How well do we as Oracle professionals cope on the worldwide stage?
I was struggling to answer a question on my forum yesterday. My gut reaction was that both the question and answer were simple, but I seemed incapable of grasping the issue. The reason for my difficulty was that English was not the first language of the person asking the question. This made me feel guilty on a couple of levels:
- I’m a bit ashamed of the fact I can’t speak another language. I was terrible at French and German at school and two years of Japanese lessons left me in a position where all I can do is count to 10 and introduce myself. Not a massive return on my investment 🙂
- I could imagine the frustration on the part of the other person. A newcomer to Oracle has enough to deal with, without having to cope with a language barrier on top of everything else.
This got me thinking about how we in the English speaking Oracle world must be percieved on the world stage.
I did a quick scan on the net and found a Population by Country breakdown. When you take a look at the numbers you’ll see that in comparison to China and India most countries seem relatively insignificant in population terms. Both these countries have recently seen a boom in their IT industries to the point where they are fast becoming IT superpowers. With that in mind, our myopic view of the IT industry seems very much like being a big fish in a small pond.
In actual fact, the IT industry is more than aware of this fact. So much so that even a certain company with the motto “Don’t be evil.” thinks nothing of censoring its content to get its foot in the door. Of course, they’re not the only people at it:
To return to my initial questions:
- Are we big fish in a small pond? I think so.
- How well do we as Oracle professionals cope on the worldwide stage? Not so well.
I would be interested to know the reactions of people on both sides of the debate. If English is not your first language do you feel left out in the cold, or have you come to accept that English is a prerequisite in the IT industry?