Busy October

Yesterday I got wonderful news that after all I will be able to attend the 20th anniversary conferences of SIOUG and HrOUG! I have such warm memories of my previous visits that I am more than excited now. This makes my October probably impossible but I will manage, I’m sure.

Oct 7th I will be speaking in Tallinn, Estonia in Oracle Innovation Day (https://eventreg.oracle.com/profile/web/index.cfm?PKWebId=0x2716257259&source=EMEAPM15058233MPP004-EM:SE:IE1:-458959).

Oct 8-9 I will be teaching database design using Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler (http://www.arihovi.com/?kurssi=tietokannan-suunnittelu-data-modelerilla).

Oct 10th I will fly to Slovenia for the SIOUG Conference that will be held in Portoroz Oct 12-13 (http://www.sioug.si/index.php/menu-sioug-2015/vsebine-sioug-2015). Then to Croatia for the HrOUG which will be held in Rovinj in Oct 13-16 (http://2015.hroug.hr/). And in the evening of Oct 16th I will fly back home.

Oct 21st I will fly to San Francisco, USA for the ACE Director briefing at the Oracle HQ and for the Oracle OpenWorld (https://www.oracle.com/openworld/index.html) where I will give two presentations: one whole presentation and one 7 min presentation during the EOUC session “More Than Another 12 on Oracle Database 12c [UGF3190]” on Sunday. After that busy 8 days I will fly home late in the evening of the 29th and will arrive home late in the evening of the 30th.

So that’s about my October :-) It will be busy but extremely fun! I hope to see You in October in one of those events! And I will be speaking about Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler and database design in each of these events :-)

— Heli


In the end of the year I usually make a summary of what has happened during the year and every year it seems to be more exciting that the previous year (which I though was fantastic!). But this year will be a super plus year and I do not know what to do to get next year better :-D

My book came out, I have been speaking in different continents in amazing events, I have learned a lot, I have met a lot of fantastic people,… and much more. BUT… I was elected as the Ambassador for EOUC (EMEA Oracle Users group Community) for the next two years (thank you!!!!) and now I have been nominated as one of the finalists for the Oracle Database Developer Choice Award in Database Design category! This is the first time this award will be given to anybody. I am extremely honored and I am so happy that Oracle is now showing the whole world that they appreciate us database designers! It has been too long that this work has been undervalued. Thank you Steven and the team!

Just like in any election every vote counts! So please, please vote for me: https://community.oracle.com/community/database/awards/db-design-voting .

Thank you for everything and I promise to keep up the work, not because I must but because I simply LOVE it!

— Heli


The traditional Nordic ACE Director Tour was last week in Finland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden organized by local user groups and sponsored by OTN and the Oracle ACE Program. I was not travelling with the ACED team but I presented in my home country Finland and explained the new features of Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler:


I must say it was fun presenting in Finnish for a change! Thank you for inviting me and thank you for attending my session!

I have done other things locally too, even though I have not been in Finland much lately :-)

This is an interview in a local IT magazine, TiVi, about my thoughts on user groups and especially OUGF. This interview came out last week.


To my opinion user groups are still needed and they are the best place to learn and to meet people who can help you to perform better in your job. So if you are not a member yet, please join today. If you do not know where to find the user group, I am happy to help! User groups are all about sharing information and helping each others!

— Heli

#OTNTourLA, the fun part…

I am home after an amazing OTN Tour in Latin America. Thank you all the organizers and sponsors and especially thank you OTN and the Oracle ACE Program!

To me the tour was a great success: my room was almost everytime full and most of my audience did not know about Data Modeler beforehand. Since I know how important database designing is and how excellent tool Data Modeler is, I think it really was worth all the travelling to share that message :-) And I love speaking, seriously.

I was very lucky to have local friends taking the time and effort to show me a little of their country during my very short and tightly scheduled visit. In this post I will share some of those fabulous moments with you…

First Mexico.

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After the busy conference day the user group took us for an amazing dinner. After the meal we were not served coffee but a small cup of hot chocolate! I like this country! This is the area where the restaurant is located:

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The next day Rene and her lovely wife Veronica took us to see the pyramids. We saw some local dancing:

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And of course the pyramids:

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After all the walking and heat we were ready for lunch.

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The lunch made us strong again and we were ready for a party…

We visited the local Venice which offers parties on boat for everybody…

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And even the band joined us… Rene was the best singer, I can tell you!

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After all that party we were ready to sleep but wanted to meet Edward and Dawn for dinner first (I know, we were eating all the time :-) ).

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And then it was time to change the country to… Guatemala…

My first surprise was already at the airport where I was welcomed with beautiful roses. And at the hotel more presents were waiting for me.

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Then lunch

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A little bit of walking around and polishing slides…

And a wonderful (and huge :-) ) dinner with Deiby and his friends.

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Early in the morning we were ready when Deiby came to pick us up from the hotel and the conference started. In the evening the user group took us for a dinner and for some golfing…

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I am a Mentor to Deiby and I take my job very seriously…I mentor in different areas :-)

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And then for a quick visit to El Salvador…

This photo is for Frank Munz..

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El Salvador was a really quick visit. A swim, dinner, conference, dinner and bye-bye. But as little as I had the chance to see this country I could say it is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever seen.

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And the conference venue was just amazing. This is me during the lunch break.

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And here’s some of the speakers in the room I spoke:

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And all the speakers and organizers outside the beautiful venue:

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And to…Panama.

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Hot, humid (during my short visit in Panama I had extremely curly hair, all the time :-) ) ,…

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And time to fly to Ecuador…

A total zero moment for me…

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The 2,8 km altitude was not enough for us so we needed to visit the “little bread” mountain and say hi to Maria:

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This is our happy group:

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Then a conference and flights back home. It was raining in Miami, raining in London but the sun was shining when I got to Helsinki :-D

I was so exhausted I got home. It was an amazing tour but I could not have done anything more. Sorry, Colombia, I skipped you but I would have been too tired to that trip. Now a lot of rest and then it’s time to start planning my trip to the OOW…

#OTNTourLA, Ecuador

The last leg of my OTN LA Tour was Ecuador. It was already interesting enough because of the altitude of Quito: about 3 km! I am not good with high places… But it became even more interesting when we learnt the news about the erupting volcano…

I arrived to Quito on Sunday evening and on the way to the hotel we had a chance to see the active volcano but unfortunately we were not able to stop and take photos. The first evening for me was simply a running nose, one of the symptoms you might get due to the altitude. I was a bit afraid the migraine would hit and I kept drinking a lot of water. The next morning I was very fine: no running nose, no headache. The conference was on Monday and Tuesday and luckily I had some free time on Monday so I was able to attend a fantastic sightseeing tour organized by my friends Paola Pullas and Soraya Reinoso. I visited both the Equators: the historical and the GPS measured. I saw the statue of Virgin Mary on top of the “little bread” mountain and visited the old town.

This conference only had two tracks which guaranteed us a good number of attendees in both parallel sessions. My first session was about Data Modeler and comparing functionalities. The room was quite crowded and the audience was extremely active. I enjoyed that a lot! My second session was 15.30 in the afternoon. The room was quite full again but I could see that the audience was getting a bit tired already after the long two days, just as I was. But they did not let me down: still plenty of questions and very active participations for guessing my number. The one who guessed the right number got my new book, signed ;-)

After the tense day (8.00-19.00!), Paola and her team invited us speakers for a wonderful dinner in a restaurant located on the top of the “little bread” mountain. I was back at the hotel around midnight and my alarm rang at 3.30 to make sure I will make the taxi to the airport at 4.30 to start my long journey home: Miami, London and finally Helsinki….

#OTNTourLA, Panama

The fourth country on my OTN LA Tour: Panama. It is hot and moisture and very friendly. In Panama I gave three talks back to back: designing databases, reporting and comparing. In three hours everything important about Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler! None of my audience was using Data Modeler but they promised to start using it. And why would they not: it is an amazing product and free of any costs!

The venue for the conference was a hotel in a thirteenth biggest mall in the world. Very interesting. I forgot to ask the number of attendees but I did have a good amount in my classes so I was very happy with the numbers, once again. Great conference, good food and wonderful people.

After the conference we had a nice dinner in a restaurant specialized in Panamanian food and we saw a dance performance by local dancers.

Now some rest and next stop will be Ecuador… Let’s hope no issues with volcanoes.

#OTNTourLA, El Salvador

The third leg of my OTN LA Tour was El Salvador. This might be the most beautiful country I have ever visited. Unfortunately my visit here is very short and I had the chance of seeing this beautiful country only through the window of a taxi.

The event was held in the most beautiful venue with beautiful rooms and even a swimming pool. There were a little fewer attendees than in previous countries but I still had a very good audience in all my three presentations and a lot of good questions and conversation. I did have a wonderful day, again!

Thank you Oracle User Group in El Salvador and thank you OTN and the ACE Program! Now packing and next to Panama…

#OTNTourLA, Guatemala

I am so impressed with these user groups in Latin America! Being honest I was not expecting them to be so organized and the events to be this great. And please do not ask me why I though like that, I do not know. I was thinking Mexico is an exception because it is big etc but now in Guatemala I experienced the same: extremely well-organized event with top quality content. I am so happy and privileged to be part of this wonderful tour!

I arrived to the airport of Guatemala City on Sunday morning and Julio from user group was waiting with the most beautiful roses. I felt immediately extremely welcome. At the hotel room we had a nice speaker gift waiting for us: coffee (of course), local sweets, a beautiful pen and a bottle of local alcohol. All packed in a beautiful gift bag made in Guatemala. AND a personalized booklet telling all the important details about Guatemala and the event. Even my sessions were highlighted so it was easier for me to read the schedule.

In the afternoon I received a message from my friend Deiby that he would like to see and go for a dinner before the event that will be tomorrow. We had a dinner in a nice local restaurant eating local specialities. And then I was totally ready to sleep.

In the morning Deiby picked us up from the hotel at 7 and we drove to the conference venue. My first presentation (Reporting with Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler) was at 8:40 and the room was literally packed: they brought at least 20 extra seats and still some people were standing. My next session was at 12:00 (Comparing designs and databases with Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler) right before the lunch. The room was again really packed. The last session (Database Design with Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler) was the last session before closing session and I spoke in the biggest room. I was very happy after all my sessions because I felt my audience liked them and learned new things. I really felt it was worth all the travel. Thank you so much for attending and I hope my feeling is right and you liked my sessions.

At the end of the day there was a session for audience to take pictures with us and ask for autographs. To my surprise they also wanted pictures with me and they wanted my autographs. I do not think I have ever experienced that in such a big scale.

After the  event the user group took us for dinner and to play some golf. That was fun!

Thank you everybody I had a wonderful day!

Now packing and heading to El Salvador at noon… After all the fantastic hospitality and amazing events in Mexico and Guatemala I am really curious to see the next stops.

#OTNTourLA, Mexico

My first leg of the #OTNTourLA is now over. The event was held in a local university (HUGE university!) and I must say I do not often see this well-organized events! Thank you ORAMEX and UVM Sede Coyoacan!

I was told that there were more than 1000 registered attendees and more people were still asking if they could attend. I do not know what was the final number of attendees but I had a full house for my first presentation (Database Design with Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler) and about 2/3 of the room for my second presentation (Reporting with Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler). I had a bad migraine the whole day so my apologies if I was not 100% myself but I hope nobody noticed that. Despite of the headache I had a wonderful day and I am so glad I accepted the invitation from my friend Francisco to attend also the Mexico event of this tour! I had a wonderful audience and people were very active with excellent questions! And Mexicans do speak excellent English! Thank you so much for attending my session! I hope you learned new things in my sessions and please do not hesitate to email me if you have more questions. Congratulations, Paola, for winning the book!

Thank you MEXORA for taking such a good care of me! All the transportations, the wonderful dinner last night etc.

Today is a day off and my Mexican friend Rene Antunez has kindly volunteered to show us a little bit of Mexico, including the pyramids. This will be a great day. Tomorrow off to Guatemala…

I would be very happy to be invited to Mexico again :-D



On my way to Mexico for the OTN LAD Tour

Here I am at Heathrow airport in London waiting for my flight to Mexico City where my OTN LAD Tour starts. Well, waiting is a mild word: I have 8h wait in London :-) and then more that 11 hours to fly to Mexico City. But I am not complaining! Having a nice mushroom soup and champagne (they ran out of sparkling wine in this lounge and serve champagne today ;-) ) and the wi-fi is working. I should land to Mexico City at 22.05 this evening. In the morning I will be picked up at 8.00 for the conference. I am really looking forward to it! I only hope I am not too tired after my more than 24h trip and the 9 hour jet lag :-)

See you soon!

  • Heli

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