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:
- Database Driven Machine Learning – Douglas Hood
- The Basics of Machine Learning – Heli Helskyaho
- Oracle SQL Pattern Matching Made Easy – Oren Nakdimon
- Aus der Praxis: Die Reise von Flyway zu Liquibase – Sabine Heimsath
- How to hack your APEX App… (natürlich nur zu Testzwecken) – Anja Hildebrandt
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.
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.