I’m back a few days now after an eventful OUG Finland Conference. It was a great 2 days of Oracle techie stuff in one of the best conference locations in the world.
The conference kind of started on the Wednesday. It seemed like most of the speakers from across Europe and USA were getting into Helsinki around lunch time. Heli had arranged to be a tour guide for the afternoon and took us to see some of the sights around Helsinki, ending up at dinner at a Viking restaurant. At this we got to meet up with some of the other speakers.
We got to try the local Tar ice-cream. Let’s just say it was an experience 🙂
The conference kicked off on the Thursday morning at a nature reserve (Haltia) about 30 minutes outside of Helsinki. I’m sure you have seem some of the photos that all of us were sharing on twitter. Heli did the opening welcome and got to show off how good her English is and how easily she can switch between Finnish and English (you had to be there). Each day consisted of 6 tracks and we also had some keynotes too. I think the highlight for most people on the first day was the keynote by James Morle. If you were not there, then hopefully he will be invited to give it at other conferences around the world.
I did my usual thing of tweeting throughout the conference along with most of the other presenters, ACEs and ACE Directors.
My first presentation of the conference was my Sentiment Analysis using Oracle Data Mining. I had a decent enough attendance at this considering the glorious sunshine we had and also who was also presenting at the same time.
That evening there was the conference BBQ and we were entertained by the a band consisting of Oracle Finland employees. When all of the entertainment was finished it was time for some people to get the bus back to their hotel in Helsinki. But for 15 of us we headed off for an overnight camping in the local forest. Many thanks to Heli and Ann for arranging this and Ollie for setting up the camp and looking after us. The camp was a bit of fun but the mosquitoes were a bit of a issue for me. Lets just say ‘They love me’
Yes the safety briefing did talk about bears
The next morning we got back in to the conference centre. After the keynote from Graham Wood (who was one of the campers), I had my second presentation on using ORE and how to get started with it. I was very surprised with the attendance, in that there was perhaps twice the number at it that I was hoping to have. This presentation ran on a little longer than hoped and it is more suited to a 1 hour slot than a 45 minute slot.
After that my presenting duties were over and I got to enjoy many of the presentations during the rest of the day. One of these was the Standard Edition Round table organised by Philippe Fierens, Jan Karrmans and Ann Sjokvit. There was lots of great discussion at this round table and I really hope they get to host this at other conferences.
Did I mention I got to meet Chris Date. Did I mention I got to meet Chris Date 🙂
As the conference came to a close the committee made sure that everyone had a small gift before going home. For all of those that were left waiting for the bus back into Helsinki there was one last (or several) jumps to do. Again the photos are on twitter, etc.
This was a great conference that had attendees (not just speakers) from a number of countries across Europe. I enjoyed the conference and getting to meet some old and new friends. Hopefully next year I will be able to fit OUG Finland into my calendar and so should you.
As Heli says “I’m Finnish and this is the end”