Oracle ACE Program…

If you read Oracle blogs, you will probably have noticed a few lively debates about the Oracle ACE program. The announcement of the Oracle ACE Director category caused a bit of a stir, causing several people, including myself, to throw the toys out of the pram. I’m not totally sure what I want to say in this post, but I feel I need to say something, so here goes…

I was very flattered when I was nominated as an Oracle ACE. I’ve spent a lot of years writing about Oracle and it was nice to get a thank you from someone for my efforts. It was not something I expected, or really thought I was worthy of, but it felt good. I never considered it to be more than a pat on the back, but when I looked at the names of existing members it was a little daunting.

Worth to the community is a very difficult thing to judge. Some people have great technical skills, but quite a small readership, so they are not helping the wider audience, but they are raising the bar by which we all measure ourselves. Some people are less technical, but have a very wide readership, so they are helping to get the message out there. In my opinion, both of these groups of people have equal importance to the community, but service it in different ways.

I think we can also be a little myopic about the Oracle community, assuming it means the big names in the English speaking world. There are many large Oracle communities where English is not the first language. I don’t read articles or attend seminars in these regions, so I’m not in a position to “rate” these individuals and their contributions, but just because I can’t rate them doesn’t mean they have no value.

I think the Oracle community is still very database-centric, by which I mean value seems to be judged on the level of skill in the core database technologies. Oracle has moved on, so should we. My passion is still the database, but it is almost irrelevant to others, who could still arguably be called world leaders in their field, which is Oracle technology.

As for the Oracle ACE Director, it is now clear to me it’s just a pat on the back with some extra commitments. If people think it means more than that they are wrong.

I’m starting to bore myself now… :)

Cheers

Tim…

Work and Oracle ACE Director… (again)

Work (or not)

The company I work for was taken over 2 years ago and I’ve been waiting since then to see what the result of this takeover would be. In that time loads of staff have left and it’s been a bit of a nightmare.

Yesterday I had a meeting where I had to make some decisions about my future in the company. As most of my colleagues already know, I don’t believe there is a role for someone like me in a company like this, so I’ve made the decision that our paths should diverge.

The result of this is that some time in the next 12 months I’ve got to get off my ass and find a new job. At this point I don’t have a clue what I want to do next. I guess time will reveal all.

Oracle ACE Director

On a more pleasant note, I’ve been invited to become an Oracle ACE Director!

My initial reaction was, “We’re not worthy”, but then I decided it would be a cool thing to do. I’m waiting for clarification of the level of commitment required before actually accepting the offer. Most of the commitments are things I already do, but others include:

  • Attend annual Oracle ACE Directors’ meeting at Oracle Open World
  • Attend most web conferences with product team
  • Attend local Oracle event(s)
  • Present at non-Oracle event(s)

For someone like me, with no company backing, this is actually quite a big commitment. All the time comes out of my holidays and all the expenses come out of my pocket. Committing to Open World every year in itself is quite a financial drain. I guess guys from big consulting companies do this as part of their job already, but for me it involves putting my hands in my own pockets.

Over the next few days I’ll get some more feedback and have to make my decision. I like the sound of getting involved, but it may be a step too far for someone in my position.

Cheers

Tim…

ACE Director 2…

This morning I received and email detailing the merger of the ACE program with the Fusion Middleware Regional Director scheme. It’s a pity this mail didn’t come a couple of days earlier, then my “toys out of the pram” post yesterday wouldn’t have happened. I’m sure over the coming weeks the people I consider the stars of the Oracle world will be recognized as they should be.

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle ACE Director?

Eddie wrote about the New Oracle ACE and Website, which was news to me, so I thought I’d take a look. The new category of “Oracle ACE Director” supposedly signifies “a higher level of expectation in terms of community activity”.

I must admit to feeling there were definite tiers in the ACE program. I personally consider certain individuals to be on a different level to the rest of us mortals, so the introduction of an ACE++ seemed like a good idea.

When I looked at the list of people who are ACE Directors the cynic in me came out in full force and here’s why:

  1. Every ACE Director has expertise in “Oracle Fusion Middleware”. There is not a single person listed as an ACE Director from a Database Management or Development background. So knowledge of the database, the product that made Oracle great, is not worthy of any note.
  2. The majority of ACE Directors are newly assigned ACEs, with a few notable exceptions. So all the people who were previously deemed worthy of ACE-dom are not actually as worthy as the new kids on the block.
  3. In my opinion, some people stand head and shoulders above the other people in the list of ACEs. When I look through the list, none of the real stars of the Oracle community are listed as ACE Directors. It seems people like Tom Kyte, Jonathan Lewis and Steven Feuerstein (to mention just three) don’t currently qualify as having “a higher level of expectation in terms of community activity”. Are you sure?

I’m sure that some of these points will be rectified in the coming weeks, and I don’t want to put other people and their achievements down, but for the moment, this whole re-jig of the Oracle ACE program doesn’t look right to me.

Cheers

Tim…

UPDATE: I subsequently read the top “Oracle ACE News”story, which says,

“The Oracle ACE and Oracle Fusion Middleware Regional Director programs have merged, with the latter now being known as “Oracle ACE Directors.” Furthermore, Oracle Database experts (on management and app development) are now eligible to serve as Oracle ACE Directors as well.”

That explains a lot of my current gripes. Hopefully, the rest will be ironed out soon.