Monday, 10 July 2017

KScope17: A Newbie's Perspective

After finally recovering from 5 days of socialising, eating and partying intense sessions, networking and sleepless nights; I thought I’d share my KScope experience as a newbie in case anyone out there is toying with the idea of going and not sure whether it’s worth the cost and effort – long story short, it is!

The build up
A couple of colleagues of mine Guillaume Slee and Martin Skelly had been to Kaleidoscope previously and consistently said it was the best conference opportunity – as consultants – there was. KScope was always there as something to aim for, but most likely in a few more years.
In a rare period of downtime, I started my blog and looked into KScope in a bit more detail – thank you to Opal Alapat who encouraged this!

I discovered ODTUG’s New Oracle Professional Scholarship and applied thinking there was a minimal chance of being offered it, so when confirmation came through that I’d been awarded it, I had a convincing business case and the excitement began!

The day arrives - San Antonio here I come!
Consultants are generally good with people but I challenge anyone who isn’t nervous about flying half way across the world on their own to meet some of the most influential people in their industry. Registering on the first day, I was given a bright green label on my name badge: “Newbie”. Okay, no way of hiding in the crowds now…



I was thankful for the Newcomer’s Orientation; the whole ODTUG team welcomed the Newbies to the conference, shared their stories and our answered questions; a great ice breaker and a chance to meet fellow disoriented Newbies šŸ˜Š

Everyone loves a bit of Harry Potter, so at the first event in the Exhibit hall, InterRel’s Harry Potter themed stand enticed me in. I was greeted with both friendly faces and unidentifiable people in costumes! Here I met two other Newbie’s – Ghaida and Aleksandra who were also attending alone and both in EPM, i.e. BFFL šŸ˜‰

Note to Newbies: You need not be afraid, you WILL meet people!




 








 
[Photography credit to THE Cameron Lakpour]

Sessions, sessions, sessions
Oh my, where to begin on the sessions – there are soooo many to choose from; from the “What’s new, what’s next”, to the deeply techie scripting sessions, to the hands-on labs: there is something for everyone.
The beauty of the conference is that you have the opportunity to ask your questions to the individuals who either have the answers or know someone that does. (Or maybe drop that one in an email...)

The content itself is what makes the conference so valuable for consultants and clients alike; there is always more to learn about the products we work with daily – it’s one of the reasons why we enjoy what we do, right? – and there is always someone that’s explored and experimented with functionality that’s worth sharing with fellow enthusiasts.

Note to Newbies: You will want to go to more sessions than you can, but don’t worry, you can always download the slides of the sessions you missed :)

Filling that spare time
I hate to break it to you, but you will have no spare time. You’ll be lucky to find time to sleep.
Before breakfast activities included Chi Gung (moving meditation) in the early morning sun and a 6am 5km race (somehow I ended up with a 1st place medal!).

Breakfasts were communal – sorry to those subjected to my morning self! Lunch events included lunch and learn sessions and a Women in Technology event – congrats to Ghaida Khader for being awarded the ODTUG Woman in Technology scholarship, well deserved being the only woman in her company!

When sessions come to an end and you think you might just lay down for a while, happy hour makes an appearance and fights off the jet lag/exhaustion leaving you ready for an evening of Werewolf, Geek Games, or if you’re not feeling up for that, maybe searching for the biggest bowl of pulled pork mac ‘n’ cheese in Texas…?!

FYI - It wasn't mine!

Happy Birthday ODTUG!

The final evening saw the Special Event hosted by ODTUG; this year marked their 20th birthday and the theme was Casino, Beach, 80’s or Masquerade. I saw things I’d never seen before… sweets frozen in liquid nitrogen, extraordinary dance moves and a certain Hyperion Nerd in a Pacman suit!

One thing’s for sure, ODTUG know how to host a party!



Note to Newbies: Wondering how to find out about everything that’s going on? There’s an app for that! The KScope app tells you everything you need to know: session times, lunch events, networking events, evening activities, people attending, maps, everything!

This is only the beginning…
You will leave the conference with a mind boggling with new ideas, a heavy heart from saying goodbye to those you’ve met and, of course, a rucksack full of freebies – I hate to admit the fidget spinners were a personal favourite!


KScope18 will be held in Disneyland, Orlando! I’ve already got my Minnie Mouse ears so doubt I’ll need much more of a business case :)
I hope to be reunited with those I met this year and meet the Newbies who keep the conference growing as it deserves.
Next time I'll have no bright green label, oh, and a bigger suitcase!

Perhaps I’ll even submit an abstract to present…


Ciao for now!   #newbienomore


4 comments:

  1. We were so fortunate to finally meet at Kscope! Thank you for your support and keep the blog rockin'! Hope to see you in Orlando for Kscope18! :)

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  2. Alright! Another blog to add to the list!

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  3. Awesome! your experience is tempting me to wear the "NEWBIE" tag :-).

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