I am home after a fantastic OUGN conference in Norway.

I flew to Norway on Wednesday for a nice speakers’ dinner by the sea. Thank you Ann-Sofie and the rest of the board for a lovely dinner!

On Thursday morning we took a taxi to the harbor where our cruise ship was waiting. This year the ship was even bigger than last year… The day started in the nightclub where we saw several presentations and keynotes before we were split into parallel sessions in conference floor. We were given our cabins during the lunch break, before the parallel sessions started and I had to rush to my cabin to change my dress. (thank you Hanne! The cabin was lovely!). In my cabin I had a gift from OUGN board waiting and a thank you card. OUGN board does know how to make us speakers welcome!

New this year was the exhibition area which actually worked extremely well: we met the sponsors there and were able to have a car race, shooting, golf, fresh juice etc. Lunch was also served in the exhibition area.

I had two completely new sessions at the OUGN15: Reporting with Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler and Comparing designs and databases with Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler. My first session was on Thursday at 3pm. I had a lovely room with sea view…I was a little worried I will be a bit absent in my own session because of the scenery… In the beginning the room was half full but there were more and more people coming in so eventually I think the room was pretty full. And I was not distracted by the view because the audience was far more interesting. I think the session went well and I made it in exactly 45 min as planned. I hope my audience understood the fantastic capabilities Data Modeler offers for reporting.

After the days sessions the OUGN had their annual meeting and they elected a new board. Then we had a networking event in exhibition area and a nice dinner in one of the many restaurants on board. I had a pleasure of dining with my son, Gurcan Orhan, and Brendan Tierney. It was an extremely nice and fun dinner. After the dinner I had to go to bed because I am not 100% well yet and need a lot of sleep.

The next morning I was up early and had my breakfast at 7 with Joel Goodman and Patrick Barel. At 8.30 I was invited to a WIT session lead by Kellyn Pot’Vin-Gorman. Unfortunately I had to leave in a middle of an interesting conversation for my next session that started at 9.30, again in that lovely room with a view… During my session we arrived to Kiel, Germany. I had a good audience again and I was extremely proud to see Jacco in the audience. I guess he liked what he heard and I hope more DBAs will see the value of Data Modeler in their work too… I probably need to prepare a session for DBAs… And I cannot be too thankful to Alex Nuijten who always attends my sessions and is such a good friend. After the session I met some nice OUGN members and I hope I helped them with their problems… the best part of traveling is meeting people and helping them.

Last year I did not visit Kiel but this year I thought I should, especially because Björn Rost was waiting at the harbor with some sandwiches and gin… I, my son and Gurcan walked down to meet Björn and his “team”. Björn is always such a nice person to see! We had a nice meal and a chat, we did some shopping in Kiel and then back to the ship.

At the end of day two there was a networking event in exhibition area and I still cannot believe this: I won an Apple Watch! I won it because the picture I tweeted. The jury found it the best. It must be because of my son. He is in the picture and smiles.

After the networking event we had a delicious dinner. I had a pleasure to eat with some of the best people in the world: my son, Brendan, Gurcan, Mark Rittman, Philippe Fierens, and Jan Karremans. After the dinner we needed to talk about serious things and Philippe, Brendan, Gurcan and I moved to one of the bars to have a chat. I am sure the world is much better place after our talk J

The next morning Brendan and I continued our talk about something…it might really happen…who knows…you will be the first to know if so… Now it is still a BIG secret.

The ship arrived to Oslo at 10 am and I and my son took a taxi with Alice Rossman to her house. We left our luggage there and walked all the way to Holmenkollen. There was a world cup about to start. A lot of people, party going on and the sun was shining. We walked to the top and had a sandwich in a café. Then we walked back to Alice’s house to make some waffels and brown cheese (yummy!). Luckily we still had some time and Alice took us to see a farm house where the first prime minister of Norway used to live. A lovely place! I must visit it at the Christmas time when they have a Christmas market and everything… After that we went to see “the park of naked people”, it is a beautiful park full of statues of naked people, the Vigeland park. It was really worth seeing! So far we had walked almost 20 000 steps in just one day, half of that uphill J

Unfortunately now our time was full and we needed to take a train to the airport. Alice took us to the railway station. We bought our tickets and went to the station to wait for our train. At this point I must admit the only “public” transportation I am capable to use is taxi J I see the timetable and it says that the airport train comes in 20min BUT there are several other trains coming and stopping at the airport. WHY would I wait for 20 min if I can take a train now?! So we jump in to the next train to the airport… We are sitting in the train and checking from the map it really goes to the airport, yes it does. After a while a person comes to check for the tickets and it turns out that there are two railway companies and my ticket is only valid in the other one. It also turns out the other train is faster and twice the price of this train…hmm… Luckily this man was very nice and he lets us travel with our tickets for the wrong (and expensive) train company until the airport. I promise to him next time I will buy a ticket to their company J

We arrive at the airport and once again too early: in Oslo they open the bag drop no earlier than 2h before the plane leaves. I knew that but did not remember. Well, it is always better to be too early than too late…

The flight is on time and I arrive home before midnight on Saturday. I am so ready to sleep J

I want to thank everybody who attended my sessions during the OUGN and I really hope you liked and learned. I enjoy sharing the knowledge and solving problems other users might have. Attending these events is also a chance to meet many of my friends. I am so grateful to have friends like this and to have the opportunity to meet them around the globe. I want to thank user groups to make it happen and the Oracle ACE Program for making it possible for me to attend these amazing events. This time especially thank you Oyvind! You are one of a kind! I wish you all the best, you are a great man.