Guest Blogger: David Schleis
For the last dozen years, springtime has always meant one thing: cleaning up all the surprises exposed by the melting snow (you northern-tier dog-owners know what I’m talking about). But aside from that, this time of year always meant that it was crunch-time for writing the paper for my upcoming presentation at Kscope. I enjoy writing these papers, but I’d be lying if I said that it was all fun. There are pressures of the deadlines, making sure I get things right, that I don’t use “then” when I mean “than,” and generally that I read smarter than I actually am.
This year, however, is different in several ways; first of all, there was not much snow over the winter, so the back yard is surprise-free. Also, I am not presenting at Kscope. “Why?” you may ask. As I am not a meteorologist, I will not get into the reasons for the former, but as to the latter, the primary reason is that this year I have the honor and awesome responsibility of being the Content Co-Chair for Kscope12.
So, while this time of year is typically punctuated with brief bursts of excitement, anticipation, and fear regarding my own presentation, this year those feelings have expanded to encompass everybody’s presentations (no pressure). Fortunately, I know that the speakers at Kscope are the best there are. I know that the abstract review process used was designed to select the best of the well-known presenters, as well as ensuring that new speakers will get a chance to share their knowledge with the welcoming audiences of Kscope. I know that the content selection teams did a remarkable job with a difficult task. I know that I have nothing to worry about, right?
This year I can enjoy these weeks of spring, free from any of the trials or tribulations that are a part of my creative process for developing a Kscope presentation. This year I can focus on why I’m looking forward to Kscope. There are, of course, all of the standard reasons:
- Reconnecting with my ODTUG friends, and making new ones.
- The chance to interact with so many people so much smarter than me.
- Learning from old hats and young guns; from the basics to the bleeding edge.
- That reenergized feeling you take back to work.
But this year is different in another way. This year, I have a new focus. My place of employment has recently purchased an Oracle Forms-based COTS system to replace a large portion of the code-base I have created over the years. Those portions that are not being replaced will need interfaces, and these interfaces need to be written in PL/SQL. While I have been a thick-database proponent for years, I have not been much of a practitioner. The reasons for this are many, both institutional and personal. The Designer Table API packages, VB, PHP, and Groovy seemed like the most expeditious means to get the apps out of my head and into the hands of the users. (You might say that this just means that I was lazy, but “expeditious” sounds so much better). Anyway, regardless of the reasons, I have not done any serious PL/SQL coding for a number of years. To say that my skills are rusty would imply more of an existing, solid foundation than, I am afraid, actually exists.
In light of the new opportunities placed before me, this year I will be focusing like a shotgun on SQL and PL/SQL coding like I never have before. Just a few of the sessions that I am looking forward to are:
- Patrick Barel (@patch72): Can Collections Speed Up Your PL/SQL?
- Steven Feuerstein (@stevefeuerstein): Writing Maintainable PL/SQL Code
- Steven Feuerstein (@stevefeuerstein): High Performance PL/SQL
- John King (@royaltwit): Oracle 11g for Developers: What You Need to Know
- Tom Kyte (blog): Five Things You Probably Didn’t Know About PL/SQL
This year is different for me in many ways, but one thing that remains the same is my anticipation of the best conference for developers using all things Oracle: Kscope12. So I hope you’ll join me and hundreds of fellow developers from across the Oracle family, at the incredible learning and networking experience that is Kscope12.