Scott Spendolini, ODTUG Kaleidoscope, and Washington, DC!

scottspendolini.jpgMarching onward, my next posting is an interview with Scott SpendoliniOracle ACE Director, and co-founder of Sumneva.

Scott headed the Application Express Content team that chose all of the Oracle Application Express content selected for ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2010.

MR: Which presentation of yours is a “can’t miss” session that Kaleidoscope attendees should plan on attending, and why?

SS: “You can’t miss the APEX Sunday Showcase! Never before have so many APEX experts from across the globe gotten together to show you their secrets in an entertaining & educational way!”

MR: Who else should Kaleidoscope attendees plan on seeing a session from, and why

SS: “There’s too many to mention this year! The agenda is packed with the best of the best in each of the different topics. I always try to “cross over” and see at least ones session about something that I know little or nothing about. I’d recommend that approach to all of those APEX developers attending.”

MR: What differentiates Kaleidoscope as a conference from other conferences out there?

SS: “I think what sets Kaleidoscope apart other conferences is that the learning & interaction simply don’t end. You can easily find a presenter after his or her presentation and continue to discuss their topics long after the last session ends. This mini-ecosystem truly invigorates me each and every year.”

Being a local in the Washington DC area, Scott has many insider travel tips to share with all of you. If Scott is as good at travel tips as he is at Oracle Application Express, I’d suggest that you pay attention to what he has to say in the next few paragraphs.

SS: “I’ll leave out the standard tourist stuff, like the Capitol, Washington Monument, etc.

My favorite secret in DC is the Old Post Office Pavilion. You can get the second-best view of the city from the tower there. It’s free, and I’ve never had to wait more than 3-4 minutes for the elevator. Hop on the Metro – which is right outside of the hotel – and catch a Glenmont-bound train to Metro Center, get off there and walk three blocks south – you can’t miss it!

The National Zoo is within walking distance, and is also free. Definitely worth the visit! One hint: from the Connecticut Ave side, it’s all downhill; you may want to walk to the bottom and then gradually walk up, stopping at the exhibits on the way back. Your feet will thank you!

The Georgetown Waterfront is a fun & lively place to unwind after a long day of sessions. You’ll have to take a cab there, as it’s too far to walk and there is no Metro stop that’s close, but it’s a quick ride. While the food there is not the best I’ve had, it is a beautiful place to grab a table and watch the boats float by and the jets make their dramatic turns as they start their final approach to Reagan-Washington National Airport as the sun sets over the Potomac.

Adams-Morgan is a culturally diverse neighborhood that has a number of excellent restaurants & shops. It’s definitely walkable from the Marriott Wardham Park, but you can also either take a cab or the DC Circulator bus. Favorites of mine there include Toledo LoungeBedrock Billiards and Millie & Al’s.

Although across the river in Arlington, VA, Ray’s the Steaks is one of my favorite restaurants. The service has always been superb, and the filets are some of the best I’ve had. I don’t think they take reservations, so be prepared to wait a bit to get a table.

I’ve saved the best for last: The Brickskeller. If you love or even like beer, you need to go here. Their beer menu is the most complete, varied and fun that I have ever seen. While they do serve food, I’d recommend eating elsewhere for dinner, as their food is just simple bar fare and the like. Despite this, be sure to order the Oven Warmed Bread, as its a nice compliment to almost any beer. While walkable from the hotel, you may want to hop on Metro one stop to Dupont Circle, as it’s a bit of a walk, despite only being a stop away.”

Wow! Thanks for all the information Scott!

Scott finished of the interview by giving me this quote about ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2010…

“For Oracle APEX developers, there is no place that even comes close to the depth & breadth of content & presenters that will be at ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2010″

I’ll see you in Washington, DC (maybe at Ray’s the Steaks)…

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