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.



Author: Tim...

DBA, Developer, Author, Trainer.

13 thoughts on “Work and Oracle ACE Director… (again)”

  1. Congratulations! Being selfish, I sure hope you take them up on the offer, because I know you’d do a lot of good. But I certainly understand the hesitation.

  2. Tim,
    Congratulations! It’s a big commitment and I will tell that my employer will NOT allow me to commit to those listed if Oracle expects them to foot the bill. On the other hand, it keeps the Oracle ACE program independent otherwise folks will say that the ACEs have to say that because Oracle is paying them to say so.

    What are the benefits? I would assume that you won’t have to pay for the conference fees (e.g OOW).

    Hopefully I will be able to attend OOW this year given the change in my role.


  3. As an Oracle ACE you already get free entry into OOW, so the ACE Director doesn’t add anything there.

    The main benefits are listed as:

    – Direct communication with Oracle product teams. You have to take part in regular web conferences with them. It would be nice to get involved in that and see what’s going on and what’s on the horizon.
    – Annual technical briefing at Oracle HQ
    – Free software and access to Beta Program. I don’t know what free software is available that you can’t already download, but access to the betas would be nice. I’ve never worked for a company that has been willing to take part in an Oracle beta program, so I always end up waiting for the production release. It would be nice not to be last to the party for a change.
    – A little crown on your ACE logo. 🙂

    I guess one of the biggest benefits for those working in consultancy firms is the effect on their profile and increased exposure etc. I’m not sure this really makes a great deal of difference to me. I’m not exactly a public figure on the Oracle circuit, but I’m not denying it would be good for the old ego. 🙂



  4. Congratulations!

    If your still looking for a job email me! we need a Oracle DBA 🙂 and considering I refer to your site alot it would make so much easier!!!!

  5. Congrats!

    I’d say, go for it, and look for a job in a software or support house, maybe in the bioinformatics arena given your education. Have you put down deep roots where you live? That’s been my major consideration since I’ve had kids (well, really the wife’s consideration).

    Getting paid for doing what you do on your own anyways hardly seems like working.

  6. Tim,

    “All the time comes out of my holidays and all the expenses come out of my pocket. ”

    You’re right to give this serious consideration. Once you put together lost wages or fees, accommodation and flights, it doesn’t take long before this becomes a serious financial commitment. I wonder sometimes whether people who attend presentations whilst being on company wages and expenses really appreciate that. That’s why I tend to do it in waves, generally. I get into it for a year or two (because I enjoy it) and then think ‘Gulp! How much is this costing me!’ But I always go back to it in the end.

    So, congrats and all that, but you’re wise to consider the financial implications. On the other hand, as Peter K points out, if Oracle take care of the financial burden … “… folks will say that the ACEs have to say that because Oracle is paying them to say so.”

    But you were expecting me to keep droning on about that, right? 😉

    In the end – do what’s right for you, stay honest (as if you could be anything but!) and I for one will support you all the way.

  7. I’ve decided to accept it.

    As an ACE I already get a free conference pass for Open World. Oracle have also picked up the tab for flights and accommodation, so that’s the biggest financial commitment take care of. The rest is just time, and I already spend that doing geeky stuff.

    Doug: Regarding “stay honest”

    I think my one major failing in life is I never worry about biting the hand that feeds me. It quite often gets me into trouble. I don’t think a crown on a logo will alter that. 🙂



  8. Hi sir,
    Congrats a ton for becoming ACE Director.You are one of those very few whom I look upon as an ideal for me going on the way of this infinite but exciting journey of learning oracle.You deserve this credentials.Congrats for this and wish you get many more like this in future too.
    Best regards,

  9. Hi Tim,

    Cograts a lot Tim..
    Even if they take care of travel and accomodation, it seems to me huge commitment in terms of time and effort.

    And If your a individual consultant like me then you have to attend the conferences at the loss of pay.

    How many days per year you would have to work towards this?


  10. Hi.

    The amount of events you have to attend vary. I think the offical line is at least 1 Oracle and 1 non-Oracle, but most ACEs do much more. I’m currently in the middle of a few months of conferences. 🙂

    Yes. You lose a lot of pay, but it’s fun. 🙂



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