DOAG 2019 – A whole different experience

This year’s DOAG excibition + conference is over, and it was a blast in many ways.

I can’t say much about the overall quality, topics or audience because I’m lacking comparison data (I’m still very much a conference newbie), but from my point of view it was an extremely well organised and executed conference.

Therefore, I will also focus on my very personal experience and share some thoughts.

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DOAG2019 – Talks about automated Self-Testing

This year’s DOAG conference and exhibition really embraces the topic of automated Self-Testing from a developer’s perspective – and I am so glad about that! Too long practices like TDD have been a niche topic in the database world, but times are changing.

To help people interested in automated self-testing practices, I compiled a list of all talks centered around that topic in order of their appearance (talks by utPLSQL maintainers get a little highlight, though. Yes, I’m biased and it’s my list).

The list is highly subjective, there are several presenters I don’t know and while I read through a very large amount of abstracts it is absolutely possible I missed something.

If so, don’t hesitate to reach out to me so I can add the talk to the list or correct the very short description.

(Make sure to revisit this post once in a while for it is a “living” document)

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DOAG 2018 – my personal review

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The DOAG exhibition and conference in Nuremberg, 2018 probably the biggest Oracle conference in Europe with over 2000 visitors, is over. And I had the pleasure and privilege to be part of it.

As a first-time attendee and first-time speaker, the conference was both, very exciting and immensely frightening to me. The great location alone with its 4 floors arranged around a huge hall made me question whether I belonged there right when entering. Nonetheless, I proudly got my speaker shirt and the following three days turned out to be one of the greatest highlights 2018 for me.

19 Sessions in parallel every hour made me really spoilt for choice and in the end, I even skipped several slots because of chats with the amazing people I met – and pure exhaustion.

Some of my personal highlights in no particular order:

Organization, Food, Location, Transport – all of these things were exceptionally well done and made the conference a great and comfortable experience! Excellent job, DOAG e.V.!

My own talk: Introduction to utPLSQL

The talk before mine finished a bit early so I had even more time to prepare, put on my sith robe, setup my notebook and – OH WHAT THE F**K THIS HDMI CABLE DOESN’T FIT INTO MY NOTEBOOK!! WHAT DO I DO NOW? I NEED THIS CAREFULLY PREPARED DEVICE WITH LIVE DEMO AND…
Luckily it was just a display port adapter still attached to the HDMI cable (sorry to the volunteers who had to deal with me while panicking). Maybe you get my nervousness.

I was very glad some people I already knew from the day before showed up pretty soon and I had someone to talk to – until the doors got closed about 3 minutes before the scheduled start.

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The topic struck a nerve, the room was completely full (as was the other talk about utPLSQL by Philipp Salvisberg the next day) and people had to be sent away.

I was very glad I had memorized my talk, so I didn’t need much brain capacity to search for words. And after some minutes it felt much more natural to me (my hands were still shaking pretty much when scrolling through the live demos, but people I spoke with afterward said it was not visible).

I got lots of really great feedback and was even asked if I wanted to do the talk at another conference. Which I might do, because after the first five minutes I really started to enjoy presenting what I had prepared for months.

Tips for first-time speakers

For me, a blog article doesn’t feel right if there is nothing actionable I have to share so I will try to point out some things which were immensely helpful for me – maybe they’ll help or encourage other people who want to do a public presentation.
If you aren’t interested in that, just scroll down to the last and by far the most important part of this blog-post.

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I’m a speaker at DOAG 2018!

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I am very happy and grateful to announce that I will be speaking at this year’s German Oracle user conference (DOAG 2018).

It’s my very first experience as a conference speaker (even my experiences as conference visitor are quite limited) and although there is some tension it’s really a dream come true for me: I’ve always enjoyed teaching and sharing the things I’ve learned in my career as software developer.

The talk will be in German (phew, big plus for me!), but I’ll give a brief translation of the content:

Part 1: What are automated self-tests and what are they good for? Why should I invest time and energy to develop automated self-test for my database? What’s the benefit for my project/product?

Part 2: Practical advice based on a sample-project (Star-Wars setting!) how to introduce self-testing with the free open source framework utPLSQL v3:

  • Demonstration of techniques and strategies to get your existing (legacy-)projects tested
  • Examples for meaning- and useful tests and mistakes you should watch out for
  • Simple example how to develop new functionality via test-driven-development
  • Thoughs on the testing “mindset”
  • Presentation of features utPLSQL provides to help you develop reliable and automatable self-tests

Yes, of course I will talk about utPLSQL. It’s a great framework and self-testing is still  pretty underdeveloped in the database corner (at least that’s my impression).
And there is of course one very important question:

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If you want to find out, you should join me on Wednesday, 21th of November, 15:00 in Nuremberg (for the conference program is now online, you can mark my talk here as favourite so you don’t miss it).

Big thanks to Jacek Gebal and Ben Fischer, who both supported and encouraged me to apply in the first place. Sabine Heimsath was amazingly helpful and supportive with many questions I had as newbie during call for papers and afterwards (newbies: You would be astonished how many “pros” are extremely responsive, kind and helpful if you reach out to them in a mannered way).
I’m also very grateful that my amazing employer Smart Enterprise Solutions will support me, which is not natural for such a small company.

I am looking forward to meet some of you in Nuremberg!