Tuesday, 13 December 2011

A retrospective

Throughout our contemporary world there are many references to common denominations of time - and they all revolve around the same thing (pardon the pun).

Anniversaries of birthdays and various events are designated by a date in the year. These are also accompanied by decennaries, centennials, etc..

The moon, such an important part of our existence is also used to denote periods of time, albeit sometimes with less exactness.

So I thought why not use another cycle to mark an occasion, and look back over the years... that and I am basically a year late for the decennary.

Our planet experiences a solar cycle of about 11 years. It's still not completely understood why, and the various effects are still being studied - but after an extended dormancy our sun is starting to flare up (another pun!) and instigate various activity here on Earth.

My rambling aside - today marks 11 years since I got my first full-time job thanks to my university degree.

I never pro-actively sought after a job working with the Oracle product - in fact, my first job offer was in Sydney to work on the Collins class submarines using the Ada language - which was the teaching language of choice at ECU at the time.

So with much thought I declined that offer, deciding to stay in Perth - taking a job in a suburb many miles/kilometers from my home... using Oracle, and I hit the ground running.

Fortunately my first employer was often on the bleeding edge when it came to Oracle technology, so I learned a lot in a short amount of time.

With a little hesitation after almost 5 years I left my first employer so I could start exploring other industries (and perhaps work in town, instead of an industrial suburb well out of my way)

Wind forward to today, and I've touched on Forms, Reports, Designer, Portal, Discoverer, EBS, mod plsql, and a seemingly longish gap to Application Express.

I think more importantly, however, I've been active in my local user group. I think when it comes to advancing my career, this has been one of the most important aspects.

Participating in user group events allowed me to meet & greet others in my community, in hindsight allowing me to maintain consistent contact with my future employer (Sage). Ultimately I started presenting papers of my own, rewarding me with a best paper award at this year's AUSOUG conference.

It's also opened a number of other doors, almost like a positive feedback loop. I've reviewed a number of new Oracle books from Packt Publishing; and I've been a technical reviewer in a number of interesting Oracle books from Apress. This is another part of the feedback loop, since I'm learning & reasserting skills while reviewing books I'd want to read anyway.

As for the future? Well, from a technology perspective I think in due time my lovely employer Penny would like me to learn JDeveloper, but in the nearer future I'm more than happy to continue exploring and improving my Oracle Apex skills.

I will certainly be continuing my extra curricular activities. Amongst other tasks, soon I hope to co-author some articles with Penny; I have some more ideas for fresh presentations using the Prezi tool - limiting death by powerpoint!; I hope to finally redesign this blog and "officially" launch the new name, but that may be competing with our yearn to translate our Sage website into Apex - which will offer many new opportunities. I've just got to make sure I don't destroy the wonderful SEO work Chris Muir has put into the static HTML version.

Ultimately, it would be great to start participating in some of the bigger events around the world - UKOUG & ODTUG's Kaleidoscope, for example. It's just a little shame we're here in the most isolated capital city in the world... but it's worth it - I love living here ;-)


Gary Myers said...

After a (brief) stint contracting for the SRD in Perth, I spent nine months in Adelaide doing Forms upgrade work for the Collins Class submarine. Forms 4.0 to 4.5 on DEC VAX.

The work wasn't thrilling, but I wrote a really ugly AWK script to analyse Forms text extracts. Plus you gain a really appreciation for iron clad testing when you are working in an environment where there is no possibility of releasing a bug fix to production for months.

Word verification: Grudista, which sounds like a bloke who makes really bad coffee

Scott Wesley said...

Oddly, google said your comment was spam, but not in my notification e-mail - I was wondering why I couldn't see it!

Iron clad... reminds me of the old warships - imagine them vs a Collins sub ;-)