As Published In
Oracle Magazine
September/October 2008


Work and Play at Oracle OpenWorld

By Justin Kestelyn

The OTN guide to Oracle OpenWorld, from the OTN Lounge to the Unconference

Where does the time go? Oracle OpenWorld 2008 is upon us, running from September 21 through September 25 in San Francisco. Yes, it’s going to be big. But have no fear—here’s the Oracle Technology Network (OTN) guide to getting the most out of the show and using your time wisely.

Want hardcore technical content? There’s never been more of it. The Oracle OpenWorld session agenda is catnip for techies. With literally hundreds of technical sessions and hands-on labs from which to choose—across every conceivable product or industry area—the week of Oracle OpenWorld is, if nothing else, a top-tier, albeit temporary, university for those seeking intensive self-education.

Oracle Develop (at the San Francisco Marriott), the premier developer conference running in parallel with Oracle OpenWorld for the third straight year, is especially attractive for members of the OTN community. (Make sure to register for a Full Conference Pass plus Oracle Develop, which adds US$100 to the total price.) Running September 21 through September 23, Oracle Develop offers deep dives into new topics, including service-oriented architecture, extreme transaction processing, virtualization, and Ajax/Web 2.0. But fear not—Oracle Develop will also hit tried-and-true topics such as Java, .NET, XML, PL/SQL, and PHP. And yes, content about Oracle’s BEA products will be included.

If a topic that interests you is not represented, consider presenting your own session at the Oracle OpenWorld Unconference, back for its second year at the show. The Unconference offers user-driven and user-presented content in an informal, interactive setting, and this year it’s been expanded to run all day, every day. 

OTN at Oracle OpenWorld:

A Condensed Guide

 Oracle Develop
September 21-23, San Francisco Marriott

 OTN Lounge
Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m., September 21-25, Moscone West, Level 3

 Oracle OpenWorld Unconference
Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m., September 21-25, Moscone West, Level 3

 OTN Night
7:30-11 p.m., September 22, San Francisco Hilton

You can propose a session in advance of the show on the Oracle Wiki at But you still need to show up and reserve your time slot on the Unconference agenda board in front of the OTN Lounge—I recommend doing this on Monday morning during the conference.

Create an Oracle ADF methodology for the masses. It’s easy to tell when a tool has matured into a productive environment. Software developers move from playing with and learning features to supporting production systems and discussing best practices and development methodologies to ensure the success of their next project.

Oracle ACE Director Chris Muir is taking advantage of the Oracle OpenWorld Unconference format to address this very issue in the context of Oracle Application Development Framework (Oracle ADF). Led by Muir, Oracle ACEs (Oracle Fusion Middleware), Oracle ACE directors, and other interested participants will form a “flash” working group to collaboratively produce a new Oracle ADF methodology for Oracle JDeveloper, using Oracle Wiki pages to capture their experiences, discussions, and thoughts about the requirements for a successful Oracle ADF project. It will be an on-the-fly think tank for the creation of best practices.

Please join us to share your experiences and concerns about what should be outlined in this new Oracle ADF methodology. More information will be posted on the Oracle Wiki at; be sure to check back regularly for updates.

Can’t make the trip? Attend virtually. Oracle will provide as complete a vicarious experience as possible, by encouraging community blogging, podcasting, and videocasting—and then optimally aggregating that content. You’ll find the Oracle OpenWorld community experience aggregator at

Once again, OTN is your most enthusiastic host. Last year thousands of visitors spent time in the OTN Lounge, and we expect a strong turnout this year. Free software, daily raffles for an Apple iPod touch, a new commemorative T-shirt, thank-you gifts for charter OTN members, and “welcome” kits for BEA community members will be big draws. Beer in the afternoons won’t hurt either.

OTN Night (Monday night at the Hilton San Francisco) has become one of Oracle OpenWorld’s best examples of “edutainment.” While the agenda is not fully finalized as this issue goes to press, I assure you that we’ll be exploring new and inventive ways to throw the best party of the week.

See you in September—as always, you can find me in the OTN Lounge.

Justin Kestelyn ( is senior director, Oracle Technology Network and developer programs, as well as OTN editor in chief.

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