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TF_speaking_twitter-01This year’s UKOUG TechFest 19 conference is over.  The first time in a number of years where the user group conference hasn’t been a combined Tech, Apps and JD Edwards event.  I have to admit that I was a little concerned with the separation of Tech and Apps as some of the tech stack overlaps for the two groups – for example, Integration Cloud.

That said, the situation being what it was, I got involved with the committee for planning the event including inheriting the stream lead responsibilities for Dev (in the sense of modern development e.g. microservices etc) and what had been historically referred to as middleware (Integration Cloud, Digital Assistant, Helidon, WebLogic) with a lot of support and input from Mark Simpson, Grant Ronald and Susan Duncan.

From my perspective, I  don’t think there was a concern (and this isn’t an attempt at being self-congratulatory) as the hard graft is done by the UKOUG office staff.

As the number of people was smaller, we had a smaller venue rather than the ICC in Birmingham or the ACC Convention Centre in Liverpool – which actually worked out well. The problem of the ICC and particularly the ACC is that main community spaces had been very large as a result atmosphere suffered. This time the Grand Hotel in Brighton was really busy and vibrant as a result.

Reception Desk


We had a good blend of sessions covering traditional integration, low code, cloud, microservices, API, UI with people from customers, partners and Oracle travelling in from all over Europe and the US to participate and present.

In terms of my presentations and the ones, I managed to see, I’d particularly recommend checking out in the UKOUG library …

  • Performance Issue? Machine Learning to the Rescue! – Maarten Smeets
  • Solutions for Bi-Directional Integration Between Oracle RDBMS and Apache Kafka – Guido Schmutz
  • Observable Microservices with Helidon – Tomas Langer
  • Migrating Monolithic Apps and the Hidden Complexities of MicroServices Development – Kuassi Mensah

This year I had hoped to present just the once but ended up presenting on three of the four days. This came about as I submitted a couple of different papers so that I had a better chance of having something selected – it ended up with both submissions then being selected (again the outcome of a collective effort).  Then we had a presenter having to withdraw at the last minute. So stepped in with a session based on the meetups we’ve been organizing. As it turned out there was a loosely coupled continuum to my three sessions – from API Best Practise, through Drones with APIS and into gRPC, GraphQL, or REST which way to go.  The links to the slides are at the bottom of this post.

The UKOUG Events always have strong support from the Oracle Ace community, as a result, an Ace dinner takes places along with an Ace only briefing and announcements session.  The announcements made included who had been accepted into the community as an Associate or promoted to an Ace or Ace Director. Well, I am very pleased to say I have now been promoted to Ace Director.

The good news for Capgemini doesn’t end there…

  • our own Amy Grange picked up the award for Best New Speaker (see page 9),
  • James Neate has been invited to join the Ace programme,
  • Jason Lester has contributed to an article in the latest edition of the UKOUG journal PTK (https://ukoug.org/page/issue72apps)

My presentation material: