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… 🙂