Oak Table World 2018 is Coming - Are you Ready?

We’re less than a week away from Oak Table World 2018 held at San Francisco’s Children’s Creativity Museum, and I wanted to share some key highlights for this year’s event.

We’re less than a week away from Oak Table World 2018 at San Francisco’s Children’s Creativity Museum, and I wanted to share some key highlights for this year’s event. But first, if you’ve never been, here’s the backstory on this event. 

A Drinking Society with an Oracle Problem

The Oak Table Network was formed in 2001 by a half-dozen colleagues, passionate about learning and understanding database technology, Oracle in particular. They were all visiting the home of Mogen Norgaard in Malov, Denmark, sitting, arguing, laughing, drinking and programming around his massive kitchen table made of oak. There, the Oak Table Network was formed and today, there are nearly 100 members worldwide. 

During the 2010 Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco, Mogens arrived from Copenhagen and set up HQ in the back room of Chevy's Tex-Mex on the corner of 3rd and Howard, across from the Moscone Center. People joined him for drinks and food, and of course, Mogens ensured those stayed flowing continuously. Eventually the informal discussions about Oracle and database technology evolved into small-scale presentations in the restaurant. Pretty soon, word spread and an audience gathered. 

Mogens encouraged any Oak Table members visiting OpenWorld, Oracle’s annual convention, to give the presentations that weren’t accepted there. There, the "Oracle Closed World" was born as an "un-conference," a technically-oriented alternative to the marketing-drenched content at OpenWorld. Of course, the name "Closed World" was chosen for tongue-in-cheek contrast with the name of the OpenWorld conference.  

Unsurprisingly, displaying little in the way of good humor, Oracle Corporation objected to the name with a cease-and-desist order, and thus the event was quickly renamed "Oak Table World." To date, Oracle has not attempted to lay claim to the word "world," other than attempting world domination.

Fast forward to 2018, the unconference is now in the eighth year and Oak Table World continues to be an oasis of interesting technical content on all things Oracle in the midst of the world's largest Oracle conference.

Key Highlights This Year 

It’s very difficult to choose from among all the sessions, but if someone twisted my arm, here are some recommendations.

  • Monday 9:00am, Unconference Keynote by Mogens NorgaardMogens is a memorable speaker, and he always shares valuable wisdom that is contemporary. This keynote will not be an exception!
  • Tuesday 12:30pm, When Object Statistics Aren't Enough by Jonathan LewisJonathan is one of the finest technical researchers in database technology, Oracle in particular.  Whatever he says is worth hearing and remembering.
  • Monday 2:00pm, Data Engineering For Data Science by Arup NandArup is a talented professional and excellent speaker, and I hope to be Arup if I should ever grow up.
  • Tuesday 3:00pm, Better Performance Logging and Monitoring by Cary Millsap. Cary is brilliant, what else can be said?  Don’t miss wisdom from the person who recently stated, “Cup is half full, cup is half empty - just irrelevant. What matters is whether the cup is filling or emptying.”
  • Monday 1:15pm - I’ll be presenting a 10-min lightning talk on data masking. Masking sensitive data in non-production is the most important task practically nobody does, and those who do it are doing it poorly. Find out what, why, and how.

There are so many more great sessions on tap - it felt criminal to try to choose only five!

Lastly, this year's unconference is dedicated to the memory of Alex Fatkulin, who died suddenly and unexpectedly in early August 2018 at age 36. He was a supreme technologist, funny friend, and devoted husband, and we miss him tremendously.

Getting Ready

Here are some suggestions to help you prepare for Oak Table World 2018:

  • RegisterRSVP to this free 2-day event ASAP, so we know how much single-malt whiskey will be needed. And breakfast, we need to order enough breakfast.
  • Get psyched – View the sessions on the website to see the list of technical sessions and lightning talks. With so much going on this year, choose with care and make this a team effort.
  • Network – Participating sponsors are a core part of the learning and networking at Oak Table. Once you’re on site, be sure to take advantage of this by taking time to meet with the sponsoring partners, who offer diverse skills, competencies, services and expertise to help attendees solve a variety of different business challenges. They’ve also got some nice giveaways.

I am counting down the days and look forward to saying hello to friends new and old. For more info, please head to Oak Table World 2018 and RSVP to this event today.