Insum’s Kscope17 Highlights
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.