Only Connect

Three peers extol the virtues of a good conversation.

By Blair Campbell

November/December 2018

Gianni Ceresa

Gianni Ceresa

Lausanne, Switzerland

Company/URL: DATAlysis GmbH

Job title: Managing director

Length of time using Oracle products: 10 years

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How are you using cloud computing in your work these days? I think of cloud as a sandbox in which I can easily play with almost any kind of tool. With just a few clicks, I can provision an Oracle Analytics Cloud instance or a database service instance, and in minutes I can test tools and solutions. But for cultural reasons and some regulations limits here in Switzerland, “foreign” hosted clouds are not a well-accepted solution, so I really look forward to the plans Oracle has for regional expansion.

What’s the most common cause you see when IT projects go wrong? The main cause is a lack of vision and clear requirements. This happens every time a project is set up to “just” replace something without first asking the users what they really need. Because of that tendency, there’s also often a mismatch between the planned resources and the skills and experience of team members that the project truly requires.

What’s the next big thing driving change in your industry? There are three: AI; machine learning; and automation of repetitive tasks, improving reaction time and information usage. The risk with all three is that they will become “buzzwords” that everybody talks about but nobody really masters—so I wouldn’t mind for the industry to adopt a small-steps approach.


Roy Salazar Valverde

Roy Salazar Valverde

San Jose, Costa Rica

Company/URL: Pythian

Job title: Oracle Database consultant

Length of time using Oracle products: 20 years

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How did you get started in IT? While at university, I chose my courses carefully, with an eye to getting employed before graduating. I was still a student when I got the chance to work as a Y2K consultant in 1998. It was really hard to work all day and then study at night and on weekends, but it was important to me to both work and learn as much as possible at university. After my Y2K consulting experience, I continued working as a developer and then became a technical consultant and systems analyst.

Which new features in Oracle Database are you currently finding most valuable? I’ve checked out the Oracle Database 18c new features for security, and I’m very intrigued by the possibility in this release of having a schema that is just that—a schema—rather than both a schema and a user, as in the past. Nowadays, when security is more and more important, this feature is very relevant to force appropriate settings for accessing the data in the database. And I truly love the Oracle Database Security Assessment Tool, which was recently improved to help companies address GDPR compliance. I’ve been using this tool since the beginning of this year and have found it very useful for security audits and reviews.

How are you using social media in your work these days? I was really resistant to getting into social networks, but some years ago I decided to join Facebook and LinkedIn. It was only in November of last year, when I was accepted into the Oracle ACE Program, that I created a Twitter account. Now I love having interactions with tech “gurus” in the social networks where I’m active.


Yasuo Honda

Yasuo Honda

Tokyo, Japan

Company/URL: freee K.K.

Job title: Software developer

Oracle credentials: Oracle Certified Professional, MySQL 5.6 Database Administrator

Length of time using Oracle products: 22 years

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What technology has most changed your life? I would say Oracle Database and Ruby on Rails. Since I started working as an Oracle consultant, Oracle Database has given me a great view of IT. I have gained a deeper understanding of everything from storage, networking, and operating systems to application-level performance tuning. When I decided I wanted to learn a programming language, I discovered Ruby on Rails, one of the best web application frameworks ever written in the Ruby language. I now attend RailsConf every year, where many Rails developers give inspiring talks and you can have great conversations about solving technical problems.

What’s your favorite tool on the job? Soon after discovering and becoming a fan of Ruby on Rails, I learned about ActiveRecord, an open source adapter that provides Oracle Database access from Ruby on Rails applications. With this tool, I’ve been able to make use of my Oracle Database knowledge, and it’s given me a lot of new and interesting programming challenges. I’m now one of the maintainers of the project.

How are you using social media in your work these days? I communicate with other Ruby developers, otherwise known as Rubyists. I’m most active on GitHub. Once I open pull requests regarding Ruby on Rails projects, I get great feedback from Rails committers. There are many Rails committers and contributors who frequently open pull requests and fix issues. Even if most of this communication is done online, when I meet them in person at RailsConf or other meetups, we have lots to talk about.