I returned a few days ago from Nuremberg, where I presented my Coding Therapy for Software Developers keynote to several hundred Oracle technologist at DOAG's annual conference. I thought it went quite well; the audience laughed at all my jokes, save one.
The highlight of this trip, however,was the fact that it was my last trip of the year and marks the end of an era in my life, the "traveling era." For too many years, I have been traveling far too much. It's been great for my frequent flyer account and for getting free upgrades. American Airlines has also benefited.
From this moment forward, I will only travel for professional reasons if it is absolutely required. I will still present at a small number of key Oracle conferences, but other than that, my plan is to stay home. There are two main reasons for this. First, I am simply tired of being on the road - and away from my family. It takes a toll in several different ways, and I find that toll to be unacceptable these days. Second, my son, Eli, is learning how to be an APEX developer and I need to be here to support him, train him, mentor him.
There are certainly aspects of travel that I will miss. It has truly been an honor to meet with developers from around the world, hear about how you are using PL/SQL, learn from you, and be reminded of how much my writings and presentations have helped others. I have enjoyed greatly seeing so many parts of the world and the fantastic art that resides in the countless museums and galleries I have visited. And then there are the dear friends I have made in the Netherlands, Brussels, the UK, Singapore, Australia, Portugal, Germany and other places.
So am I going to just "disappear"? Not at all! While I will not be visiting in physical form, I plan to become much more visible online.
One big advantage of staying home is that I can concentrate more thoroughly on transferring my knowledge of PL/SQL into online, accessible, search-able and very entertaining formats. The PL/SQL Challenge is just the first manifestation of this Internet-delivered expertise. You will be seeing much more in 2011.
And if for some reason you have not yet started playing the daily quiz at the PL/SQL Challenge, please do so! You will learn a lot about PL/SQL, you might win some fine prizes, and - most important of all - you will help me make a success of this key project in my life.
I hope that you all have very happy and relaxing holidays.