I just noticed KeePass 2.41 was released about a week ago.
I’m currently drowning in a sea of requests for a number of things, including people wanting me to help them with specific issues, which feels a bit like they want me to do their job for them. I feel a little bit uncharitable saying that, but that’s how it feels.
Let me start by saying I understand what it’s like to be asked to do stuff in your job that you don’t know anything about, and also don’t care about. Sometimes, if you can Google a solution and move on it’s a happy day. Having said that, I’m also aware that I can’t expect every article and blog post I come across to contain exactly what I’m looking for. You have to do a certain amount of digging, mixing & matching and it involves a certain amount of trial and error to get to a solution.
Here’s an example I’ve had recently. I’m not saying this was a case of “do my job for me”. The person in question was very polite and not at all demanding, so I feel safe to use this example, and I’m hopefully not going to offend them.
The interaction started with a question about XMLTABLE. It became clear over time this was actually several points wrapped into one.
All these pieces were already explained on the website, but there wasn’t one page that put them all together. As a result of that question I added a bunch of extra links between articles to make the situation a little more obvious.
People contact you and from their perspective it’s a one-to-one interaction, but from your perspective it’s a one-to-many, as they are not the only person requesting your time. You end up feeling guilty you can’t help more, and I’m sure some of them think you are being a dick because you are not helping them. This situation just doesn’t scale.
It’s almost impossible for anyone to be an expert these days. You have to mix & match information to get to a solution. If you want a job in IT, you have to develop this ability to find information from several sources and combine it to get to a final solution. If you are expecting someone else to do that for you, you are never going to get anywhere.
PS. In my response to a comment below, I am reminded of some words from Tom Kyte who said, “The more you do, the more people want you to do!” 🙂
If you speak to my colleagues you will know one of my regular topics of conversation at meetings is the “judgement of worth” within the company. I get quite annoyed when I see people who I believe are adding value, but always seem to get ignored, while others who talk a great talk, but ultimately can’t walk the walk, seem to catch all the breaks. It seems visibility is more important than getting results these days.
One of my colleagues sent me a link to this article and it really sums up what I keep saying.
I’ve spent the last 18 years telling the internet what I think, so I couldn’t deny a tendency for self-promotion, but I like to think I can actually deliver, not just talk about it! Of course, you will never really know unless you work with me, and that’s the point. It certainly seems people believe what they are told, regardless of whether there is any factual basis to it.
So what should you do? Well in my opinion, maybe this is a start.
I realise I sound kind-of narky in this post, but I think it’s really important. It really gets on my nerves when I see people taking the credit for other people’s work, and I’m equally annoyed when I see other people letting it happen.
I’m not suggesting you bully the perpetrators, or make a big show of the situation. Just don’t give them the opportunity to steal your moment in the sun!
Good luck folks!
PS. The wife said something in a Facebook comment that reminded me of something I wanted to say. I regularly get accused of name dropping, because I say things like, “I was chatting with X, and they said…”. This isn’t me trying to brag about all the “famous” people I know. It’s because I don’t want to come over as having these ideas for myself. I’m going to name-check people, even if you think it makes me look like I’m bragging, because they deserve the credit for their work and their ideas. If they tell me the origin of their idea, I’ll say, “I spoke to X, who said they heard Y say…”. Sorry if this annoys you personally, or you want to make a negative judgement about why I do it, but I think it matters…
VirtualBox 6.0.0 has been released.
I’ve installed it on my Windows 10 laptop at work, which I use with Vagrant for testing of Oracle, WebLogic, Tomcat server builds, as well as Docker builds. I’ll do my personal Windows 10 laptop, old MBP and OL7 server when I get home.
It’s also worth noting I kicked off a few new builds using Vagrant (2.2.2) and they went fine with the new version of VirtualBox.
Anyway, so far, so good.
As always, it’s a new product out of the door. I expect some frequent releases until it settles out, and if you’ve got something that really matters, like you are doing some demos tomorrow, I would probably hang back for a while. 🙂
Danger, Will Robinson! Obligatory warning below.
So here we go…
Fedora 29 has been out for a bit over a week now. Over the weekend I had a play with it and noticed a couple of differences between Fedora 28 and Fedora 29 as far as Oracle installations are concerned. There are some extra packages that need to be installed. Also, one of the two symbolic links that were needed for the Oracle installation on Fedora 28 is now present in Fedora 29, but pointing to the wrong version of the package.
Here are the articles I did as a result of this.
It’s pretty similar to the installation on Fedora 28, with the exception of the extra packages and a slight alteration to the symbolic links.
Once the “bento/fedora-29” box becomes available I’ll probably do a Vagrant build for this, but for the moment is was the old fashioned approach. 🙂
So now you know how to do it, please don’t! 🙂
Oracle Code : Paris started with a short walk from the hotel to the venue. After signing in it all began…
The first session of the day was a keynote by Lonneke Dikmans called “What Happened to My Order? The Need for Orchestration in Modern Architectures”, comparing BPEL orchestrations with orchestrations and choreography used in microservices and serverless architectures. It was a really good introduction to the concepts.
Next up was James Allerton-Austin with “Building a Chatbot Front-end for Blockchain Transactions and Serverless Functions APIs”, which included a description of the stack offered by Oracle and a demo of selling Larry’s car. During this session there were also brief stints by Karim Zein and JeanMarc Hui Bon Hoa.
From there I went to the speaker room and started to feel decidedly odd. I sometimes get migraines that don’t give me a headache, but make me feel dizzy and nauseous. The following couple of hours were mostly lying on the floor and going to the toilets to puke.
I did pop in to see “Build a Decentralized Blockchain Application with Hyperledger Fabric and Composer” by Robert van Mölken, hoping it would distract me.
I also popped my head in to Women in Technology (WIT) session to see what the turnout was like. It was very busy. It was in French, so I could understand what was going on. 🙂
After that I went back to the speaker room floor, then before I knew it, it was time for my session, but not before another conversation with the toilet bowl…
Adrenalin is a wonderful drug. I warned the audience I might have to leave suddenly, but I managed to get through my session without any major problems. I lost the internet connection a couple of times, and had to reconnect to my 18c DBaaS instance on Oracle Cloud. The new laptop behaved itself though. Once my talk was over the Adrenalin started to subside and I felt worse again, but not as bad as before. I was sitting still and chatting to some of the folks in the speaker room for the rest of the afternoon, and I only remember puking once more after my sessions, which was an improvement…
Pretty soon it was time to leave for the airport and Oracle Code : Paris was over for me. Thanks everyone for making it happen. Sorry I wasn’t able to participate more. This year’s conference curse seems to be continuing.
I’ll write about the journey home in a separate post as that is already proving “interesting”, in a conference curse style… 🙂
When I’m in airports I do a lot of people watching. One thing I notice is a total lack of focus in some people.
In the airport I have several distinct goals.
Only once these tasks are complete can I relax and while away the time. Now I understand things can get complicated when people are having to sheppard young children, but I see lots of single adults, or couples that seem unable to focus on the task at hand…
As an example I recently witnessed someone being asked the same question three times before answering it. At this point you might be thinking it was because they were hard of hearing, or maybe struggling with the accent. Although that could be true, what I could see was they were not looking at the person dealing with them. Their attention was elsewhere, rather than focusing on the task at hand. This drives me crazy. You are asking for help, so pay attention you flippin’ idiot!
There are lots of characteristics that can be attributed to successful people, but I would suggest one of them has got to be the ability to focus. Being able to shut out everything else and focus on the task at hand is really important. You think you are good at multitasking, but you aren’t. It’s a lie. Sure, you can to some extent multitask mindless operations, but anything that needs proper concentration is single-threaded. By attempting to multitask all you are doing is performing substandard work. It takes time to switch between tasks, so when you think you are just checking your twitter messages, you are actually wasting significantly more time… I notice a big difference in my productivity when I’m working from home, because home is really boring, with very few distractions. In contrast the office is full of people that just want a “quick chat” about something, me included. 🙂
One of the principles of agile development is to control Work in Process/Progress (WIP). This is important because it allows you to focus on a single task (user story or story point) and get it done and out of way, before moving on to the next thing on the list (or kanban board). Since you are only ever focused on the current task, there is no need for context switching during the task. It also has some other benefits…
There will always be some interruptions, like high priority incidents, but removing all but the essential distractions has a massive impact on productivity. This doesn’t have to be controlled by others and imposed on you. The trick is for you to be disciplined about when you do things. If you can’t live without checking social media, fine. Just do it between tasks, not during a task. If you are already switching between the end of one task and the start of the next, you are already having a mental context switch, so the impact is much reduced compared to checking in the middle of a task. I don’t agree with companies trying to turn workers into mindless drones, but at the same time it is your duty not to waste time you are being paid for.
Most importantly, never stand in front of me in a queue and ignore the person on the desk who is trying to help you, or I’ll write a rambling blog post about you! 🙂
I woke up at silly o’clock to begin my journey home. I checked out of the hotel and got a taxi to the airport, where I breezed through check-in and security and found myself at the boarding gate 2 hours before the flight. Another hour in bed would have been nice… 🙂
As usual, out came the laptop and I played catch-up on the blog and some of the other stuff I had missed during the conference.
The flight from Warsaw to Frankfurt was a little under 2 hours. I don’t think I’ve flown with LOT before, and it was quite a nice experience. The plane had a clean and modern interior with power sockets at every seat, which was cool. I didn’t have an aisle seat, but the flight wasn’t full, so I was able to move to one. 🙂
I had a 90 minutes stop over at Frankfurt, before starting the hour flight home to Birmingham. That fine was easy, even though I had a window seat.
A quick taxi ride home and Oracle Code : Warsaw was complete.
Thanks to the Oracle Code crew for inviting me to the event, and to the Oracle Developer Champion and Oracle ACE Programs for making this possible for me. Most importantly, thank to the attendees and speakers for coming to the event and making it all happen!
The posts for this event were:
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… 🙂
Anyway, I hope 2017 was good for you and I hope 2018 will be a great one for you!
I got up a little after 08:30, which was a bit of a surprise, and headed down for breakfast, where a met a bunch of other speakers.
By the time I got showered, changed and checked out of the hotel I had missed the first session of the day (sorry). The first session I went to was the wife presenting “PaaS4SaaS”. I know what you are thinking, and yes I could do this presentation as I’ve seen it so many times. 🙂
Next up was Francesco Tisiot with “What a Successful OBIEE 12c Upgrade Project Looks Like – Customer Case Study (Liberty Global)”. As mentioned before, I don’t work with OBIEE, but some people I work with do now, so I like to keep my ear to the ground. It is also looking like I will be looking after some of their infrastructure, so this session was really useful to me, just because of the additional context it gave me.
After Francesco’s session there was a vendor awareness session, lunch, chatting (networking), then it was back to the sessions.
Next up was Roel Hartman with “The Quest for the Little Gems in APEX 5.1”. Having introduced the headline features of APEX 5.1, he switched to speaking about some of the less well publicized cool features. Things like font APEX, button builder, live template options, improved dynamic actions, new PL/SQL APIs, theme styles and more. Cool!
I missed the next session as I was logged in to work, trying to catch up on some stuff. By the time I finished that I was a little late for Alex Nuijten presenting “Structuring an APEX Application”. I’m not sure how happy most APEX developers would be with some of the stuff Alex was suggesting, but I think it’s perfect, probably because we both came to APEX after spending years as PL/SQL developers. Listening to some of his structural approach reminded me of this. 🙂
The final session was “Question Time with ACEs & Ask Tom’s Chris Saxon and Maria Colgan”. The actual list of panelists was Chris Saxon, Martin Widlake, Joze Senegacnik, Neil Chandler, Alex Nuijten, Oren Nakdimon and Maria Colgan. I should not be allowed in panel sessions, whether I am on the panel or not. I have no off switch. It was a really funny session. Don’t mess with Maria! 🙂
And that was it for the OUG Ireland 2017… I’ll write a wrap-up post with all the usual thank you messages when I get home, but for today I would just like to say thank you to everyone for a great time!
After the last session I hung around in the hotel bar for a while having a chat with some of the folks, then it was time to head home, but that’s another blog post… 🙂