The amazing coordination of so many things:
– feeding 60,000 delegates goes off without a hitch. The food is not spectacular, but its also not terrible.
– the Ace program. Flights, hotels, transport, etc, all miraculously fall into place due to the effort of Vikki and Lillian.
– What an amazing place to host a conference for out-of-towners. Cable cars, seals, amazing food, fantastic weather, all are wonderful complements to the conference itself.
– Restaurants you should go to when you’re here: Franciscan Crab on the waterfront, and the Stinking Rose.
– As much as I’m not a sailor, I must admit, the last America’s Cup race was quite exciting. For some people, it was VERY exciting (see MIA below) :-)
– Man, I love presenting at OpenWorld. People are happy to come up and discuss content after your session, or even just to come up and say "Hello". Adds to the feeling of community.
– How much more useful an 1hour presenting slot feels than a 45 minute one .Attendees to my talks might have a different opinion :-)
– I gave three talks – apparently the papers will become available to attendees a couple of weeks after the conference has finished. I have uploaded all the slides, so if in a fortnight, they cannot be downloaded, I’ll probably make them accessible for here.
– When the top guy misses his own keynote. Can’t say I’ve ever seen that at a conference before :-)
– The hilarity of attending a presenation on the incredible importance of planning ahead to ensure zero downtime, only to have the presenter’s laptop go into "rebooting to apply windows updates" mid-flight.
– The humour (or is that sadness…dunno), when someone in a ".Net on Oracle" presentation asked what PL/SQL was.
– The in-memory database. For all the marketing hype, it still looks to be a game-changer. Very very cool.
– The optimizer in 12c. Its getting harder to say nasty things about it :-)
– How virtualisation in some shape or form seems set to take over the universe.
– How discussions on ever increasing core counts never seem to include the obvious licensing implications
– The conference within a conference. Proof that good professionals just love sharing information
Can’t wait until next year….
Full Disclosure: The Oracle Ace program paid for my travel to and from San Francisco, and my accommodation.