Published in the president's column of the Summer 2005 edition of RMOUG SQL>Update. As there is no electronic copies available online prior to 2009, I have pulled this from my email records.
Training Days 2005
It just keeps getting better and better!
I’m referring to the “Training Days” (TD) conference just completed in February, but the statement applies as well to all of RMOUG’s activities. By now, most of you are aware that TD is a year-round effort. Back in November 2004, we had already scheduled TD2006 for February 15-16 2006 at the Colorado Convention Center, and even that was a near thing. We almost found ourselves without our preferred dates in February, sixteen months in advance. As the Colorado Convention Center is the only choice we have for a crowd our size, we have to take what is provided or cancel the conference. And because TD2006 will be held on the days following Valentine’s Day, we’re going to try to schedule TD2007 as far in advance as possible, in hopes of finding a set of dates that as few people as possible can object to.
So, at the end of February, Peggy King — the director of the conference for the second year (email: TrainingDaysDir@rmoug.org) — held a “post-mortem” meeting to assess what was right and what was wrong. The goal, of course, is to repeat the good things and avoid the bad things. Sounds simple, but when something is as big as a conference for almost 1,000 people, a year apart, it takes focused effort to sort out what worked from what didn’t. At the end of March, Peggy is planning the closing meeting for the TD2005 committee, which will indicate that the planning effort for TD2006 has begun. It is a mammoth effort, and ever since 1996 when TD became a 2-day event, RMOUG has been blessed with incredible leadership to plan, organize, and execute this conference. With the scope of the conference now encompassing the entire world, we are all incredibly lucky to have this event occurring annually right here in Colorado.
Further, RMOUG is one of the largest, if not the largest, local Oracle users groups in the world. There are national-level organizations like IOUG and UKOUG, but RMOUG is a “grass-roots” organization, focused on where its members live and work.
Also, if you monitor global email forums like ORACLE-L (history at “http://www.orafaq.com/maillist/oracle-l.htm”), then you are aware of the global reputation that the “Training Days” conference has built over the 14 years it has been presented. While I am paraphrasing comments made casually, I think that it is safe to say that RMOUG’s “Training Days” conference is ranked among the best educational opportunities for Oracle technical professionals worldwide, along with:
- IOUG “Live”
- Hotsos Symposium
- RMOUG “Training Days”
- Oracle OpenWorld
- OAUG “Now”
Of these, only RMOUG is controlled by unpaid volunteers and only RMOUG can be considered a “grass-roots” organization. We hire “Your Conference Connection” (http://www.teamycc.com) to assist with the massive logistics of the conference, but the direction and composition of the conference is controlled entirely by the users group volunteers.
Over the coming year, we’re going to be holding quarterly meetings (email: ProgramsDir@rmoug.org) and producing our award-winning newsletters (email: NewsletterDir@rmoug.org). We’re also going to be enhancing our website and expanding our online opportunities to provide RMOUG members with services on our servers (email: ISDir@rmoug.org). It is a slow process, but we are making excellent progress. And we need everyone’s help.
RMOUG is fortunate to have volunteers who serve as the board of directors, who plan and run the “Training Days” conference, and who help with our website and our growing information systems. We are also incredibly fortunate to have Heidi Kuhn as the public face and hands running RMOUG. But we can always use more faces and hands!
Over the next year, if the gods of the Internal Revenue Service are willing, we should be able to convert RMOUG as a corporation into a genuine charitable non-profit organization under section 501-c-3 of the IRS code. This accounting change won’t cause any change to the activities that RMOUG does now, as RMOUG has always behaved as a non-profit charitable organization. But achieving the official status as such will enable more and better benefits for members in future. One example is the realization of the promise of our information systems for direct access by all members for educational purposes. Currently, RMOUG cannot afford to buy the necessary software licenses from Oracle or other software vendors to permit usage by members. However, as a non-profit, RMOUG would be able to accept donations of software from vendors like Oracle. Wouldn’t it be amazing to actually have the RMOUG website utilze Oracle’s Portal and HTML-DB, with an Oracle database supporting it all? Wouldn’t it be great to provide access to RMOUG’s servers for all members, so that one of the benefits of RMOUG membership is ready access to hosted Oracle software? That is the goal which has been unavailable to RMOUG for years, and to which we are working this year.
Election of a new board of directors
At our May 20 2005 general meeting, we will be electing a new board of directors. You will be seeing emails from our announcement email list soon, all the up to the election. If you have any interest in participating more actively with the largest and most active local Oracle users group in the world, please keep watch for the announcement emails or simply email me directly at “President@rmoug.org”.
We elect a new board of directors every year. It ensures that we have a fresh start, that nobody is trapped into same role for too long. Best of all, annual elections provide the opportunity for our volunteers and members to shape the organization as they wish.
Everyone is welcome and everyone can have a role. Its been said that when you want something done, look for the busy person. We’re looking for the busy people who are already known for a tendency to accomplish, or who want to be known as such, the people who want to be relied upon to carry this experiment in grass-roots professional education forward.
Please keep a watchful eye for election information on our website (http://www.RMOUG.org) and for emails from our ANNOUNCE@RMOUG.ORG email list. Please try to attend the May general meeting in order to vote, and please consider increasing your involvement with RMOUG. It will reward you.