Thursday 15 October 2015

The Oracle Development Community is Buzzing

I don't know about you, but it sure seems like a fire was lit somewhere in Oracle and now there are all sorts of things going on in the development community.

We've had some discussions about this over the water cooler and I think there are many positives we can take out of this engagement, and I think a deeper message being sent to veterans that Oracle is still up for the game against the younger competitors.

The Oracle Developer Advocates Team

I think this is one of the best initiatives to come out of Oracle for some time. They've basically recruited some of the most passionate voices in the Oracle community to help the rest of us create faster, secure, more maintainable applications.

I first noticed this with Dan McGhan running, a site I have not been able to keep up with considering other projects this year, but what a site it is. There is a long term coupling of JavaScript, Node and APEX and I can't think of a better person to spearhead the sharing of knowledge in the community.

I'm lucky enough to live in the same city as another advocate, Connor McDonald. This actually means I work within a stone's throw, but we don't nearly enough catch-up beers. I can't say enough about his presentation ability, but his on the job passion is second to none.

Steven is obviously Mr PL/SQL, and I met Todd briefly at Kscope15. Given this pedigree, I trust the others in the group bring superb qualities.


Tom Kyte has been running this site for a long time, just before I started my Oracle career. I'm impressed he's managed it by himself for so long, but now the reins have been handed over, and the choice of Chris Saxon and Connor for replacement is spot on.
When first started this site sure helped me form better practices in SQL and PL/SQL. I don't use it so much anymore, but I agree with the message from up high in Oracle that this site had to continue, and become more active.

If you've encountered, then you might have also seen Today on Twitter I saw an announcement for, complete with supplied scripts and tutorials.

This is a brilliant idea, and it's I think it's awesome they're using APEX for delivery. You'll no doubt find many AskTom answers and demonstrations linking to this site, and I think it will be a great repository for developers


I'm a long way from Rome, but with the aid of modern technology I'm able to keep my finger on the pulse, and it sure seems strong. It seems these days you kind find yourself a reasonably close conference targeting developers regardless of where you live. If you haven't been to one I highly recommend it, for the experience, the learning and the camaraderie.

If you're unable to attend a conference, ODTUG hosts many webinars, one of which is coming up next week that apparently all APEX developers should tune in for. Midnight challenge accepted.

I have more experiences to share from my time at Kscope15, still some hand written notes and mental thoughts I'd like to translate to the blog. It's still got me thinking about the community, and how amazing the ODTUG team is at serving it. Become a member and have your say in the board.

Oracle Open Source

If I were to guess the topic of the Top Secret APEX Community Event, I would say it has something to do with the gathering momentum of an Oracle open source project at I've heard a bunch of ideas and promises come from that direction, and so far the organisation of a bunch of stubs.

They have big, useful things in the works, time for pay dirt?

Oracle Database Developer Choice Awards

Voting closes at some point as the planet rotates today, but I hope you voted for a few people. It's another new initiative, maybe not done quite right but it's early days and there are many years to come.

If you're on social media it would be hard to miss ongoing commentary about some of the issues faced in regard to voting. I'm not going to go into detail, but let's remember it's early days in a new idea and mistakes will be made and learned from. It sure took a long time for the Nobel prizes to sort the crap out, just ask Rosalind Franklin.

Internet voting is hard. The organisers inherited an existing framework with some unforseen pitfalls. Perhaps next year a shiny APEX application will take its place. maybe with a modified voting system.

The spread of categories is certainly developer centric, another win for us. I was humbled when asked to be involved in the judging process for the APEX category. I figured if I'm a judge in something, surely that means I would warrant nomination for such an offer, or so my ego went.

However, this means congratulations should be forwarded to not only those nominated (and the other judges of course), but the many skilled developers out there who were not nominated simply due to community apathy, something that Tim Hall had a little rant about. There were also nominees that became ineligible by virtue of residing in a particular country. One nominee couldn't be added, ironically while organising a separate competition.

The same can be said for passionate, skilled developers out there who are not recognised as ACEs. I still have a post drafted diving into my thoughts on the program, but for the awards the APEX judges decided nominated ACEs have already received deserved recognition, and we as a community wanted to find some more diamonds in the rough. Some future ACEs no doubt.

As a judge I was ineligible to vote, but now voting is closed I thought I'd share some thoughts on each category.


This first category demonstrates an interesting issue regarding internet voting. With all due credit to Emrah, I think an active local community has come together to support their nominee, and he will come out of this a more noticeable member of the global community - mission accomplished.

I would like to thank Kim Berg Hansen for his very active presence online. I haven't participated in the PL/SQL Challenge site since Steven Feuerstein started wearing red shirts, but Kim's SQL quizzes are excellent and that takes commitment.


Kudos to some nominees here crossing categories, but for me the standout in helping my understanding of some of the most useful but slightly more complicated features of the database is Adrian Billington. The website has articles that effectively explain some tough topics. These OakTable fellows sure are made of the right stuff.


I haven't had enough time to really play with this product. A colleague has done most of the infrastructure work for our current client and I'm waiting for a chance to eke some more leverage out of this maturing product.

I asked a question on the forum about ORDS recently and was reminded how much I didn't know, and how much Dietmar is all over this product. In my mind a deserved inaugural winner.


Being so involved in this product now I could say plenty about each of the nominees, and illustrate how hard it must be to compare apples to oranges to mangoes. They've all contributed in relatively uniquely ways, and Morten in nominated once again.

Trent is probably the quietest achiever of the group, though I know his blog posts are quality over quantity and I've learned from his plugin dabblings.

If anyone has used the forum they've encountered Paul MacMillan as fac586. I think everyone must have learnt at least something from his replies.

Karen is the IR queen. I think our circles and geography differ somewhat, but that's why they asked for geographically diverse judges.

Morten has done amazing work in building a library of useful libraries. Hard to top and at this point he may have pipped Juergen, a new kid on the block but what a demo app for dynamic actions! And awesome work starting an APEX podcast with very interesting interviews.

Kiran Pawar has been a recent star in the forums, quick to provide good references to people looking for information. I have criticised some of his answers recently but I'm sure the same could be said for some of my responses, and certainly questions. I made some doozies recently.

Jari Laine is a JavaScript wizard that I've learned plenty of practical applications for jQuery. I could not have built such a versatile tablet application without integrating some work he's shared.

Database Design

Surely this is the most esoteric of the categories, but at times I really do miss some of the best designers I've encountered. I can't add much beyond congratulating fellow Perth technologist Mark Hoxey as a nominee. Someone obviously thought enough of his contribution to best practice to place a nomination, well done.

Final Thoughts

If you think support for Oracle technology is waning, think again. There's plenty I've missed, stuff I don't know, and time & spirit to nurture and cultivate some great ideas. With such a large amount to learn, I find solace in a community that facilitates such a variety of options to learn. I'm glad I have freedom to contribute my part.

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