Oracle Magazine caught up with Monty Latiolais, president of ODTUG since 2012 and an Oracle Application Express–focused consultant with Insum Solutions, to talk about his start in technology, his history with ODTUG, and scavenger hunts.
Oracle Magazine: How did you get started in technology?
Since I started working with the organization [ODTUG], we’ve basically tripled in size. ”–Monty Latiolais,
Latiolais: I took data processing in high school—with punch cards. I was immediately attracted to the discipline and the precision that was required in programming, and at the same time, I saw that tremendous creativity could be brought to bear on a solution. After that first taste of programming, I really knew what I wanted to do with my life.
College included more punch cards as well as mainframe and minicomputers, and I got my degree in business with applied computer science. After college, I started working with dBase and FoxBase and some small PC databases. And then soon after, I discovered Oracle Database, and I never left.
Oracle Magazine: How did you get started with ODTUG?
Latiolais: About 15 or 20 years ago I was doing Oracle Reports development, and I stumbled across a copy of the ODTUG Technical Journal. I was struck by how technical it was—it was all about the code. And at that time, it was information that I really couldn’t get anywhere else. The ODTUG Technical Journal led me to get on the ODTUG mailing list, and then I attended my first ODTUG conference in 2006. In 2009, I was asked to serve on the conference committee; later that year, I won a seat on the board of directors; and in 2012, I assumed the presidency of ODTUG.
Oracle Magazine: What is the mission of ODTUG, and what is your mission as ODTUG president?
Latiolais: The mission of ODTUG is to establish members as leaders in the organization through education, provide timely access to the latest information, coordinate communication and networking within the community, and present a united voice to influence the strategic direction of Oracle and other vendors. I feel like my role as president is really to keep the train on the tracks. We listen to our members and conference attendees, and they continue to influence and direct our course.
Oracle Magazine: How has ODTUG evolved since you started participating in the group?
Latiolais: Since I started working with the organization, we’ve basically tripled in size. Over the years, Oracle has acquired companies and expanded, and ODTUG has had to expand with it and broaden its scope. The biggest Oracle acquisition with respect to ODTUG was the purchase of Hyperion.
ODTUG continues to focus on Kscope, but we’ve also added a series of one-day events that are free to our members.
Oracle Magazine: Speaking of Kscope, Kscope15 wrapped in June. Tell us about this year’s conference.
Latiolais: The good news for all our members who couldn’t attend is that we videoed each and every session, and they are all available to our members on the ODTUG website.
Outside of sessions, networking activities, the volunteer event, and the 5K run, one of the most interesting and different events of Kscope15 was a high-tech scavenger hunt. ODTUG partnered with the Oracle UX team, and together we had a scavenger hunt featuring some IoT [Internet of Things] technology. We used a combination of clues, NFC [near field communication], Raspberry Pi, Twitter, web-based check-in using Oracle Application Express, and more. It was a lot of fun, and it was a great partnership between the Oracle UX team and ODTUG. It was very successful, and I would not be surprised if we do something similar in the years to come.
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Photography byTeo Duldulao,Unsplash