Earlier in the year while digging into AWR Warehouse internals I noticed that POUG (Pint with/Polish Oracle User Group depending on who you ask) had opened their call for papers so on impulse I submitted an abstract and thought no more about it.
I was surprised to receive a response that I could attend as a reserve speaker, they hoped I wasn’t too disappointed. I don’t think they realized I considered this the perfect outcome, an opportunity to attend a fantastic conference without the pressure of having to present.
A couple of weeks before the conference I received some disturbing news, one of their speakers had dropped out, and would be presenting. I would actually have to work for my conference ticket!
The conference itself was everything I had hoped for and more. It was held in a microbrewery so there was free flow beer for the duration which really contributed to the relaxed social atmosphere. All the organizers and staff were great, in particular Kamil’s enthusiasm was complemented by Luiza’s attention to detail. They were so accommodating and had added so many personalized touches to how I was treated. Likely because of this they had also attracted a top list of A-list speakers.
One thing I hadn’t expected was the support from the other speakers. As a first time presenter I received reassuring words from many, but in particular those from Neil Chandler and Jim Czuprynski really helped calm my nerves.
In summary if you have yet to present at a conference then consider submitting a paper, you never know what might happen. Also if you ever get the opportunity to attend a future POUG conference then don’t hesitate to go.