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15 January 2010

More cool stuff at Kaleidoscope 2010

Give back and get from Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope 2010 is coming (which reminds me, I need to write my presentation, but soon, gulp) and there are two awesome prequels to the conference itself, which is no slouch when it comes to awesomeness.

Schooldays

Every Kaleidoscope I’ve ever attended – a grand total of two, but give me time –kicks off with a volunteer day.  I wasn’t able to attend last year because of work pressures, but my bosses’ bosses’ boss was kind enough to take my place (thanks, Edward) so the very worthy alien plant eradication could take place.

These days are really a lot of fun (I did the one in New Orleans, so this isn’t mere puffery) because in addition to donating muscle to a worthy cause, you get to meet people you wont be seeing during the conference proper as you obsessively shuffle between all of the cool Hyperion content here and here.  You won’t be?  Tsk.  I will.  But that’s my neurosis, so perhaps you should be grateful you don’t share it.  It is a heavy burden.

Yes, Oracle seems to own other products

As hard as it is to believe, it is my understanding that there are actually other technology tracks on offer at Kaleidoscope, although why anyone would leave the warm and cozy world of Oracle EPM is beyond my comprehension.

If you are similarly narrowly focused in your love for all things formerly owned by Arbor Software, this might be your only chance to meet the great people that use those other, obscure, products like PL/SQL…I wonder what it does.

And oh yes, give freely of your time.  See, virtue is its own reward, just like your parents told you.

A Descartesian Three

Nope, this isn’t the Wrong Kind of Join (see, I am not completely ignorant of the black art called CeeKewEl), instead you have three choices, all good.

Unleash your Inner Librarian on the Dewey Decimal System

Oddly, at my dear alma mater, Wossamotta U, the IT degree program was offered in the school formerly known as Library Science.  I am trying to imagine a major that would be less likely to get you a date on Friday night than the double whammy of geek + librarian but I am coming up short.  Of course I can be smug because I got my obsolete degree in MCIS in the business college.  And because I have been told many times that I am the living embodiment of Gary Cooper, Cary Grant, and William Holden rolled into one alpha geekAt least I think that’s what they mean when I get called Walter Mitty.

In atonement for giving librarians (they are so going to revoke my library card and *all* library privileges, forever) and fellow geeks the raspberry, I will likely be that geek librarian and help them sort their books.  So now you know which task to avoid.

Tending to their garden

In keeping with the theme of great Frenchmen of the Enlightenment, perhaps instead I’ll help beautify the grounds at Ronald H. Brown Middle School.

My favorite part of the schoolday, recess

Or relearn hopscotch (in my case, learn it for the first time) and help paint on the blacktop the games of our halcyon youth.

You won’t regret it

It’s a great way to give back, ODTUG makes the transport easy, gives you eats, and you get to rub shoulders with people in very different parts of the technical world.  What’s not to love?

And now the amazing stuff

Would you like to know where Oracle is taking the EPM stack?  See the latest products and not suffer the pain of a beta?  Get product managers to ask for your opinion?  I can think of two ways to do this:
1)    Get a job at Oracle.  Get promoted at a pace so meteoric that the phrase “meteoric pace” is inadequate.  Take John Kopcke’s job.  Now you know all.  Can you do that in one day?
2)    Returning from Cloud Cuckooland, you could instead come to Sunday’s Oracle Hyperion EPM and BI Symposium and have it handed to you on a platter.  No, no thanks are required, this blog is here to help.

Oracle > Hyperion

Yes, Oracle is many, many times bigger than dear old HYSL ever was.  Yet somewhat unbelievably, they act like a small company, at least at Kaleidoscope.

I don’t know if it’s because Big Red really is a warm and fuzzy group of people, or that ODTUG is awfully good at getting to the right people at Oracle, or if it’s just the right alignment of stars, but the mix of altruism, self-interest, and personalities comingles into magic.  By that I mean Oracle comes to show you where they’re going in the near future, where they want to go in the mid to far future, and oh by the way, what do you Kaleidoscope attendees think about it?

We (or at least I) are not worthy

Think about that – Oracle is this enormous company that is asking you what you think of their product plan.  I’m not saying that they will do your every bidding, but it’s pretty astounding to me that they ask and act on comments from the hoi polloi of EPM geekdom.  That’s awesome.  Yes SmartView product team, I’m talking about you.  Thanks again for last year’s freewheeling session.  If I could just think of a word that was awesome * 2 and then apply it to last year’s symposium, I would.

Solutions != Kaleidoscope

I went to (and paid for) every Solutions conference there ever was.  I can’t remember anyone from Hyperion asking me for my opinion on a product.  Ever.  I know that much of the product development staff is the same so I’m going to attribute this welcome change to Oracle’s culture and Kaleidoscope’s awesomeness (there’s that word again).

It doesn’t stop on Sunday

And of course Oracle’s involvement doesn’t end there – they’ll be in sessions all through the conference.  About 1/3 of the presentations are given by Oracle employees.

You are going to be there, yes?

This is *the* conference to go to – amazing content from Oracle, partners, and customers, all those great (ahem) Werewolf games at night, and the chance to give back to the DC public schools.  You can’t miss it.

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