11 June 2014

Finland: OUGF Harmony 2014

Last week was the annual conference for the Oracle User Group Finland. This time the conference was at the Finnish Nature Center called Haltia. Needless to say that the location was beautiful.
Even though the conference started on Thursday, most speakers flew in on Wednesday. Heli, the president of the OUGF and dear friend, acted as a tourguide and showed Helsinki. The tour ended with a dinner at a Viking restaurant where the food was very good. We got to try some tar ice-cream,.. Tar, yes tar - as in the stuff that you find in cigarettes. It tasted like it should be hot, black and oily, instead it was white and cold. Not my thing.
The next morning busses were taking all the delegates from Helsinki to Haltia, about a 30 minute drive.
After breakfast and the opening keynotes, there was a choice of 6 tracks.
The one that stood out for me was done by Brendan Tierney on Sentiment Analysis. Certainly worth it to investigate a little more.
In the evening there was a BBQ with plenty of salmon, reindeer burgers and strawberry cake. There was also a band playing made up of Finnish Oracle employees.
Most delegates were bussed back to Helsinki, only a few "braves" stayed to go camping in the local forrest. The strange thing is that it didn't really get dark, just dusky. The second picture of the camping was taken around midnight.
Even though they warned about the Finnish mosquitos ahead of time, obviously I didn't take enough precautions. I got bitten quite a few times. All part of the experience. The camping was great - thanks Heli, Ann and Olli for taking care of us.
The second day of the conference I had both my sessions. The first one (Use Cases for Virtual Columns) was right after Graham Woods keynote. He was running a bit late and I had the same room, so I started late.. Anyhoo, attendance was good and I thought the session went alright.
My other session (SQL Model Clause: a Gentle Introduction) was the last session of the day, right before Heli's closing keynote.
It is always amazing to listen to Heli, she speaks Finnish and English and switches all the time.
On Saturday, before we left for the airport, I did some sightseeing with Kent Graziano and Roel Hartman. I am glad that I was part of this great conference. Hopefully next year I will be able to fit OUGF Harmony into my calendar and so should you.

"I am Finnish and this is the end" - Heli


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