This was my first trip to San Francisco and the United States in general. And this is why I hardly find any words for what has happened to me during the ten exciting days beeing oversea. It was truely awesome!
The flight took about 12h. Thank god, it was a direct flight and I did not need to transfer somewhere. After a couple of security checks in germany and too many paperwork on the plane I finaly managed to get into the United States.
Arriving late at SFO is a big advantage for starting over in Redwood City the next day.
The ACED briefing at the Oracle headquaters was my first contact with all the other great ACE directors, who also attended the Open World. Beside some very informative sessions around products and new features, we also got the chance to talk to Thomas Kurian for a few minutes.
Even if I expected to see and hear some insight persons at all, this was a huge surprise. And you can not imagine, how normal even the biggest persons look, if you meet them in a more informal environment!
To me it feels like all those "get together" things have a special power in it. My first day @oracle was a powerfull experience at all.
OOW itself began after one spare day, I could walk around SF. Even if there are fewer inhabitants in SF than in Munich, it is a huge city and you have to walk a lot, if you want to see a lot :) Inescapable for first-timers are the Pier 39 and a visit to Alcatraz. Both fits perfectly into one day and still leaves space for relaxed looking around. The Alcatraz visit was very scary at all. The great audio tour they provide, spoken by former occupants guides you through this dark piece of history. Having seen movies like "The Rock", you get the needed adjustments to history. Something, you definitely need to see by yourself.
Starting over with swollen feet into Open World and for me especially to Oracle Develop at the Hilton. I planned my sessions with the schedule builder in advance (in fact I tried to. Was a bad experience at all ...). Walking around for three days, seeing and listening to people like Linda DeMichiel (Sun Microsystems, Inc.), Roberto Chinnici (Sun Microsystems, Inc.), and many many more "big names" of Enterprise Java, was a true pleasure. What I can not complain too much about were the arrangements of the sessions at all. If you are interested in a special piece of the Oracle stack, me beeing into Application Grid and Fusion Middleware, you have to walk around a lot. The schedule builder does not realy gives you the chance to take care of your journey times. And the topics are not grouped up in one location. I missed about five planned sessions, because I really did not manage to get there in time. And that was only partly because of the many contacts you meet and want to talk to in between :) And this was also a fantastic opportunity to talk with Oracle Product Managers and engineers.
The place to be was the OTN lounge. Justin and his team did a great job on presenting the live shows and looking after the drinks and snacks for anybody :) Beside all the heavy hitters and techtalks it was great to see James Gosling hitting him for an interview, too. Big names around again and again. Next to the lounge the Unconference took place. This is, where I will give some sessions next year probably, too. And this was also the place to meet many of the ACEs around. And anybody was there to answer questions or open to interesting discussions.Thanks again to all people I meet and who made it quite easy for me to fit into the OTN community and the ACE group, to which I still consider myself a rookie. A special thanks goes out to Stanley for beeing so kind letting me carry him around after Debra's session:)
The weird things happening at OOW are probably the keynotes. Having nearly 40k delegates at Open World and 5k seats available, you have to be there very early. But it was worth it. Not only but also a big show at all. And some more big names out there, too. Scott McNealy (chairman of the board of directors of Sun Microsystems), James A. Gosling (the father of the Java), Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger (38th Governor of the state of California) and of course Lawrence Joseph "Larry" Ellison (co-founder and CEO of Oracle Corporation). You ask about the content? No big surprises this year. We saw the story around Exadata (v2). It was talked about Sun (from a very distant partner like view), IBM bashing, Fusion Apps and BPM. The things most interesting to me, could not be answered because of the ongoing EC investigation about the Oracle-Sun deal. This was somehow disappointing at all.
The last two days were filled with hardly anything. After the end of Oracle Develop, I had some time to walk around the exhibition halls and talk to some more people, I had never seen before. Very interesting topic central discussions and contacts. The friday was nearly completely filled with a special happening at the hotel. Barack Hussein Obama II dropped by to stay one night at the intercontinental san francisco. This was an adventure :) Never seen this before. And never have been in the middle of a secret service operation like this. Beside the fact, that he was not visible at all, I spend about 2 hours inside or outside the hotel willing to go outside or inside again but was stopped because of him, moving inside or outside :-)
Most of the information gathered during Open World still spend their time in my head or my harddrive. I have to work through a couple of things before posting about them. But I will do so. And there are technical things and findings to talk about in the next months. Even if I try to focus this blog on enterprise java I will definitely have a closer and hopefully early look at upcomming versions of Weblogic server and other JEE products from Oracle within the Application Grid.