Hello, world. Welcome to my blog.
If you found this page, then you're probably already aware of our annual big event, the Hotsos Symposium, which we're hosting March 2-6 this year in Las Colinas (just outside of Dallas). Preparation for that event is where most of my time's going these days.
One friend suggested to me that people might find it interesting if I told the story of how the performance symposium idea started (thanks, Marco).
It actually all began back in January 1998, when I was still at Oracle Corporation. Through much internal sales-pitching, I was able to convince my SVP to let me host an event we called the "International Symposium on System Architecture Services." We had roughly 140 people show up, all Oracle employees who had gathered to discuss issues that DBAs and architects and their managers would find interesting. We held the event at the Hilton DFW Airport hotel in Grapevine. Our party featured watching Super Bowl XXXII on a huge screen in our auditorium. I watched John Elway lead the winning drive with my then one-year-old son parked on my lap.
In the welcome address the next morning, I told the general assembly that I had hoped this event would (1) "spark your imagination," (2) "grow your personal worth," (3) "grow your business," and (4) "build professional community." I introduced Sandy Sanderson, SVP of Oracle Consulting and my boss at the time, who would deliver the keynote for the event. And then I promptly boarded a plane for a client site I was responsible for taking care of. I missed my own event.
I hosted the second event in July 1999, this time at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. We had 36 presentations given in two days within four parallel tracks, featuring people like Michael Erwin, Mogens Nørgaard, Virag Saksena, Espen Braekken, Jim Littlefield, Graham Wood, Dominic Delmolino, Curt Bennett, and many others. Our keynote speaker was Dr. Daniel Menascé from George Mason University, who spoke to us about his work in computer systems capacity planning.
I did actually attend this one. I remember it being a beautiful show; absolutely inspirational. But I had a secret at the time: I was leaving Oracle. My departure date was going to be October 1999, but I couldn't tell anyone yet. My boss knew, but I had committed to a plan that prohibited my divulging my departure to anyone else until later. I can remember walking the halls of the event feeling pretty nervous about leaving a great job at Oracle--where I could host events like this--to start up a new company.
In October 1999, we created Hotsos. Thus ended the performance symposium business for a while.
In 2002, we decided our company was healthy enough to take the plunge. We'd host an event in Dallas on February 10-12, 2003. Our small business had to make a pretty breathtaking commitment to our hotel for guaranteed room nights in order to secure the conference facilities. But people came. This time, we had a 2.5-day, 2-track model featuring Anjo Kolk, Jonathan Lewis, Tom Kyte, Mogens again, Stephan Haisley, Gaja Vaidyanatha, Wolfgang Breitling, Kyle Hailey, Steven Feuerstein, and Julian Dyke. Oh, and me. I gave the keynote entitled "The Future of Performance Tuning ...Or Else."
Since our first Hotsos Symposium held February 2003, we've hosted an event each year in Dallas, where we've been able to attract over 400 professionals looking to dedicate their week to stimulating themselves with new ideas about Oracle performance. Now, we book the event each March, so we won't collide with the RMOUG Training Days show (Denver) held in February every year. We've kept our focus on Oracle performance, and with our small 2-track agenda, I think we've been able to keep our standards of quality high.
My hope is that you find us consistently able to put some of the best researchers and speakers in our field on stage for you. One accomplishment I enjoy considering is that we've been able to create a channel for introducing new talent into your span of perception. I'm very proud of our affiliation with people like Steve Adams, Jonathan Lewis, our late friend Lex de Haan, Anjo Kolk, Kyle Hailey, Tanel Põder, Jože Senegacnik, Andy Zitelli, Toon Koppelaars, Chris Antognini, Wolfgang Breitling, Doug Burns, Stephan Haisley, Jarod Jensen, Tapio Lahdehmäki, and many others, whom we've helped introduce to you. Maybe you've met (or will meet) some of these folks for the first time through us.
In Hotsos Symposium 2008, our sixth annual Hotsos show, it's my turn again to deliver the keynote address. I'll spend a half hour or so reprising some of the ideas I opened up to you in that first Symposium in 2003. Let me know if you have ideas for that keynote that you'd like me to consider.
My overall hope for the event is that again we'll help you accomplish the goals we set out to achieve in that very first event I hosted ten long years ago: to (1) spark your imagination, (2) grow your personal worth, (3) grow your business, and (4) build professional community. I'll look forward to seeing you there.