Which new features in Oracle applications are you currently finding most valuable? Oracle E-Business Suite Diagnostics is one of the suite’s best and most underutilized features. Rolling this out to those in the user community who use our applications to perform their job functions can take a huge load off already overworked IT departments.
Job title/description: Vice president of Oracle delivery, responsible for managing Infosemantics’ Oracle practice
Location: Grapevine, Texas
Length of time using Oracle products: 18 years
How have you seen the relationship between IT and your user community evolve? I remember the days when IT was thought of as that geeky group in the back room who could automate some business processes mysteriously, and any minor deviation required significant help. Now, with everyone using the internet and smartphones, it’s not so mysterious. Those of us in IT need to have confidence that the user community can manage more of their own applications, including error corrections.
What advice do you have about how to get into application development and support? Start early, be open to trying new things, and be very self-motivated. When I want to learn something new, I start by trying to build a presentation to teach it to someone else.
How did you get started in IT? When I was 10 years old, if you won the weekly classroom math quiz at my school, you got a precious hour on the school’s sole Apple II computer. From that point on, I was hooked. I worked as a mainframe IMS [Information Management System] programmer before being exposed to Oracle Database during the client/server boom. A talk by [longtime Oracle expert] Dave Ensor inspired me to invest more time in continuous learning about Oracle technology, rather than being happy with the status quo.
Job title/description: Independent consultant, responsible for database configuration, tuning, and PL/SQL development
Location: Perth, Australia
Oracle credentials: Oracle Certified Professional (Oracle8i Database, Oracle9i Database, Oracle Database 10g), with 15 years of experience using Oracle products
Oracle ACE Director
What is your favorite technique on the job? It’s actually from the movie Apollo 13: “Let’s work the problem, people.” People think that getting the best out of Oracle technology is some sort of mystical art. It’s not. You just need to take a methodical, disciplined approach without resorting to guesswork or unproven claims.
What is your go-to Oracle reference book right now? Probably Expert Oracle Exadata by Kerry Osborne, Randy Johnson, and Tanel Põder (Apress, 2011). Everyone seems to be getting on Oracle Exadata, so it’s good to be getting some solid insight into it.
Job title/description: Independent senior Oracle consultant, involved in the implementation of Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control
Location: Various cities in the Netherlands
Length of time using Oracle products: 26 years