Tuesday, October 13, 2009

(empo-tymshft) Some #oow09 wisdom from the New York Times and Daniel Morgan

I didn't blog a lot about my activities yesterday (mostly database-related), but I'm at the connection center on Moscone West's third floor at the moment, which gives me the opportunity to share two nuggets of wisdom that I picked up today - one on the way to Moscone West, and one after I arrived here.


Before I left Ontario to come up to San Francisco, I noticed that there was a chance of rain around midweek. It never (well, hardly ever) rains in southern California, so I ended up tweeting the following on Saturday night:

oracle openworld attendees - doesn't the #oow09 registration goodies include an umbrella? save me having to pack one (or find one)

Marius Ciortea was running the @oracleopenworld Twitter account, and he provided this reply:

@empoprises we hope is not going to rain on Wednesday. :(

The latest weather reports indicate that Marius' hopes (which directly impact the Appreciation Event on Treasure Island) will be fulfilled. But he said nothing about Tuesday, and when we all woke up on Tuesday morning it was pouring.

Pouring on a day that I didn't bring my umbrella, I slept in late, and I wanted to catch Daniel Morgan's unconference session on Oracle Database 11gR2. And I figured that 40,000 people were in the same...um...boat, and that the buses would therefore be packed.

So what did I do? I went to a nearby Starbucks, bought today's New York Times, and stuck it over my head as I fast-walked to Moscone West.

Afterwards I tweeted this profound observation:

my #oow09 umbrella this a.m. courtesy new york times. score 1 for print journalism!

Because, let's face it - whatever we may think of the AP and the WSJ and the RIAA and the BBC, B.B. King, and Doris Day, my insightful and witty repartee in Empoprise-BI and the other blogs in the Empoprises empire is not going to keep you dry during a rainstorm. The New York Times did. So there.


So anyways, I arrived five minutes late to Daniel Morgan's unconference session, which was billed as providing information on Oracle Database 11gR2 that Oracle themselves wouldn't provide. Not that Oracle is necessarily hiding anything - it's just that the database has so much information that some little bits of documented information get lost in the shuffle. (Hopefully that's not a problem with the actual data that's being stored.)

As is usual during the Unconference sessions, and even during the general sessions, much of the information went over my head. In case you didn't know, I'm a product marketer, not a database architect. So when Morgan mentioned Data Pump and SecureFiles, I could nod my head in understanding, but when he got into specific SQL commands and packages and stuff, I was glad that I wasn't being quizzed on the material.

But at the end of his presentation, after he had reviewed a lot of Oracle Database 11gR2 features and discussed their relationships to 11gR1, Oracle 9i, and earlier releases, Morgan concluded with an observation that I captured in 140 character form:

daniel morgan at #oow09 - some run #11gR2 in the same way that they ran 7.3.4 - don't fear future

In fact, Morgan said that he actually feared the people who were still stuck in 7.3.4 mode.


Needless to say, this doesn't only apply to adoption of database features. While I readily admit that I am not trendy, that doesn't necessarily mean that I'm a complete Luddite. While adoption of a new technology should clearly have a benefit (one doesn't just adopt new technology for new technology's sake), you should definitely adopt a technology if that benefit is clear. And if you're avoiding the technology, you need to have a good reason why.

I'd be willing to bet that 99% of the people who are truly expert in Oracle databases would agree that Oracle Database 11gR2 offers clear benefits over Oracle Database 7.3.4. And that the latest version of Excel offers clear benefits over the first version of VisiCalc. And that a Honda Accord offers clear benefits over a Model T.

So my question to the readers of this post - are there cases in which it is NOT beneficial to adopt a new technology, even if the new technology offers clear benefits over the old?

Sound off in the comments.
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