How did you get started in IT? It was in high school, with those 5¼-inch floppies, green-lettered screens, and keyboards you could pound on. It sort of felt like you were engraving things in stone using a hammer and chisel. It certainly gave a great feeling once the code actually executed, and even did the things that you intended.
Job title/description: Middleware specialist, helping companies set up their software infrastructure, including the design of high-availability architectures, capacity planning, and troubleshooting
Location: Utrecht, the Netherlands
Length of time using Oracle products: Seven years
Oracle ACE Director
What’s your favorite tool on the job? I like tools that give good insight into what a Java Virtual Machine is doing. One great example is the Java Mission Control feature of Java Platform, Standard Edition. When it’s used with the Oracle WebLogic Server plugin, you can trace a request from a servlet to Enterprise JavaBeans to JDBC—so you can show developers where things are going wrong, and that Oracle WebLogic Server is not to blame.
Which new features in Oracle technologies are you finding most valuable? All the features that make the configuration of an environment easier—such as the dynamic clusters, server templates, and Oracle Coherence integration in recent Oracle WebLogic Server releases.
What advice do you have about getting into application development? I always recommend downloading the software from Oracle Technology Network and trying out your own installation. Creating your own little “Hello, World” example is much more valuable than following dozens of pages of course instructions. Learning is try, fail, improve, repeat—without any silver bullet.
Job title: Director, responsible for handling all consulting tasks, running workshops, and speaking at conferences
Location: Munich, Germany
Length of time using Oracle products: 15 years
Oracle ACE Director
What technology has most changed your life? The omnipresence of the internet, which will be driven even further with the Internet of Things. The metadata of your pictures stored in the cloud, taken by that tiny camera in your phone, will disclose to your grandparents the location on Google Maps of that perfect little beach that you discovered in New Zealand many years ago. We live in an amazing world!
What’s your favorite thing to do that doesn’t involve work? Traveling and exploring. Last year after Oracle OpenWorld San Francisco, we went to Yosemite. After an intense week of Oracle ACE Director briefings and conference talks, it was a fabulous experience to leave the city behind. Driving into the rugged green beauty of the national park and climbing some waterfalls was such a pleasant contrast.
How did you get started using Oracle technologies? I started my career as an OS engineer. At one point early on, when I was creating a customer management system, I was asked by the customer to propose a system configuration. I suggested that we go with Oracle7 and Visual Basic.
Job title/description: IT architect/engineer, responsible for designing, implementing, and supporting systems
Location: Kanagawa, Japan
Oracle credentials: Oracle Master Platinum (a certification level available only in Japan), with 23 years of experience using Oracle products
Which new Oracle Database features are you finding most valuable? Support for Entity Framework 6 Code First and Code First migrations in Oracle Data Access Components 12c is my favorite new feature. I also like that I can install Oracle Data Provider for .NET by using NuGet.
How are you using mobile computing these days? I use mobile for everyday information gathering and social networking. In addition, I’ve developed mobile apps at hackathons.
What green initiatives are you focusing on in your software architecture work? I’m working on a project that aims to optimize household power usage through the use of carbon reduction support systems. I think the appropriate use of power is the key to protecting our environment.