RMOUG 2014 – Let’s go to Colorado

If there is is one thing that can be said about Colorado, it’s that it is huge. Really, really huge. In fact it is an mindblowing, ridiculous and completely exaggerated version of general hugeness. I beleive, you can leave Denver and walk for days straight ahead and you won’t meet a single soul. Some Elks maybe or sometimes a lost penguin.
There is another thing about Colorado: it is cold. Absolutely freezing cold. In fact, if there is anything, that exceeds Colorados hugeness, it might be its coldness. And yes, after your brain freezes for about a week, “coldness” suddenly becomes a valid word and you don’t bother anymore about some grammatical abomination like “hugeness”.

I have come to know Colorado as a harsh place, full of vast nothingness covered in snow (which, when I think about it, might be the reason for the cold). But, and thats a fact, Colorado is also one one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. When you stand at the bottom of the Rocky Mountains and just take a deep breath while looking around, you suddenly begin to feel very small compared to the vast amount of everything, nature throws in your face. And that is just an awesome feeling.

Also, the people in Denver were maybe one of the most friendly folks I have met so far. You can’t walk past these people, even if you try (I once did – just for testing). “Hey, how’re you doin’?”, is the standard greeting there and yes, it’s an invitation to start a conversation with a total stranger, you just walked by on the sidewalk. That seemed at first a bit strange and unusual to me, but I quickly became accustomed to it.

Okay, but since I wasn’t in Denver to poison myself on Taco Bells, meet strange people, watch some mountains or complain about the weather, let’s talk about business.
The purpose of the trip was of course RMOUG (rocky mountain oracle user group) 2014, a meeting of oracle pros, users, geeks, tekkies and just everyone who likes databases, likes to speak about them, give each other tips or learn new stuff about them.

It generally is nice to see, that all those people, whose names you come across in your daily live as a DBA (while reading their blogs, forum posts or books) and come to respect for their knowledge, are just ordinary people, like you and me. Just a bunch of cool guys, who like burgers and beer and american football. Yeah, football maybe was not the best topic that week…
It was a really fun time just meet those people, talk to them or just run into them on the way to the restrooms. “Hey, wasn’t that…?”. Yes, it was.
The atmosphere simply was great and absolutely everyone seemed to have a really nice time.

In terms of knowledge, I used this congress to learn as much as possible about the things that interest me most. So it became quite a deep insight on ASH, database performance and the sqldeveloper.
I attended some really interesting sessions by Jonathan Lewis (who was talking about statistics – though I must admit, some of it just was above my league), Jeff Smith (who made me realize what a powerful tool sqldeveloper really is), Vlado Barun and David Kurtz (I love ASH and after listening to those two guys, I can’t wait to play with all the stuff, they talked about) and Craig Shallahamer (who talked about CPU time in the database – something I did not give too many thoughts about in the past, but might now).
I got a huge amount of ideas in my head to play with once I am back home. And just for that, the RMOUG was really a success for me. Yeah, also there was a lot of food, an exhibition (which I honestly did not spend that much time on) and of course RACAttack, where you could build your own virtual oracle cluster and become a ninja. And since everybody knows that ninjas are cool, there was a lot going on at that booth.

All in all I had a great week, lots of fun and learned a lot of cool stuff.
If it just hadn’t been so damn cold all the time…

Some things, Hamburg needs:
– Taco Bell
– Numbered Streets instead of names (makes navigation so much easier)
– The Quarter Pounder with Cheese at McDonalds
– A huge blue bear looking inside a convention center. Any convention center.
– Mountains. Lots of mountains. And hugeness.

I stand corrected.
Of course, there is a quarter pounder in europe. It is just called “Royal with Cheese”. And you know, why? Because of the metric system. Should have payed more attention while watching Pulp Fiction…

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