OOW13: Typical conference expressions – and their real meanings

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Corporate speakers at Oracle OpenWorld or JavaOne draw from a range of expressions that may have less than obvious meanings. These expressions are used sometimes for brevity and at other times to say less than polite things in a fairly civilized manner or less than corporately correct things in a way that does not get the speaker into trouble with the chain of command.

For newcomers to this conference, it may be useful to get acquainted with some of these expressions – and their intended meanings. I have collected a few. Feel free to help me update this list.

Expression Example Usage Underlying meaning
moving forward Moving forward, we will implement…. At some as of yet undefined moment in the future [which may turn out to be never at all]
.. that is directional… Implementing that particular feature is directional, We have thought about it and the current plan suggests that we do though nothing has been put in a schedule or roadmap.
.. that is [still]work in progress Last year we mentioned that we might implement that particular standard/mechanism and that is still work in progress. We have not actually figured out how we can do that/We really believed that we were going to do that but now we are not so sure anymore.
[I am afraid] I cannot comment several options:
– I do not have a clue
– My boss does not have a clue and it would be unwise for me to say that out loud
– Oracle Marketing execs would be on my back if I were to spill the beans on this
– I would really like to continue telling my story
It is on our roadmap …  but don’t hold your breath
Next slide Next Slide!!!! Well, isn’t that obvious? Which part did you not get?
At this moment I would like to open up the floor for Q&A I really did not have enough time to prepare for this session and this is all I have folks; given that the session is supposed to last for X more minutes, you have to help me out here – or on your [own]heads be it
I swear to God this demo was working …/ The demo gods have interfered again (after a spectacular failure of the live action in typically the first 10 seconds of that demo) [Anyone attempting a live demo should be applauded; it takes courage and self confidence and even the best prepared demos may fail; a good speaker should quickly recover and not go one apologizing or even complaining; in general: give the speaker the benefit of the doubt]
[oh: an apparently failed demo is of course an excellent way of persuading your audience that the demo you then show is a real one rather than a canned one; good trick, come to think of it]
It is planned, not scheduled very similar to directional and roadmap , yet a little more forthcoming
FY14 (as opposed to CY14) All I can say for now is that it will be in the next fiscal year [FY15]/this fiscal year [FY14]/next calendar year [CY14] Oracle’s fiscal year starts on June1st. The current Fiscal Year is called FY14, ending on 31st of May 2014. CY14  by and large is further away than FY14. However next fiscal [year]is further away than next calendar year
Let’s continue this discussion off line As in:
– Question!
+ please go ahead
– blablabla
+ let me try and answer this…
– blaa, blaa and more bla
+ well, I would like to put it…
– more bla and even more blabla
+ Let’s continue this discussion off line
You are claiming this session for your own pet subject. Please realize that some/most/all of us have zoomed out by now. Let go [and shut it](hopefully by the end of the session [you have forgotten about it | I can avoid you in the melee]
Where the industry is [seems to be]heading That thing that the other guys are doing/the analysts are yapping about/the community is clamoring for/ or: far more subtle: what we would like everyone to start doing
.. seeing a lot of traction… We introduced this product/feature last FY and we are currently seeing a lot of traction People are starting to show an interest/actually use that products/feature/approach [in what could possibly be large numbers]
We received valuable [interesting]feedback from our customers They hated our guts [and are now working really hard to get our act together]
I am glad you asked that question [or: thank you, that is an excellent question or simply: good question!] F***, I had really hoped they would not notice. Now I have to talk my way out of this, and I really haven’t got a f*** clue.
There may be some seats free at the front of the room Everyone is sitting at the back with all the front rows empty(and later on you will be complaining about not being able to read what is on the screen)
That is still fluid We are still trying to make up our minds on that one – so I cannot give any clear plan/roadmap
That is a [very]good suggestion, [let me write that down].. this could mean: you really have not got a clue of what I am/you are talking about; please shut up now and let me continue with my story
[..] we see this as a great opportunity for the community We do not have the resources to work on this; if you want to have it, you will have to do it yourself.
We are definitely looking at various options of what we might do
…something that may change in the future As in: we currently have no plans, but that is something that may change in the future
We have no plans for that right now It is highly unlikely for the thing you requested to actually take place
That is the current thinking (and you can bet there is a large chance it will change soon)
… is still there as of right now As in: (usually with some hesitation and drawn out syllables) That particular product/feature/component is still there as of right now but we make darn sure that it will cease to exist in the near future
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About Author

Lucas Jellema, active in IT (and with Oracle) since 1994. Oracle ACE Director for Fusion Middleware. Consultant, trainer and instructor on diverse areas including Oracle Database (SQL & PLSQL), Service Oriented Architecture, BPM, ADF, Java in various shapes and forms and many other things. Author of the Oracle Press book: Oracle SOA Suite 11g Handbook. Frequent presenter on conferences such as JavaOne, Oracle OpenWorld, ODTUG Kaleidoscope, Devoxx and OBUG. Presenter for Oracle University Celebrity specials.

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