t work. Sure, you work hard in the office. You might even do work when you get home at night on your own “lab” setup – VM’s make that so easy these days. Even an old desktop can spin up a couple of VM’s if you stick some extra memory in it. I just bought 12GB for £25, so that’s pretty cheap and easy to do.

You might have read some technical books on your commute to and from the office, or listened to technical podcasts on the way there and back if you drive.

When you stop working, or learning, or “playing” with technology, what do you do to unwind? Well, next week I have decided to drive from my home in London to Naples as part of a 100-strong banger rally. You can read more about it on the Team Monkey Wrench blog. I love cars (even this dreadful one), and it’s a pretty good adventure.

So, what do you do to relax? Jump out of a plane? Play chess against your kids? Drink yourself senseless in a bar? We all need a break from technology now and again. Go out into the world a do something fun.