Starting tomorrow (16th of Januari) the first edition of Oracle OpenWorld London takes place in the ExCeL International Exhibition Centre. This two-day event is a mini version of its bigger brother annually held in San Francisco. Today, on the same day as the historic defeat of the Brexit deal, I traveled from my home in Utrecht (Netherlands) to London (UK).
It is also the day that I started recording vlogs in which I take the viewer on my journey to conference, showcasing what you you can aspect when visiting them. So everything I’m writing down in this blog will also be part of my first vlog, which will be available below once I edited the content I shot into a single video.
My day started around 6 O’clock in the morning as I needed to still pack some of my stuff to bring with me and off course I needed to shoot my introduction for my vlog. After packing my stuff and had some breakfast I drove by car to the long parking garage nearby Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, where I reserved a spot linked on my licence plate. Off course I took the time to record this procedure for my vlog.
Normally this is a 35 minute drive, but encountered some extra traffic which took me 10 minutes longer to arrive. From the parking place I got on the free bus that takes you to the departure gates in about 5 to 10 minutes. At around 8:40 I arrived at my check-in gate and within 10 minutes I was through airport security and ready to board BA flight 8496. As I still had an hour to spare I bought a sandwich and a cup of coffee, recorded some video and chilled for some time.
Eventually at 10:20 (CET) the airplane departed from Amsterdam and with a flight of exactly an hour I arrived at London City Airport on 10:20 (GMT). So no waste of time at all :). From the airport I took an Uber to the IBIS Docklands hotel just across the ExCel centre. Luckly for me I was able to immediately check-in, even if it was still only 11:15 and went up to my room on the 8th floor.
So, what to do now…. as I was invited for the speaker dinner organised by Oracle that evening at 7 O’clock I had quite some time to spend on being a tourist. I decided to take the public transport (DRL and Jubilee) and visit the London Bridge, Big Ben, London Eye, Downing Street and walk around the river Thames.
As mentioned today was the day the UK House of Commons would vote for the Brexit deal that was negotiated, and we all know now that most of the votes where against the deal. This was very visible on Downing Street where all the protesters came together. I was really something historic. In 10 years if someone ask me where I was that day, I can say that I was there standing 30 meters from the protesters and the journalists of BBC and CNN.
I went back to the hotel around 16:15 and once back I refreshed myself and chilled on the bed watching TV. Is it me or are all the major networks showing the same kind of old fashioned quiz shows (mostly sponsored by the same bingo lottery). It’s like the UK is 5 years behind on modern TV content, it felt really dated and dusty.
At 19:00 the speaker dinner was planned at Goodmans on Canary Wharf, an Amarican steakhouse. I took the public transport somewhat early as the Winter Lights festival in Jubilee Park started today and I wanted to take some time to enjoy that. I was really impressed by all the awesome (neon) lights.
Once arrived at the restaurant I was the first one there, not really an issue as I always have my phone with me, and waited for the others to arrive. In total I think the size of the group was about 20 people. I realized very quickly that the people I usually meet where not there. The people at the dinner where 95% Oracle, which means I’m the only speaker solely presenting a session at OpenWorld London this year and that’s a real honor. (Yes Luis Weir I know you are presenting to, but you’re doing a Co-op panel session with three other people ;))
I had a very good time tonight, talked with some interesting Oracle staff member I never met before. Once most people left I got a Uber ride back with some Oracle guys to the hotel.
Tomorrow is going to be an interesting day. Really looking forward to the first day of the conference. Will be shooting a lot of content for my upcoming YouTube channel.
P.s. I will update this blog tomorrow with some picture to light up the blog.