Friday, May 19, 2017

DOAG APEX Connect 2017 and beyond


First of all, I would like to thank all people that were involved in the making of APEX Connect. We all know that it takes tremendous amount of (private) time to pull this off. Also, a big “thank you” goes to all sponsors and attendees to make this all possible. I truly love this community.

In 2017, we had around 300 attendees at APEX Connect, which I find great. I personally believe that APEX Connect will not grow as rapidly and it doesn’t need to. As the name implies, Connect is all about bringing the APEX community together and learning from each other, both personally and technically. For me, it feels like a small family that is having a reunion.

This edition of Connect was a blast and I received a lot of positive feedback from the community through different channels:

“APEX Connect is one of the best APEX and Oracle Database Developer conferences on the planet.  I thought the quality of the sessions was very high and the topics were very diverse beyond APEX, including SQL, ORDS and Database Development (and even Docker!).  It was also impressive that you had presenters from so many countries - England, Netherlands, USA, Canada, Poland, Belgium, Finland, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and others.  It was a fascinating collection of cultures and people coming together, and this is a community that I'm very proud to be a part of.  Many thanks to you and the entire DOAG organization for making this happen. Oh...and for the record, I loved that it was in Berlin and at a modern hotel like the nhow.  There is such a high energy in Berlin and I think it's an exciting place for the APEX community to convene.” - Joel Kallman

“It was great being at APEX Connect - I was impressed by the variety and depth of the sessions that were offered, there’s definitely a lot to learn at APEX Connect, even if you’re an experienced APEX developer. And of course it was great seeing everyone and catching up.” - Marc Sewtz

“Niels, thanks again for inviting me to speak at this year's APEX Connect--or should I say this: āˈpěks kəˈnekt. I had a blast.” - Bryn Llewellyn

“It was a pleasure to personally meet you all at #APEXconn17! Great #orclapex event, great people!” - Bartosz Ostrowski

“Thanks a lot to @nielsdb and the @DOAGeV team for the great #APEXConn17” - Alain Lacour

The quality of the presentations was at a high level and presenters got the possibility to receive feedback from their audience through a nice APEX app. Even though we were in Berlin again, this city has a lot to offer and some took some private time before or after the conference to explore it. The venue in Berlin still appeals to me, but going forward we will rotate between locations. So, next stop will be in a new venue in Düsseldorf.

The presentations from national and international speakers received great feedback. We are always looking for speakers and particularly for first-time speakers -  so think about submitting a paper for the next APEX Connect conference! Before submitting, have a look into Scott Spendolini's blog posting (URL) with some great advice, how a good paper submission should look like:

https://spendolini.blogspot.de/2013/11/presentation-advice.html

We got some feedback and had some vital discussions on conference pricing, particularly on the prices for end users vs. IT-service providers. I would like to take the opportunity to explain the guidelines a bit, which DOAG uses to calculate conference prices. DOAG does not strive to make profit out of APEX Connect, but makes sure that all costs are covered. The necessary income for APEX Connect comes partly from the membership fees, but mainly from the events held throughout the year. At the end of the year, all costs of DOAG have to be covered. If there is a surplus, this money is then reinvested in future events or IT-infrastructure. With APEX Connect, there was a surplus, but only because the costs for staff was not accounted for. If you would take into consideration the number of working hours put into this event from DOAG staff, believe me, there is no surplus. Even worse, DOAG takes the risk of such a conference. So, if for some reason, only 200 people would have attended, DOAG will take the bill for this.

This year, DOAG tried to take the IT-service providers more accountable, so that we can keep the pricing down for users coming from end-customers. DOAG already made very good experiences with this new pricing model from other events. However, with APEX Connect, there were also many questions from IT service providers. The Executive Board of DOAG will evaluate these and reconsider the pricing model if necessary.

So now the work starts over again to make APEX Connect in 2018 even better. If you would like to participate in the organisation of this great event, just drop me an e-mail. Also, I’m always open for suggestions, so let me know by e-mail what you think of the conference and how we can further improve it.

BTW: all uploaded APEX Connect slides are freely available with just one mouse click:

http://docs.doag.org/2017/apex/2017-APEX-Connect-Dokumente_Vortraege.zip.

Yes, it’s true, you don’t have to be a DOAG member or register to gain knowledge about APEX! Many thanks to DOAG for this kind gesture.

CU at APEX Connect in 2018.