Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Hotsos symposium 2006, day 1...

Hotsos symposium 2006, day 1. So far – it is a thumbs up event as evidenced by Tanel Poder here:

I got in late Sunday night – the flight attendant that should have been in Washington was stuck in NewYork – making our flight much delayed. So I missed the opening event on Sunday night – but was there bright and early on Monday for the kickoff of the week.

After Ray Lanes keynote – the technical sessions began. I attended my session first (of course) and it went pretty well. I like to say that giving a presentation for the first time (new material) must be a lot like a blind date. You don’t know how long it will actually last (do you have 30 minutes, or 90 minutes of material – or did you get lucky and have exactly one hours worth). You don’t know if you’ll have anything to say. You don’t know what is coming next (I usually talk about the next slides before I get them on screen with new material) and so on… But this one went well. Exactly 60 minutes, the demos all worked and the material flowed.

Then I attended David Kurtz’s talk on instrumentation in PeopleSoft applications. It was a good follow on to my talk which was just about instrumentation of applications in general. It was interesting to see what they had done (and it appears rather comprehensive, it definitely makes figuring out “where the time is being spent” in PeopleSoft much easier.

After that – time for lunch and then off to Julian Dykes inside RAC presentation. He had an excellent slide in there I’ll have to borrow – about how the buffer cache does a full scan. I knew the details, but his picture says it well. I guess sometimes a good graphic can be useful! He also had a nice analogy about how the buffer cache works in cache fusion compared to “kids bugging you for an ice cream”. I like analogies myself – they help me remember how things work conceptually. This one a good one – describing how locks are downgraded cross instance – but only if one of the instances really bugs the other one.

Then I switched my schedule and went to Dominic Delmolino’s talk “Optimization as an Organizational Discipline”. It was excellent – optimization (performance) must be a holistic thing – at all levels. I really like the stories he brings from his job – they drive the points home. The one story I took away is how a disconnect between the business and the technical people can lead to disaster (it ties in nicely with my “WHY WHY is probably the right answer” talk). One week – they were asked for an API that returned a set of customers that had purchased products and those products were set to expire soon (so they know who to email presumably – to give them a change to re-up their service). A little while later – they were asked for an API that dumped information about a product. No problem – easily done. No one asked “why”, just supplied it. Now – a short while later – there is this 8 hour long running process. What was it doing – it was using API one to get the list of people and then for every product calling API two to get the details. Brilliant (not). The simple fix – “just join”, run time massively decreased, new API, everyone happy. This is a good reason why “WHY” is probably the right answer.

Then the last session for the day was Cary’s “Lessons Learned, version 2006.3”. What I took away from this session: Cary was wrong. He described a mistake he made – that was corrected – and the story behind it. The point – we all make mistakes, don’t take things for granted, the obvious answer is sometimes right and sometimes wrong. We all make mistakes.

After that, we had the speaker panel (those are fun) and got some good questions. The day ended with a party – Margaritaville was the theme and fun was had by all.

Now for day two…


Anonymous Anonymous said....

I attended HotSos last year, and I remember it being one of the best Oracle conferences I'd ever been to.

Due to circumstances, I wasn't able to be there this year. I wonder if papers or something of the talks would be available online?

Tue Mar 07, 12:28:00 PM EST  

Blogger jimk said....

There is a great book about processes called The Toyota Way. One of the Toyota Philosophies is called "Ask Why 5 Times". The idea is you have to ask why and keep asking why to get to the root cause of the problem. Fix the root cause not the symptom. Fasinating book.

Tue Mar 07, 01:59:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Ram said....

I agree with anonymous. We want the papers online.


Tue Mar 07, 02:16:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Mark said....

I guess sometimes a good graphic can be useful!

I agree, I would highly recommend attending the single day session given by Edward Tufte, the master of turning some data into information. He is coming to Arlington in May. After seeing him, it just opened up so many ideas on how to communicate in the language of data.

Tue Mar 07, 09:42:00 PM EST  

Blogger Thet said....

I have been following Tom's writings for several years now but never had the opportunity to actualy attend his presentations due to schedule conflicts and what not.

In addition to the quality of the content, the live demos were awesome. It was like seeing the 'asktom' in action. And there were no glitches of any kind. Congrats, Tom, for your flawless delivery. Thanks.

Wed Mar 08, 01:06:00 AM EST  

Blogger Niall said....

hotsos conference materials are available online for hotsos conference delegates only. Doesn't seem unreasonable to me.

Wed Mar 08, 06:58:00 AM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

hotsos conference materials are available online for hotsos conference delegates only

Confirmed that with Cary this morning...

Wed Mar 08, 07:37:00 AM EST  

Blogger Rachel said....

"Cary was wrong". Reminds me of one of my favorite conference stories... OpenWorld, Cary is on a panel with several equally brilliant panelists. He makes a statement about something, something I had just had experience with. And I knew he was wrong. I'm in the front row so I quietly say "um, Cary, no that's been changed". He immediately announces to the room "Rachel says I'm wrong, this is the correct answer."

I LOVED that he was confident enough to be able to say "nope, I was wrong".

One thing I always do is admit it when I'm wrong. I figure, if I tell you when I'm wrong, you'll believe me when I tell you, no this time I'm right

Wed Mar 08, 02:41:00 PM EST  


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