Monday, May 11, 2015

Riding, this time to SROUG and BGOUG.

Here we go again: some shameless self-promotion, and a nice long motorcycle-ride in search of Knowledge.

I plan to visit (and speak, to justify the trip) at SrOUG and BgOUG.

The logos of those usergroups look like this:

alt text..


But my main reason for this blogpost is of course to publish the route. Once this is published, I am committed, I have to Go!

The intended route is here on googlemaps, that is the efficient version. Of course, I will try some extra Kms over enjoyable (mountain-)roads if I can.

Romantic version Here (dreaming...)

(not realistic, but one can dream...)

But I also have a schedule to keep, and some work to do.

Last year (link to routes..) , my "mistake" was to try and see too much and I have spent several days hurrying to be on time. Racing back from Helsinki to Debrechen, resulting slightly exhausted rides over the beautiful Transalpina and Transfagarasan passes.

This year, I will take more time to see things and talk to people (and taste coffee and local food).

During the this trip I will also work part-time for one customer (have to carry the extra laptop...) for which I will set up a base from a hotel/apartment in Zemun. And I will have some spare time to visit friends, events, interesting landmarks, or even customers if they occur.
Both Croatia and Slovenia are in easy riding distance, and I know there are some brilliant roads there as well.

Drop me a line if you want to meet. good Ideas, good Discussions, good Coffee: Anything can be an excuse to meet. Wifi and safe motorcycle parking are essential though.

Soo Ready..

Thursday, October 02, 2014

The Next Mission.

While all of you are running / swimming / drinking / shopping / dancing at the OOW party in SF, I'm planning my next trip.  Just another work-mission of course.

I will be speaking at and usergroup conferences together with some some old friends and lots in interesting new people that I look forward to meeting.

Check the links to the conferences here. SIOUG is in Lubljana, the lovely capital of Slovenia:

And HROUG is in Rovinj, on the Adriatic coast:

This trip will not be as long as expedition I did last summer, visiting 3 conferences, doing 12000km including some classic mountain passes. But I still look forward to riding a lot of interesting roads on the motorcycle.

Here is the approximate route-plan for the coming weeks:

the route.. click to enlarge

If anyone who lives along the route wants a quick consulting visit or simply has good coffee, drop me a note. I always like to stop by hospitable folks (and I may need to dry some clothes if the weather isn't cooperating)

In case of moderate weather, I will have to use the toll-roads and tunnels like everybody else, but if the weather is good, I will search out some real motorcycle roads !

Best thing I ever did: re-start my motorcycle-life after so many years!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Live to Ride....

Agenda Update! Here is what I plan to do in the next two months...
(remind me to update the list to the right... I'm not very disciplined blogger these days - will try to prioritize soon...)

As some of you know, I plan to visit several OUG events by Motorbike. Start date is 24 May, leaving from Spa, B. And return on the 23rd to The Hague, back to work (if I'm still in one piece, if my customers will still have me, if my colleagues havnt filled my seats..)

Firstly, the Bike (I named her Beauty-Case, you can check why) the Bike gets a large maintenance and new tyres (rear tyre is in dire need, I ride it way too much...). After I break in the tyres, it is off to the East, leaving on 24th.

If it all works out, than this is approximately the proposed route (c/o Google maps, right-click to new tab to zoom):

Of course, I'm posting the map with a purpose: If you live along the route and fancy a coffee or light meal, drop me a line.

First destination is SrOUG, which runs from 28 to 30May:

click to check them out....

Next is a trek north, through Hungaria, Slovakia, Poland, then the Via Baltica through Latvia and  Lithuania, on to Talinn in Estonia, where I have a Tallink ferry to catch for Helsinki.

OUGF happens at Haltia (google it!) on 05 and 06Jun.

After OUGF, which includes a night of Camping (Glamping, I hope), it is Ferry again to Tallin, and a trek south to Sandanski (that is surprisingly close to Greece, so yeah; South). Sandanski is where BGOUG takes place from 13 to 15Jun.

Proud to display this logo:

Then it is back to The Hague where, on 23Jun, I hope to take up residence in a new(ly rented) apartment with a nice View!

And back to work - the finance-chief of PDVBV (that is me!) will want me to fill the coffers after such a splash (and I might need a new rear tyre again).

BTW: Cross  fingers that the Internet connection at the apartment works by then. Imagine returning "home" after 9000km and no connectivity to brag about it...

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.


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