Friday, August 16, 2013

PDVBV is alive....(and for hire!)

As some of you already know: I quit my "job" and started as an "indie".

I am now officially a mercenary: you can hire me.

The name of my new entity : PDVBV s.p.r.l/b.v.b.a.
The name is a reference towards my dutch-language heritage, the designation signify a belgian "Limited" company.

My aim is to look for jobs similar in content to what I did as a wage-slave: Part-time, advisory and troubleshooting jobs. I dont mind travel (on the contrary) and I would not want to be linked to a desk for 5 days permanently.
I'm lucky, my first customer-assignement is just what I wanted.

I'll update the blogs, my resume, Twitter, Linked-in, facebook etc... when time and usefulness permit (wanted to do that much earlier, but life is too short to mess with the internet all the time)
I may even start a PDVBV page somewhere.

Suffice to say : I should have done this much earlier.

The main reason to become indie is that I can now decide for my self where and how I can use the fruits of my labour. I notably dont have to tow party lines anymore (although...), and I can decide all by myself to plan/budget any visit to a conference or usergroup or any interesting gathering.
The straw that broke my camel's back: in-ability of previous employer to pay for a visit to the Scotland UKOUG event (or any other event for that matter).

I've taken back my freedom.

First trip: I intend to visit the AIM SIG of UKOUG in October. Look forward to meet some old friends there.

Given the development of my client-base, I already regret that I turned down invitations of SIOUG and HROUG. No worries: I'll make good next year, may even try to go by Motorbike - After all those years crossing the alps by car, I feel like riding a bike over those passes for a change.

Note: I currently ride a motorbike for Fun and necessity, but after handing in the company-cage, using a motorbike to commute to work feels quite liberating (at least for the summer).

(ps: I almost regret all the jokes I made about "urenzuigers", I risk becoming one of those myself).

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Commodity or Simplicity ?

Just had a good chat with Anjo -MiracleBV-YAPP- Kolk, and we got some good soundbytes and possibly a presentation topic:

1st: IT is now a commodity, but that doesnt necessarily mean that IT is more simple.

For business (outsource-)decision makers this means that outsourcing IT to the cheapest provider is means exactly that: Cheap (and nothing else, let alone anything would work as expected - to make anything work is an Extra $$$).

2nd: Ppl are used to app-store style solutions.

We should keep that in mind when building customer faceing systems.
If it doesnt work immediately, the user will simply try to download another app. If there is no friedlier alternative, the user will become very unhappy, and possibly do a Youp[link].

Read the Title again: if you have the choice between "Commodity" and "Simplicity".
Simplicity may work better.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

UKOUG TEBS Impressive Agenda

You probably got the buzz already: everyone is on about the UKOUG TEBS conference agenda.

Drum roll, ... Tadaaa....

Sorry, not my idea of a graphic, but hey, it is a Notable Event
(with apologies for the noisy image, I just linked through to the official site)

UKOUG: United Kingdom Oracle User Group
TEBS: Technical and E-Business Suite
Conference: the annual gathering of Nerds and Marketing-folks in Birmingham.

Indeed: an impressive line up of speakers and topics, and if all goes well, I will be there. Look forward to meeting up with old and new friends from UK and elsewhere.

Update: found this "image", much nicer, to link to the conference, and more appropriate for this sort of self-promoting bragpost:
There you go: click here for more information on the event....

I am not going to repeat how a UKOUG event is a better "training" then just any training, and why this particular Usergroup is worth your budget. Suffice to say the inormation is mostly unbiased and from real-world Experience, not just powerpointware. And in between sessions you get to meet some RAC (Real Appliation Customers).
You can also count on meeting a large contingent of the Oaktable there, always good for some insight and some entertainment.

And finally: this year my employer has a significant Presence as well: 7 (yes, seven!) presentations by colleagees. And that may mean I also have a minimum of 6 people in the room when I do mine [link] at 16:00 on the final day of the event. The organizers seem to count on me to hold some of the attendees in the building until the very end of the event.

See the full agenda Here.

Speaking of Agendas: I will also be presenting at HROUG and OUGF(inland) as well. Have a click to see what those events have to offer. (note to self: must update agenda to the right of the blog...)

Disclaimer: I am not getting paid to post this, and Oracle does not pay for my travel. But I do hope for an invitate to the blogger-event and a few drinks from those who are sponsored. Cheers.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

UKOUG TEBS Conference Abstract Judging.

Too Curious. I always optimistically volunteer to help in the judging/grading process for the UKOUG conference.

When reading abstracts, I look for User-experiences that are either Relevant to a larger group, or simply Interesting to myself. Good marks go to presentations that have practical experience behind them, to those relevant for a large group, or to those that I simply find interesting.

Low marks for those seem to have no-purpose, for the ones that sound like "summary of the manual", and especially for the ones that are product-presentations rather then User-experiences.

The process is straightforward:
You get a long list of title-links, ticklist style.
You click on one, out pops a window with the abstract.
You can then rate it from "poor" to "excellent", you need to indicate salespitch yes-no-unsure, and you can enter some comment-text (hah!).

So you click + read + grade your way through the list till all boxes are ticked. It takes me, overhead/coffee/distractions included, just under 1 min per abstract, and I had to do about 200. It is both intense and scary work.

Intense, because you have 200 words, and need to find out what is behind them. Decide how relevant, how useful this could turn out to be.

Halfway, after the first 100 or so you need a break.

It is also Scary. The majority of the content is Good Quality, relevant to a larger (sometimes smaller) audience, and most of it stems from real-world experience.
Impressive and promising. And competitive! I hope at least some merciful souls out there will rate one of my own two abstracts enough to get me into accepted (yes, this is a tout!).

And even if I can present (and thus visit) at the conference, I'll still be faced with the luxury problem of choice: there are way to many that I absolutely want to see. I know from past experience that you miss out on a number of must-see items because they will be scheduled simultaneously.

I like doing this judging job (well, once per year is OK) as it shows what people are busy with or at least what they want to talk about.

And being a hopeful submitter myself, I assume that some have put their very soul into crafting those abstracts. And for some (me included) it is vital to get at least one paper admitted otherwise the boss will not pay for the event and the trip. Hence, I try to treat all of them fairly and with much respect.

But there are some, a minority, where I copy-paste one of my pre-typed comments. Tempted to give some examples, but first: end of break and back to the tick-list.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Thanks Ron

I had no idea what he was up to.
And not used to have a (Yellow, Logica-)spotlight turned towards me unexpectedly.

Irony is difficult to convey on a blog, but Thx Ron!
(Should I look for a Thank-You sign in clip art, nah, sun shining outside....)
I'll handle the fallout on Monday, if time permits.

(and I'll get you for this Ron!)

Actually: the next blog was supposd to elaborate on the jury-process and other topics related to UKOUG Conference in Birminham.

That is the more important thing for the coming months:
How to get a flipping manager to pay for my trips/presentations to SIOUG, to Moscow, to Croatian-Usergroup, to Birminham and if possible one or two UKOUG SIGs.
The ever lasting struggle for the (non-existing) budget garded by the beancounters...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

UKOUG TEBS call for papers

As a conference- and event-groupie, I have to do this: Shout to the world about upcoming events. Here is one:

I just received an email that the Call for Papers for the UKOUG Conference Series Technology and E-Business Suite 2010 has opened. The submission deadline is 2nd August, so you still have some time. The event itself is from 28th November to 1st Devember in Birmingham.

From my experience I can only say that this is the best European Oracle event around, so if you want to be part of it: Just do it! Submit your abstracts here:

With Thanks to colleage Roel Hartman for providing me the blog-content - I was too lazy to type it myself.

All jokes aside, next few weeks I'll be visiting a lot of events, and speaking at some, and I hope to see some of you there!

If you hesitate about submitting: Don't think too long, Submit!
As Jonathan Lewis pointed out on his blog, the event wants to cater or both the "experienced" and the not-so-blase.

My own take is: pick your best achievement or your worst nightmare of the last 12 months, and tell us about it. (End-)User experience is what counts, in any shape or form.

Later in the year, there are a few less-known events that are very much worth the trip too: SIOUG on the Adriatic, Planboard in Holland.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Schedule of events

Rush jobby blog, with some shameless touts.
But since everyone else is doing it all the time: here is my schedule for April and May.

I will skip MOW2010, partly for budget-reasons, partly for lack of time and partly because there is so much else to do, but still: Recommended!

My Manager (boss) and my project managers (more bosses) keep reminding me there is actual work to do.
Dont I know it: I just spent Easter-weekend on a cutover. But all seems to go smooth. The few problems we have are of the human kind, and I now have time to write in between the babysitting of the new systems.

I _am_ going to the UKOUG Northern Server Tech Day in Leeds on 29 April and hope to catch up with a few buddies from the UK (I did spend 1 year in Leeds, many months in Sheffield and Manchester, and almost 3 years in Newcastle, so "The North" got to feel a bit like home to me).

In May, there is first the Seminar with Chris Date on 13 and 14th (see earlier blog).

Then there is EMEA-Harmony event in Talinn.

And finally the UKOUG Scotland Conference Series in Glasgow.

Hope to see a good number of you all on one or more of these events.


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