Firsts and Favorites

Three peers who started early, stayed loyal, and stuck to tech basics

By Blair Campbell

January/February 2016


Alex Zaballa

How did you get started in IT? I started developing in Clipper at age 15, and by age 17 I was working as an Oracle developer at a software house called N&L in my hometown of Caxias do Sul. My first project involved working on a new enterprise resource planning application from development to deployment, using Oracle8i Database, Oracle Forms, Oracle Reports, and Oracle Designer 6.

Peer Specs

Company: Accenture Enkitec Group, a global systems integrator focused on Oracle Database and Oracle engineered systems

Job title/description: Infrastructure senior manager, responsible for consulting, implementation, and delivering cost-effective solutions using Oracle technologies
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
Oracle credentials: Almost 150 Oracle certifications, including Oracle Certified Master Database Cloud Administrator, Oracle Database 12c Certified Implementation Specialist, and Oracle Real Application Clusters 12c Certified Implementation Specialist, with 15 years of experience using Oracle products
Oracle ACE Director Oracle ACE Director

How are you using social media in your work these days? I’m a big fan—quite frequently you’ll find me on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Facebook. I’m also one of the moderators for the Oracle Community in Portuguese. I got great support from this community when I first started out, so it’s gratifying to give back and help others.

What’s the most common cause you see when IT projects go wrong? I see several common causes: undefined objectives, failure to establish effective leadership and engagement with stakeholders, poor communication, unrealistic timeframes, and underestimated cost. I think many of these problems could be alleviated by a greater commitment to and focus on quality over price at the outset of a project.

What’s the next big thing driving change in your industry? Oracle Cloud is the big thing driving change. Companies can now focus on their own business—they don’t need to spend time buying servers, organizing data centers, and hiring additional IT professionals.

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Martin Klier

What’s your favorite tool on the job? I favor Oracle Database because it’s a reliable and scalable ecosystem for storing data of all kinds. And I like its cost-based optimizer for its flexible response to changing situations—a capability that I see as gaining more and more relevance in modern data structures and use cases. But my first love was and always will be Oracle Real Application Clusters [Oracle RAC], for extending the scalability of the database to more than one server and keeping storage in sync from multiple hosts with Oracle Automatic Storage Management—therefore combining the power of multiple machines with their redundancy. In my opinion, that’s still unique in the market, even after 10 years of modern Oracle RAC architecture.

Peer Specs

Company: Performing Databases GmbH, a company specializing in core database technology

Job title/description: Senior DBA consultant and managing partner, helping customers with performance analysis, systems design, and implementation of Oracle databases
Location: Mitterteich, Bavaria, Germany
Oracle credentials: Oracle Certified Associate (Oracle Database 10g), with more than 12 years of experience using Oracle products
Oracle ACE Oracle ACE

Which new features in Oracle Database are you currently finding most valuable? The Oracle Database In-Memory option is a very valuable component. Allowing the overlap of OLTP [online transaction processing] and OLAP [online analytical processing] queries within one system makes it an attractive choice for midsize environments.

What are your go-to Oracle reference books? Oracle Core: Essential Internals for DBAs and Developers by Jonathan Lewis [Apress, 2011] and Troubleshooting Oracle Performance, Second Edition, by Christian Antognini [Apress, 2014].

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Gustavo Gonzalez

What’s your favorite technique on the job? Leading by example. I’m committed to this practice to such an extent that I will help review code changes, evaluate the impact of patches, and create service requests. Sometimes people are surprised upon learning that I’m the CTO, as many think of CTOs as more budget- and contract-oriented rather than focused on technical details—which I am. My goal as a leader is to provide the best service to my customers, and even though I have to invest a good percentage of my time on formal tasks due to my executive role, I’m constantly trying to find ways to deep-dive into technical details.

Peer Specs

Company: IT Convergence, an Oracle Platinum Partner and a global enterprise application services provider with core competencies in Oracle solutions

Job title/description: Chief technology officer, leading the company’s strategy for technology platforms, partnerships, and external relationships
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Oracle credentials: Multiple Oracle certifications, including Oracle Fusion Financials 2014 Data, Security, and Reporting Implementation Specialist; Oracle Fusion HCM 2014 Data, Security, and Reporting Implementation Specialist; and Oracle Fusion Applications 2014 User Experience Specialist, with 17 years of experience using Oracle products
Oracle ACE Director Oracle ACE Director

Which new features in Oracle technologies are you currently finding most valuable? I’m thrilled with how you can deploy a new database or product in Oracle Cloud with just a few clicks. That speeds up every aspect of IT, making us capable of delivering more initiatives and being way more productive.

What would you like to see Oracle, as a company, do more of? It’s hard to think about room for improvement, but I certainly think Oracle has an amazing opportunity to reach mid-markets in Latin America with its cloud applications. This would create a major opportunity both for companies such as IT Convergence and for our customers, who will be able to leverage world-class business software in the cloud.

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