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Mastering Oracle Trace Data seminar with Cary Millsap

As I mentioned before, Cary Millsap was over in Europe recently and included a short trip to London to deliver his 1-day Mastering Oracle Trace Data seminar.

By the time I found out, it was a little late to organise an onsite at my current client's place and in this business climate it's difficult to get a number of people out of the office at the same time. However, Cary did me a favour and was good enough to come into the office post-lunch and give people a taster, which wowed people (he always does) and was much appreciated, based on the subsequent feedback.

But I was determined that the newest member of our team, Sana Ahmed, and I would attend the full seminar the next day. Sana is the intern on the team. (Actually, that's just a running joke. She used to be an intern on our team but is now a fully paid-up graduate employee and a super-smart one at that!)

So after a sleep-over at my place, Cary was fully rested for what turned out to be quite a long walk to the course venue! The worst bit was the final part of the trek, after we picked up the heaviest bag on the planet containing the course notes and T-shirts!*

However, it was well worth it, because the course notes were one of the best aspects of the course. Rather than having a flat copy of his slides which would be shoved to the back of a shelf and remain untouched until the next house move (we've all been there surely?), he produced a lovely miniature book containing a detailed article about each section. (Apologies for the lousy photo but I'm sure you'll get the idea. The production and typesetting are really first class ...)

There are several benefits of this approach :-

1) I know from personal experience on both sides of the Overhead Projector (man - remember them?!) that there's a pretty severe limitation on just how much information you can absorb effectively in a day while just listening to someone. This way, you can go back and check after the course that you understood things correctly.

2) It's a book, so you can read it on a train or a plane or in the bath and I, for one, find important information much easier to absorb from a paper copy.

3) You can get a lot more information from the course than any human being could take you through verbally.

Throw in Cary's usual top-notch presentation style and a limited personal license for the tools used on the course and it all seemed like a bit of a bargain to me. I know Sana had lots of fun! In fact, I'll finish with a couple of quotes from my memory of the chat conversations at work ...

- "Your friend is really cool" ;-)
- "I don't understand how people can work on this stuff without understanding how it all really works."

She'll go a long way! Here's a class snap with me pulling a stupid face, as usual. Sigh

*Yep, that's my position in the Oracle community finally sealed - Cary Millsap's book-carrier! ;-)