For the past few years, I have been going to a number of Oracle User Group conferences.  They are a great way to learn a lot in a short time-frame.  Also the Oracle community is made up of nice, knowledgeable people who are willing to share their experience.  Of course, you can have your company pay the fee for attending.  But if you volunteer (as a session chair or a speaker), you get to attend the whole event for free.

So I was in Birmingham from December 3 to December 6 for TECH17, the annual conference of one of the biggest Oracle User Groups in Europe: UKOUG (8500 people).  I gave a presentation on Securing the Oracle database listener (the network part of the Oracle database) on Sunday the 3rd in front of about 25 people, and another presentation on Wednesday the 6th in front of about 15 people.  That second presentation was of new kind: in collaboration with UKOUG, I gave a 4-question quizz that attendees could take part in via the UKOUG smartphone application. Their answers were streamed live over the Internet to a web site that I displayed on screen to as to see which answers received the most votes and discuss the various possibilities (and the right answer!).

Most of all, I attended quality presentations on topics of interest: PL/SQL best practices, the future of Oracle open-source tools, Paas deployments, the Exadata Cloud Machine (or Exadata on-premises), Make my Database Go Faster, how to use AWR reports, Exadata patching, Oracle Cloud trial, Docker for DBAs, Ansible and Oracle, the Cloud for developers, escape from Exadata, automate database patching, the Oracle Scheduler, DBA tools, Exadata snapshot databases, Exadata performance health check, Dataguard ideas…

I also got to discuss some issues I am encountering at work with helpful experts.  And I chatted about the work of a DBA with fellow DBAs.  All in all, time well-spent – thanks to Neurones IT for sending me there.

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I know that other technologies have their own conferences too.  Consider participating in those community events and be at the cutting-edge of your field.  Better yet, consider getting involved, and give your career a boost.