AIOUG’s Sangam 2011 Wrap-up….

AIOUG(All India Oracle Users Group) has finished its annual Oracle user group conference Sangam on this Saturday. It was their 3rd annual conference from the time they have started and it was my 2nd year of attending it. Due to some personal issues of mine, I was a little doubtful that whether I shall be able to make for it this time or not and fortunately, I was able to and as expected, it came out to be a great event! Lots of learning, meeting celebrities of Oracle database world along with fellow attendees, out of which some were old faces and some were new, it was an in and out two days completely packed with just Oracle all around which , at least for me is just simply awesome!

Just like the last two years of conference, this year’s also was a having a lot of who’s who of the Oracle world! The keynote was by Arup Nanda who needs no introduction I believe. Arup is a VERY well known expert in the Oracle database world and is a very frequent contributor on various online forums as well as the author of several books. His top 10 new features article series, covering every new release of Oracle database, is among the most popular technical articles for DBA’s. I was very excited to meet him because I have had interaction with him through emails already  and this time, I was finally going to meet him in-person. I met him outside the keynote hall and he immediately recognized me too when I told I am Aman 🙂 . I must say, besides being so good in the oracle database, he is also a very friendly and nice person as well. It was an utmost pleasure to listen to him live for two days and I shall be looking forward to meet him any time soon.

The other very memorable moment(at least for me) was to meet and hear someone who is one of the most well known names in the Oracle database world, Rich Niemiec. I must admit, I never even thought in a dream too that I would be able to meet Rich and not just meet but would be able to see him speaking. And even more, be in a pic with him 🙂 . He mentioned that his book Performance Tuning Tips and Techniques would be coming soon covering 11.2. He gave two presentations, one on each day of the conference. I must say, his style  of presenting and wittiness is just amazing! I really hope and wish that I shall get a chance to meet him soon again sometime.

This time, the Sangam team had decided to run parallel tracks of Java and application development along with the database track. Since both are not my domain, I didn’t attend any sessions of those tracks except of Bryn Llewellyn, PL/SQL Product Manager which was about the 11g’s enhancements about Pl/Sql. It was a very good presentation. Both, the content and the presenting style of Bryn, made the whole one hour of the presentation filled with lots of goodies related to Pl/Sql introduced in 11g. Another presentation which I attended and didn’t know about the speaker before, was of Kuassi Mensah(blog|Google+|Twitter|Facebook|LinkedIn) who is also a product manager at Oracle corporation. It was my first time to hear him speaking and his presentation was a very deep one, about the tuning of Oracle net services. It was an hour filled with lots of technical content presented in a very good way! I also met Hemant Chitale whom I know from a long time as he is a fellow member and a very active contributor over OTN forums. In addition to this, he is also one of the tech reviewers for my book. Though we have had many discussions over the forum and through the emails, this was the first time when I had a chance to meet him. Hemant is a very knowledgeable yet very down-to-earth and humble person in nature and it was an absolute pleasure to meet him. Last but certainly not the least, I met (again) Murali Vallath(LinkedIn|Twitter|Blog) who is the president of AIOUG. Its always a pleasure to meet him and the amount of efforts that he and his entire team puts in to make the conference a success, are just beyond words and even more, he is a very nice, humble and so down to earth person!

This year’s Sangam was also special for one another reason and that was that my very close friend Neeraj Bhatia(Blog|Google+|Twitter) was presenting his presentation this year which was titled as Did someone say Capacity Planning?(slides are available for the download at his blog). This was the first time that he was presenting and I must say, he did a fantastic job given that it was his very first public speaking. Now, since he has got the ball rolling, its my turn now to do the same.

Besides the great presentations and speakers, the entire conference, in the terms of the logistics and facilities,  was also maintained by  AIOUG team. The venue chosen this time was very spacious and lavish. It was the Crowne Plaza hotel Banglore which had fantastic arrangements for both conference space and food. The staff was very friendly and the overall appearance of the place was very eye catching. There were demo booths from Oracle support where they demonstrated power of Oracle Exadata live! The goodies offered to the attendees were also very nice.

To sum up, Sangam 2011 was yet another a very exciting,fun-filled and yet a great learning experience packed within 2 days. A big thanks again to Murali and his entire team to pull it through and I am already looking forward for 2012.