AUSOUG Connect 2018 – Talking Dev

ausoug-title-01.pngIn November 2018, I had the privilege to attend the Australian Oracle User Group national conference “#AUSOUG Connect” in Melbourne. My role was to have video interviews with as many of the speakers and exhibitors at the conference. Overall, 10 interviews over the course of the day, 90 mins of real footage, 34 short clips to share and plenty of hours reviewing and post-editing to capture the best parts.

This year at AUSOUG Connect, there were a variety of speakers and exhibitors some of which I hadn’t done much with. Here’s a link to the conference site where you can find out more about the conference (

My mission? To interview as many of the speakers and exhibitors as possible. The theme? As technologists, it is simple for us to talk about the tech that we are working with. The bit that is less spoken about is what makes these people want to stand up on stage to share their stories, why is it important for them to talk about what they are doing.

Here’s a snapshot of the people that were kind enough and had the time to sit with me to talk through a few topics.


We covered a range of topics from a couple of customer stories, personal journeys, big problems that they are addressing for customers as well as what they do to support the community. Here’s the list of chats that we had put together.

We had Ivar Grimstad join us. With his wealth of experience working in the Java Community as well as in with the Java Enterprise specification, it was good to discuss about the Groundbreakers program, different Java updates as well as the Java community.

We had Mark Elley, Head of Digital Technology from DXC join us. Mark has a focus on Cloud Infrastructure, we discussed about Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and moving workloads into the cloud to make big impacts for his customers as well as making a social impact.

We had Richard Foote – the person behind “Let’s Talk Database”. Richard talks about the community with a shared learning experience and also talks about Best Practices (or the adaptation of that).

Someone that I hadn’t met before Anthony Vandewerdt, Field CTO from Actifio. We spoke about some of the big challenges that their customers are looking to solve and what does it mean to him about being part of a community.

We had Ben Adamson from Dell EMC drop by the Oracle exhibition space at the conference. Ben and I talked about a few different topics like the value of community as well as GDPR – a big issue for their customers.

David Wright from More4Apps and I sat down to talk through a few different topics including how they drive success in their customers as well as talking about how he approaches community engagements and collaboration.

Karen Cannell from TH Consulting based in the States made the trip to AU for this conference. Having a long-term tech background with Oracle, it was interesting to hear from her about her career journey, her commitment to the community and how her customers are dealing with the accelerated technology change.

I was able to get Connor McDonald near the tail end of the day and we sat down to talk about the future. What is it like? What is exciting about the future? How challenging are our perceptions?

The last interview of the day was with Lucas Jellema from Amis Technologies. We shared stories about being part of a safe, collaborative and open learning community as well as some of the topics that he talked about at the conference about data and machine learning.

I did at some stage had the chance to sit with Dan McArthur and Kevin Payne, two people that have worked closely this year in Queensland to facilitate, care and feed the AUSOUG QLD group. We talked about some of the achievements, goals for the next year as well as giving thanks to some people.

It was a fun experience, learning and talking to some friends – old and new. It was great to understand what made these people tick. The one takeaway that I have from speaking to everyone is:

A community that is made up of people that are willing to share, learn and collaborate is one that is also connected and purposeful. It’s not about the numbers but the happiness that it provides.

You can find more videos including more from the AUSOUG and other RedThunder events and stories at:



Author: Jason Lowe

I am passionate about how organisations adopt IT quickly and sustainably to achieve a specific and measurable outcome. This thinking is supported through lean IT practices in operational support and project delivery, and adopting these practices with Oracle technologies by creating sustainable platforms. I'm also interested different perspectives and drivers - from enterprise to start-ups, academia to commercial to public sector, cost-sensitive (risk) to value-driven (reward) - all of which influences decisions that organisations make. I have a passion for community and have been called "a connector" - meeting new people that are trying to solve valuable and hard problems and connecting them with others that can validate and help realise their full potential. I've supported different organisations like TADHack and Hacking Health as a global organiser. I'm is a persistent blogger on and and on LinkedIn - #CommunityMatters #ItTakesAVillage

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