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Hotsos Symposium 2014 – the heavy and the light of it

I went to Hotsos Symposium 2014, in Irving, Texas, last week. If you’re an Oracle technologist and you’re not going to the Symposium each year, you’re really missing out. Not only is it a chance to see some excellent presentations, it’s also a chance to interact with the presenters on an ongoing basis for a few days, as the conference is small enough to allow for that.

It’s also a chance to enjoy camaraderie from Oracle professionals from around the world. Yep, this conference is so good that people fly in from overseas to attend.

Plus the food is great, and there’s a party on Tuesday night.

On the lighter side, here are some non-technical highlights:

During Tom Kyte’s presentation, someone’s Siri piped up, “I’m not sure what you’ve just said.” I didn’t have any expectation that she’d understand index cluster factors. Actually, she probably wouldn’t have liked the discussion about type casting or pushing predicates, either. Can you imagine being Tom Kyte’s Siri?

This is an intelligent crowd, so it wasn’t surprising to hear of their children’s admissions to medical school, other children in their medical residencies, and other children abroad in exchange programs.

At the party on Tuesday, several tables had Jenga games going. I’m very impressed at the steady-handedness of those DBA/developers!

I already mentioned the food was good. This of course didn’t go unnoticed by the other attendees. We somewhat jokingly discussed having walking treadmills installed in the back of each presentation hall. Truthfully, I bet people would use them, if only they were quiet enough.

I saw purposeful inclusion of cultures further east, and it made me smile – I’ve seen vegetarian food at the Symposium for many years now, but I noticed kulfi (the Indian equivalent of Western ice cream) available in the frozen treats cart during an afternoon break, and I noticed the deejay at the party was playing some Bollywood hits.

One attendee’s laptop had a sticker which said, “My other computer is a data center.”

Kerry Osborne’s presentation was about problem-solving styles. One slide divided people into quadrants, with the two axes being smart-or-stupid and industrious-or-lazy. Kerry had read that a military leader said there was good use for all the combinations, except stupid and industrious, which was a downright dangerous combination!

I hope we’ll see YOU at Symposium next year!

Mary Elizabeth McNeely

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