The Eternal Newbie

It’s been over a decade since I first heard Tom Kyte talking about Project Marvel, which eventually became Application Express (APEX). Since then I’ve “used” just about every version of APEX. I use the term “used” very loosely, because I typically use APEX for a few days to get a job done, then never touch it again for months. By the time I come back, I pretty much have to start the learning process from the beginning again.

This is a perfect example of the “Eternal Newbie”. I could quite legitimately put 10+ years experience of APEX (including previous names) on my CV and it wouldn’t be a lie, but in reality I’m only about as good as any PL/SQL developer that’s been playing with APEX for a week.

It’s not that APEX is difficult, quite the contrary, but the process of getting good at anything takes time and repetition. You’ve probably heard the variations on “10,000 hours to become an expert” saying. It doesn’t matter that it’s not true or accurate. What matters is it highlights the need for time, repetition and constantly striving to improve. A little plodding once in a while does not count for experience in my book.

As an example of this, on Friday I was trying to get something to work with a Shuttle control in APEX 5.0.2. I found a couple of great examples on Dmitri‘s and Denes blogs, which (I thought) got me 90% of the way to what I wanted to achieve, but the last 10% took me half of Friday, then the whole of Saturday evening. If I was actually any good at this stuff it would have probably taken me 2 mins. What’s more, if I was good, I would have probably realised Dmitri and Denes’ examples actually got me to 99.9% of what I was trying to achieve, but my inexperience meant I kept shooting myself in the foot. After all that time playing and reading, I felt like a master of Shuttle controls in APEX, but if I don’t look at APEX for a week I’m going to be totally screwed. I have some knowledge now, but it will take repetition to make it stick, and based on past experience, that’s not going to happen. 🙂

I did a video a few months ago about the term “Senior” in relation to IT jobs. My recent fumblings with APEX made me think about this subject again.

With my 10+ years of APEX experience, I’m obviously a “Senior APEX Developer”. Just remind me, how do I alter a breadcrumb? 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

APEX 5.0.2 : Let’s get patching!


APEX 5.0.2 was released just before OOW15. Today is my first day back to work, so I’ve started to patch some stuff. We were already on APEX 5.0.1 across the board, so we didn’t need to do any full installations, just patches.

SO far, so good. No problems in any Dev or Test databases. I expect a pretty quick roll-out across the board.

Cheers

Tim…

APEX 5.0.1 : We’re all patched up!

apexAPEX 5.0.1 was released about a week ago. I started to patch some stuff straight away. We were already on APEX 5.0 across the board, so we didn’t need to do any full installations, just patches.

During the patching I noticed we were getting some issues with supposed misconfiguration of static files. After clearing my browser cache, the message went away, so I tweeted this.

“Regarding APEX 5.0.1 patch. Clear your browser cache, or you may get that static files message, even though config is correct. 🙂 #orclapex”

Practically before I hit return, Patrick Wolf came back with this.

“@oraclebase Thanks for letting us know. I have filed bug# 21463521 and fixed it for 5.0.2”

We’re a week on now and all our APEX installations are happily running 5.0.1. We had no issues with the upgrades and no problems with the apps.

We are small fry where APEX is concerned, so don’t take this as the green light to upgrade everything yourself. I’m just saying we had no problems with it, which is pretty cool. If APEX is a strategic environment for you, you will probably need to do a lot more testing than us. 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

APEX 5.0 Rollout

apexLast month there was a frenzy of activity when APEX 5.0 was released. I had been having a dabble with the Early Adopter for a while, but I felt the need to do a local install.

The only slight issue I had was with static files and that was down to me not RTFMing properly. 🙂 Patrick Wolf wrote about this issue recently here.

Having not had any problems while I was playing with APEX 5.0, I started the task of upgrading all the installations at work. We don’t do any major development, just basic CRUD screens and interactive reports, so it wasn’t too high profile a task. Anyway, the upgrades went smoothly and everything is running on APEX 5.0 now. Happy days! 🙂

Of course, if you are doing some complicated stuff that is pivotal to your business, you probably need to be a bit more meticulous about your planning and testing than I was, but it’s pretty good news that of the 20+ installations, none had any upgrade problems. 🙂

I’ve played around with ORDS 3.0 before the GA release.

We currently use the Oracle HTTP Server to front our stuff for historic reasons. I guess the next move will be to implement ORDS, but I’m not sure when that will happen…

Cheers

Tim…