14Jul
By: Monty Latiolais On: July 14, 2017 In: Oracle APEX Comments: 0

Insum’s Kscope17 Highlights

Monty Latiolais

Another KScope has come and gone. It seemed it would never arrive, but then is over way too soon.

This years’ conference being in San Antonio was special. I lived there from 2003 to 2010. My son was born there. We still maintain great friends in the area. But my fondest memory of San Antonio centered around KScope12. Great conference. Great attendance. Definitely my fondest memory of San Antonio until now. KScope 17 changed all that.

Where do I begin?
For me, Kscope is about giving back…giving back to the organization that has meant so much to me over the years…giving back to the development community…giving back to the host city. This year, I arrived too late to participate in the Community Service Day, but I was only too happy to volunteer in the Kscope Kid’s Labs for my good friend, Jeremy Harms of EmeraldCube. For those unfamiliar with Jeremy, all you need to do is go to www.vinecitycodecrew.org and prepare to be inspired.

The labs were powered by RaspberryPi’s and were broken down by ages. The youngest learned some basic programming elements using a graphical language called Scratch. Older kiddos took total control of Minecraft writing Python scripts that did everything from creating cityscapes to constructing TNT pyramids – and then of course detonating them using a plunger they cobbled together on an associated breadboard. Big explosions! Big fun!monty-kscope17

This was the first year of the Kid’s Labs, but based on the reaction of both the kids and the parents, I expect it won’t be the last.

Sunday night’s Welcome Reception was a constant parade of people coming by the Insum booth – old friends and new talking APEX 5.1, AOP, EBS extensions and just catching up. I’ve often said KScope is like a family reunion and Sunday night, that was certainly on full display. Word got around pretty quick that we had Insum logo’d fidget spinners. Hundreds were gone in a flash.

Monday was seemingly a day of days. The balance of Monday was spent helping customers through our Book An Expert offering. It’s great to see just how widespread the use of APEX has become. Clients from a wide range of industries brought their issues to us and guys like Jorge, Adrian and Vincent hit it out of the park. Monday night at KScope is Community night. David Schleis and I had responsibilities with the Database community (see David’s entry below) so I wasn’t able to see first hand the APEX Open-Mic Night. I’m certain it did not disappoint.

Tuesday morning was Insum’s Vendor Presentation and what a time it was. Joined onstage by Martin d’Souza and Jorge Rimblas, we focused on just how APEX is akin to a breadboard, as you can quickly connect or integrate third-party components with very little effort. Martin demonstrated how to generate Excel spreadheets using APEX and nodeJS. Need to incorporate Visio-like functionality in your APEX app? Talk to me. Jorge wowed folks with a front end using Knockout.js  The feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive. People liked the fact that we weren’t there to sell them anything. We were there to show them how to leverage their investment in APEX.
When I think of Wednesday I can’t help but think of the Special Event. For her 20th birthday, ODTUG brought back memories of some of the Special Events of the past. I spent most of my time outside under the pavilion just taking it all in. Looking at what the event has become and knowing where it came from, ODTUG should be very proud of it’s place in the Oracle ecosystem.
While Thursday may only be a half day, it was chocked full of good stuff. Jorge MC’d a session of APEX Lightening Talks by Dimitri, Scott, Martin, Vincent and Peter among others. It culminated with Joel explaining just how prevalent APEX is within the halls of Oracle…to the tune of a billion page views…that’s billion with a ‘B’

 

Jackie McIlroy

This was my first Kscope and, y’all, I was impressed! Not only by ODTUG as an organization, but also with the Oracle and APEX communities. I could not be more proud to be a part of such a friendly and vibrant group of people. I very much enjoyed meeting with all of the bloggers, presenters, and experts that I have followed through the years and who have helped me throughout my career. Everyone in the APEX community is eager to share their knowledge and help others, and I left the conference with a renewed desire to give back to the community that has given so much to me.

One of my favorite sessions was the #LetsWreckThisTogether APEX Talks. This was the final session of the APEX Track and a great way to finish out the conference. Thought leaders in the APEX community gave short 10 minute presentations that highlight tips, tricks, or shortcuts to make APEX development easier and faster. I learned something new from each and every one of these fun, fast-paced presentations.

Another of my favorite events was the Women in Technology (WIT) Luncheon. During the luncheon attendees were divided into small groups to discuss solutions to real issues that women face in a male dominated industry. It was really refreshing to see a number of men attend this event and to get their perspective on the issues we discussed. I encourage more men to get involved in the WIT community – I promise, we aren’t scary 😉

I also really enjoyed getting to talk to all of the people who stopped by the Insum booth. I had an absolute blast meeting new friends that had just had their interests piqued by APEX during the conference and wanted to learn more about how it could help them in their current or future projects. It was also my pleasure to meet current and past clients that just stopped by to say hello and let us know how solutions Insum has implemented for them are still adding value to their organizations.

 

Michel St-Amour

Kscope is our favourite conference of the year and for so many reasons this year, it earned top honours again. As we’re now positioned across North America and Peru, the week provides the opportunity for our team to see each other face-to-face. We’re also fortunate to be able to chat with many of our clients and partners during our annual appreciation event at Kscope.

insum-client-event

 

This ODTUG conference is also a collection of our year’s hard work. Our team presented 10 sessions and our vendor presentation, APEX is a Breadboard. It’s incredible to see the recognition from the community as well. I’m proud to say we collected a few awards:

  • Innovation Award: Vincent Morneau for APEX Nitro
  • ODTUG Volunteer Award: Adrian Png
  • Top APEX Track Speaker: Martin D’Souza – Explore the APEX APIs
  • Best Overall Speaker: Martin D’Souza – Explore the APEX APIs

The APEX community continues to give and we’re more than happy to contribute by supporting Monday evening’s APEX Community/Open Mic Night and the APEX Track. Our very own, Vincent Morneau’s contributions to the Oracle community were recognized by receiving Oracle ACE status!

Kscope continues to be a highlight of our year and we’re excited to be back next year.

 

Adrian Png

It was a nostalgic return to San Antonio for me where I attended my very first Kscope conference five years ago! I am a huge fan of Texan cuisine, and not surprising, ODTUG delivered again!

The keyword for me this year is “sharing” for the following reasons:

  1. This was the first Kscope I have had to deliver two presentations. As stressful as it might be, I was happy to be talking about my experiences in various projects I have worked on throughout the past two years. I was very happy to hear from attendees after, that they had faced similar challenges and the solutions I have shared will be helpful in some way. I am looking forward to making my sample codes available in the coming weeks!
  2. I had at least two conversations with attendees who had praised Insum for not being “just about business”. Our history of blog posts, presentations and open source contributions were a hallmark of our desire to help organizations, invested in Oracle APEX, be successful. I am proud to be a part of this effort and grateful that the management is super-supportive of employees in their involvement with the community.
  3. It’s been said that it’s not the destination, but the journey that counts. It was a proud moment for all of us at Insum, to have bagged that many awards this year. They remind us of how sharing knowledge, technology and time make a difference in our community, and that we now have a greater responsibility to keep that flame burning bright!

 

Daniel Boudreault

As a Kscope noob, everything at the conference was new and there was so much to take in.  I felt like every aspect of the conference was enough to fill the entire week, but you can’t be in more than one place at once. The number of presentations I wanted to attend alone were enough to fill two weeks. But even though I couldn’t attend them all, I left the conference with a wealth of new information. In addition to all the presentations, everyone at the conference, presenters and attendees alike, were all accessible and friendly.  The event really leaves one overwhelmed, but with great memories, information and so many new acquaintances and friends.

The event itself is also very grandiose, for a first timer especially. The logistics of the event and the quality of everything from the food and special events to the presentations themselves is very impressive and a lot of fun.  While I can’t speak for all the tracks, all in all, Kscope is an event for anybody involved in the APEX and Oracle database communities and I’m sure the other tracks would echo that sentiment.

Kscope is an event for anybody involved in the APEX and Oracle database communities and I’m sure the other tracks would echo that sentiment.

 

Jorge Rimblas

For me, this Kscope I was also returning to San Antonio for the second time, and the experienced matched the anticipation. I presented two sessions: JavaScript and CSS for PL/SQL Developers and  Deliver a Knockout with your APEX Applications. Both had excellent attendance, and I’m very thankful for that.

jorge-rimblas

One thing that stuck out for me was the number of other technologies all around us. People are using all sorts of things to deliver the highest quality solutions possible: from Docker, Knockout, Oracle JET, and even REST services. It’s clear that we can no longer focus on only the Oracle DB. JavaScript, for example, is everywhere. Is it the correct tool for all tasks? Absolutely not. Yet, it is a critical element, and as such, we would be well-served embracing it.

This Kscope was also special to me because I completed my two-year term as APEX Content Chair. I’m very thankful for all the great content the speakers provided us and even more for the job the APEX Content Committee did to select it. I heard many positive comments that confirm what I already knew.

 

Vincent Morneau

This was my third Kscope and it did not disappoint. I was fortunate enough to come as a presenter, and while the additional stress can be a little tiring sometimes, it is entirely worth it. I was very happy with the attendance in my sessions and the feedback I received was absolutely overwhelming.

It was a very lucky year for me, as I was awarded the ODTUG innovation award for APEX Nitro and I also became an Oracle Ace. Some part of me is thinking: it can only go down from here, but somehow I doubt it!

Kscope is known for it’s incredible content that is accessible to everyone, but it is much more than just the content. It is about making connections. I always look forward to meet again people from all around the world; new people, but most importantly people I can now call friends.

 

vincent-odtug-friends

David Schleis

For me, the session highlights included seeing that modeling still matters as evidenced by several presentations on the topic. Also, I was particularly intrigued by a session by Simon Hunt on doing automated testing of APEX applications using an APEX application integrated with Selenium. This is definitely something I will be looking into.

Monday night at KScope is Community night, and as an active member of the Database Community, I had a part to play in the proceedings. This year, the Database Community wanted to do something like the highly successful APEX Open-Mic Night, but not entirely like it. We decided on allowing folks to take the stage and show some of their favorite DB tricks, tips or techniques, or tell a joke or a story or juggle or whatever. We also added a Gong Show twist. So while I channeled Chuck Barris (tuxedo tee shirt and all) to keep things moving, and a panel of judges including our own Monty Latiolais looked on, audience members took their chance at getting their message across, or getting gonged. I’ll be honest; it was chaotic, but it was fun.

Oh, and my best conference ever? That would be my very first ODTUG conference back in 1999 that got me started on the journey that has lead me here, being a member of the best Oracle APEX team in the world.

schleis odtug

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