You gotta work harder!

If I take a long hard look at the people *I consider* successful, the main thing I notice is they consistently work hard. They have focus and they put in a lot of hours to get what they want. It doesn’t matter what area it is, you can see the same thing time and time again. The people that work hard get the results. The people that don’t typically fail, or at least don’t live up to their potential.

Here are a few quotes from some varied sources.

  • “The harder I work, the luckier I get.”Β Samuel Goldwyn (possibly)
  • “If you trust in yourself and believe in your dreams and follow your star you’ll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren’t so lazy.”Β Miss Tick (The Wee Free Men, Terry Pratchett)
  • “You want a hot body? You want a Bugatti? You want a Maserati? You better work bitch!” Britney Spears (well, her song writers really)
  • “Work so hard forgot how to vacation.” Post Malone – Congratulations

The IT industry moves so fast you’ve got to stay on the grind or you will fall behind. If you are looking for work-life balance, I don’t think this is the industry for you. That might sound harsh, but I’m not a stupid person and I freely admit to having a no-life approach to this industry and I often feel like I’m sprinting to stand still. I hate to think how people who are not putting in this level of effort feel. Maybe ignorance is bliss…

Over this holiday period I will have had 12.5 working days off and it’s already been a hard grind. I had some goals in mind, which I think I’m going to miss, but it’s not through lack of effort. I don’t really do new years resolutions anymore, but I’m going to keep saying to myself, “You gotta work harder!”

I hope 2018 works out well for everyone, but I’m pretty sure the people who will be the happiest at the end of the year will be the people who have worked the hardest, no matter what they have been working towards…

Good luck everybody!

Cheers

Tim…

Update: It is interesting that when I say work hard, some people assume I mean throw hours mindlessly at stuff. Of course you need to try and work intelligently. When I say work hard, I mean hard. That’s not cruising for endless hours. Part of working hard in my opinion is evaluating your efforts and altering your approach or goals based on that…

Having said that, you do have to throw hours at some stuff to really get to understand it. Learning is like peeling back layers of an onion. After a short time it’s easy to think you know it all. As time progresses you peel back more layers of the onion and you realise there’s even more to know. Many people seem to stop after the first couple of layers because they don’t dedicate the time, then complain about not being good and looking for the quick fixes…

It’s interesting what people consider successful. Notice in the post I said, “*I consider* successful”. We don’t all want the same thing. For you it might be to earn $1 million. For me it might be to write 10 articles on a specific subject. For someone else it might be to perfect their handstand. Depending on what you’re trying to achieve, the approach and time may be different. Don’t judge everyone else by your standards of what success means…

Happy Holidays!

Just a quick message to say happy holidays!

I was going to include a suitable wintry scene, then realised that would be discriminating against my southern hemisphere brothers and sisters, so I went for a hybrid. Look out of your window and select the half of the image that seems most appropriate to you…

Just so you know, neither of these looks very much like Birmingham… πŸ™‚

Anyway, I hope 2017 was good for you and I hope 2018 will be a great one for you!

Cheers

Tim…

VirtualBox 5.2.4

VirtualBox 5.2.4 has been released. I predicted Christmas day, but they came in a little early… πŸ™‚

The downloads and changelog are in the usual places.

I’ve done the installation on my Windows 7 PC at work, macOS High Sierra and Oracle Linux 7 and all worked fine.

As with the last version (5.2.2), the automatic download of the extension pack failed on all platforms. I just downloaded it manually and installed it and it was OK.

Happy upgrading.

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle REST Data Services (ORDS) 17.4 Released

Over the weekend I saw Kris Rice tweet about the release of ORDS 17.4. This is the GA release of what was the 17.3 beta. Remember the version names are time-based now.

I’ve already written about the main new features of this release.

I’ve done some installations and upgrades and all was fine. My existing installation and upgrade docs work fine.

I’ve even updated my Docker image to include it. πŸ™‚

Cheers

Tim…

Riga Dev Days : 2018

Just a quick note to say I’ll be speaking at the 2018 Riga Dev Days conference in May next year. They’ve just released the first batch of speakers here. My flights and hotel are already booked!

It’s a multidisciplinary conference, rather than just a straight Oracle conference, which means there is something for everyone there. I was last there in 2015 and it was a really cool experience. I think I’m going to get even more from it this year as my interests have broadened substantially since then!

See you there!

Cheers

Tim…

Docker : My First Steps

In a blog post after OpenWorld I mentioned I might not be writing so much for a while as something at work was taking a lot of my “home time”, which might result in some articles, but then again might not… Well, that something was Docker…

After spending a couple of years saying I was going to start looking at Docker, in June I wrote a couple of articles, put them on the website, but didn’t mention them to anyone.Β  I was finding it quite hard to focus on Docker because of all the fun I was having with ORDS. More recently it became apparent that we have a couple of use-cases for Docker at work, one of which involved ORDS, so it reignited my interest. There’s nothing like actually needing to use something to make you knuckle down and learn it… πŸ™‚

Having gone back to revisit Docker, I realised the two articles I wrote were terrible, which wasn’t surprising considering how little time I had spent using Docker at that point. The more I used Docker, the more I realised I had totally missed the point. I had come to it with too many preconceptions, mostly relating to virtualization, that were leading me astray. I reached out to a few people (Gerald Venzl, Bruno Borges & Avi Miller) for help and advice, which got me back on track…

I’ve been playing around with Docker a lot lately, which has resulted in a few articles, with some more on the way. I’m not trying to make out I’m “the Docker guy” now, because I’m clearly not. I’m not suggesting you use my Docker builds, because there are better ones around, like these. I’m just trying to learn this stuff and I do that by playing and writing. If other people find that useful and want to follow me on the journey, that’s great. If you prefer to go straight to the source (docs.docker.com) that’s probably a better idea. πŸ™‚

I do a lot of rewrites of articles on my website in general. This is especially true of these Docker articles, which seem to be in a permanent state of flux at the moment. Part of me wanted to wait until I was a little more confident about it all, because I didn’t want to make all my mistakes in public, then part of me thought, “sod it!”

If you want to see what I’ve been doing all the articles are on my website and the Dockerfiles on Github.

I’m having a lot of fun playing around with Docker. You could say, I’m having a “whale” of a time! (I’ll get my coat…)

Cheers

Tim…

UKOUG Tech17 : It’s a Wrap!

Just a quick reflection on the UKOUG Tech17 event…

Here are the posts I wrote over the event.

Things went pretty well for me this week. My timetable allowed me to come for two full days, which was nice. It’s a lot less stressful when you are not trying to rush in and out from work like I was on Tuesday.

It’s funny walking around the event as it feels like every couple of steps I see someone I want to stop and talk to. I could probably spend the whole event in the lobby just talking to people. πŸ™‚

As usual, some quick thanks:

  • Thanks to UKOUG for letting come to present again.
  • Thanks to all the people that came to my sessions, came to speak to me during the event and the folks thatΒ filled in the session evaluations last year, making my head swell even more. πŸ™‚
  • Thanks to Oracle Academy and UKOUG for letting me come and present at the Oracle Academy sessions.
  • Thanks to the Oracle ACE Program for organising the briefing and for letting me continue to fly the flag at these events, as well the Developer Champion Program for dragging me into the new world. πŸ™‚
  • Thanks to all the other speakers for sharing your knowledge and saving me a load of time Googling…

Next year’s event is in Liverpool, so I’m not sure how that will work out for me. If colleagues still want to come I will probably only be able to come for a single day. If they can’t face the journey I will be able to come for the whole event and stay in a hotel. πŸ™‚

Cheers

Tim…

UKOUG Tech17 : Wednesday

Wednesday started with a quick trip to the doctor, then I got a bus into town for the conference. I kept bumping into interesting people and chatting, so I didn’t manage to get to any of the early sessions.

I missed picking up my Best UK Speaker award and the group photo yesterday, so I picked it up today and did a photo withΒ Linda and Jennifer, two of the ladies that keep the Oracle ACE Program and the Developer Champion Programs running smoothly. While I was in the exhibition hall I got into a discussion about APEX, and rather than just talk I opened my laptop, headed to apex.oracle.com and did an impromptu demo. One APEX talk and it’s gone to my head. πŸ™‚

Then it was time for me to head up to the Oracle Academy sessions. UKOUG and Oracle Academy put on a program for students and Brendan Tierney and I agreed to help out and each do a short talk for them. Some of the students got “lost” in the conference (or at the German market), and of the ones that did turn up I recognised all of them from either the BCU talks I’ve done recently, or the UKOUG NextGen session I did in 2014. πŸ™‚

From there it was off to lunch, then I had a two hour Oracle ACE Director briefing. It was a mix of public and NDA stuff, so I’m not going to say anything about it (or the Oracle Games Console #OGC) for fear of getting disappeared…

That pretty much wrapped up the conference. I popped into Starbucks to chat to Mia, Debra and Fiona, then it was a bus home and that was that.

Cheers

Tim…

UKOUG Tech17 : Tuesday

Tuesday was a work day for me, so I was in work until the late afternoon, then left for the conference to do my APEX session. A little while later I was sitting in traffic thinking, “I’m not going to make it!” The traffic opened, I got a parking spot really quickly and I made it with 3 minutes to spare… πŸ™‚

The session was based around API first development for APEX. I was quite nervous about doing a talk in the APEX stream, because I have a long history of being bad at APEX and I know some of the things I say contradict the way some APEX developers like to work. The session was based around a number of things already on my website, but I might put them together to put out an article that aligns with this session, even if it just ends up as a glorified links page. I enjoyed giving the session and I spoke to a few people after it and got some nice feedback. Remember, it’s all just my opinion, not the law. πŸ™‚

After the session I spent some time speaking to Gert Poel. He had done a session in the APEX track the day before, which had a lot of crossover with mine. Great minds think alike. πŸ™‚ Then it was coffee, more talking, and the evening bash. Not surprisingly I spent a lot of time chatting to people, eating some food and had a couple of sneaky diet cokes. At about 22:00 I drove home and crashed for the night.

So Tuesday was a short day from a conference perspective for me, but I got to chat to a lot of people, which is the best bit about any conference. πŸ™‚

Cheers

Tim…

UKOUG Tech17 : Monday

I couldn’t face the traffic, so I walked to the station and got the train into town. I got to the event in time for the first sessions, but got waylaid meeting people, so the first session for me was the morning keynote, where I got my 30 seconds of fame as they announced the speaker awards.

After the keynote I grabbed a drink and went to watch “Flashback Features in Oracle Database” by Connor McDonald. Connor is always good to watch, although I felt a little cheated as he only used about 260 slides over the 50 minutes. It was practically sedate for him… πŸ™‚

Next I went to see Pete Finnigan with “GDPR for the Oracle DBA”, who had a full room. As a techie it’s really easy to focus on the tech aspect of GDPR, but it’s such an expansive subject, spanning all aspects of the business. After the session someone tweeted,

“So you could say the architecture that underpins Oracle technology is not GDPR compliant, or did I miss something”

My reply was,

“I think you missed something. I don’t think any app is GDPR compliant itself. It’s bigger than that.”

I’m struggling to see how companies will even scratch the surface of GDPR…

After lunch I had my session called Multitenant : What’s new in Oracle Database 12cΒ Release 2 (12.2). It was in the big auditorium, but most people sat towards the front of the room, so it didn’t feel like I was just presenting to chairs this year. πŸ™‚

After me came the community keynote “Solving the Most Common User Request …. Make it go Faster!”, which was a tag-team made up of Connor McDonald, Chris Saxon and my sister-in-law Maria Colgan. I think this format is fun, and the general message about us needing to be more user-driven is important. At one point Connor was talking about instrumentation and showed a screen with V$SESSION information on it, asking the audience how anyone could tell which row represented the problem session. I shouted out it was row three as a joke, and it turned out to be true. I am available for performance tuning work. I don’t need to see you’re system. I am data-sensitive… πŸ™‚

From there I went to see “Making the APEX Universal Theme Your own” by Marc Sewtz. I’m possibly the worst APEX developer in the world, so I have to keep throwing in APEX sessions, just so I feel a little less guilty… πŸ™‚

On the way out of the previous session I got talking to Stew Ashton, and we missed the last session of the day chatting, mostly talking about #SmartDB. From there we headed up for the drinks and mingling. A little before 20:00 I headed across to the Oracle ACE Dinner, where we had a family table. πŸ™‚ Having a large group of presenters in a room is not a good way to keep the volume down. πŸ™‚

A short taxi ride home and Monday was done for me. I’m at work on Tuesday, but I will be in to present my session called, “Using PL/SQL and ORDS to Develop RESTful Web Services for APEX? Why?”, in the APEX stream.Β  I understand the irony of me being a crap APEX developer and doing a session in the APEX stream, but if you see it I think it will make sense why. πŸ™‚

Cheers

Tim…