ODTUG Kaleidoscope this year. First off; this conference is truly a developers conference. The amount of knowledge shared (both within and outside sessions) is immense. The sheer number of profiles in Oracle development community speaks for itself. In short, if you are a developer in Oracle products, this is the conference for you.
This year my primary focus was middle tier development, and ADF in particular. Being a consultant, you jump when customers says toad. While I remain a fan of APEX, it is part of my job to keep abreast with the alternatives.
The Oracle Application Development Framework (ADF) has been pushed by Oracle quite hard for a number of years. The market adoption has been a bit on the slow side (to say the least). That being said, I think it is one of the best frameworks out there based on Java to develop rich internet applications.
I think ADF sort of lives in a limbo; Traditional Java developers will not touch it (it's Oracle), and traditional (database) developers will not touch it (it's Java). It is not as simple as that, obviously, and it is being used out there, just not to the extent I expected.
ODTUG and ADF
I think Kaleidoscope reflects the limbo-effect, both in content and interest. Java developers obviously has other arenas, database developers are, well, database developers. I get that it is hard to combine the two, but look at the adoption of the conference by Essbase and Hyperion developers! They have really swarmed to the conference.
So, what did I get out of it? Related to ADF, not as much as I would have liked. There still seems to be considerably technical issues if you move out of the pure ADF sphere (like the SOA-suite). ADF on the other hand has matured considerably, and creating a slick looking, efficient application requires much less effort than it was in my last ADF project on 10g.
I still miss more to-the-point sessions on how to attack large implementations (like Andrejus Baranovskis).
What really gave me value was the sessions by the big guns; Cary Millsap, Jonathan Lewis and Steven Feuerstein. Worth the trip alone to hear any of those speaking :-)