Friday, August 14, 2009

Oracle Developer Tools User Group Conference

ODTUG - Oracle Developer Tools User Group
June 21 to 25, 2009. Monterey, California.

This year, I went to ODTUG conference to see what was new in the Oracle tools space. It’s well over a month since I went, so I’ll just write a few highlights.

ODTUG included subjects on:

Application Express

Oracle Fusion Stack, JDeveloper



Oracle BI


Some of the heavy Oracle hitters there were Tom Kyte, and Steven Feuerstein, and Michael Ault.

One interesting thing to me was the HUGE international prescence. There were many people from Europe and Australia. Even from Nigeria, Africa. I asked these two about the 419 scams, and they say, that they not only get the emails, they get the 419 scam by phone call too! I wonder how many countries were represented.

Most of the conference was on the latest and greatest from these new Oracle tools.

However, I’m always interested in how do we build solid software that works first time, every time. And is instantly understood and maintained by ten new people that just walked in the door.

Put in the wrong people, with the best tools, you can still produce really awful systems. There were a few presentations that I resonated with.

A few years ago, the subtext of my tuning presentation was “avoiding the worst practices”. At ODTUG, Tom Kyte had a presentation, “Worst Practices for DBAs and Developers”. It was a collection of really bad things he has unfortunately actually seen in industry! A lot of it concerned underlying attitudes and beliefs that lead to seriously pathetic systems. Such as:

Probably you don’t need to test.

Testing would be a waste of time.

It might not break.

It probably won’t have any scalability issues.

Just do the upgrade, it’ll probably work.

If I test, and it doesn’t work, I’ll be in trouble.


Never question authority. Experts are always right.

Nothing need be backed up with evidence.

Things never change.

Tom ended with an hilarious example of the attitude: “let’s build in the security in later”. Imagine if a car was not built with security in mind. He showed a picture he’d found on the web that did just that. It got a huge laugh.

I too see so many bad practices and results in IT. Some are truly unbelievable. Tom Kyte articulates many of the things I’ve been saying for years. Can I say, great minds think alike?

See Tom’s presentation at:

I also liked the presentation by Toon Koppelaars.

He talked about how three tier applications, as far as the user is concerned, are essentially much the same as two tier client server. It’s just a window on the data.

But since java and the web the technologies have become very complex now. There are dozens if not hundreds of technologies to learn now. Each requiring months of learning curve to become really productive. With more and more features, of which only 10 to 20% will actually be used. That have a short lifespan of sometimes only two years! He calls them YAFET: Yet Another Front End Technology.

Find his excellent presentation and solutions at:

The full blown talks are at:

I met tuning expert Cary Milsap. We had met in Boston area we he presented there. We had a good dinner together.

Brian Spedolini had an interesting presentation, Oracle Application Express on the iPhone. Cool.

So, a good conference. If you want to go next year, find them at:

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