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May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and yes I am late, as June has already made its entrance but here we are.

 

Although the numbers vary as of 2017 according to the US Census Bureau, there are over 22 Million people with an Asian-American heritage. In addition there are well over a Million Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders. They live and work in all the key sectors of the economy including technology. They may be first or fourth generation but they have enriched our communities.

 

I was able to interview Win Chang, Cloud Customer Experience Director and Chairperson of Oracle Professional Asian Leadership (OPAL). In the interview Win discusses what it was like growing up Asian-American, her families journey to our shores, and working in tech. You can check out her interview below.

 

At least once a month I blog either on the Community platform or on the Oracle Blog. Usually but not always it is motivated to sync-up with the Systems Newsletter, but if there is something else of interest at a different time I will post that also. As a Community Manager at Oracle, I am fairly proficient at doing this, but for some reason this post has had me banging my head against the wall (not literally). As I mentioned in last months post, one of my key idea generators is seeing what is being observed in that month. For some reason May was not connecting for me. Rather than discuss a new topic, for this post I wanted to share some reflections about Community.

 

We are all familiar with the word "Community" but it means different things to different folks. So what is a Community? From my perspective it is when a group of people come together with a common interest or purpose, and the engagement of them results in a unique phenomenon that is greater than the sum of its parts.

 

I was going to discuss our Groundbreakers Community (formerly called Oracle Technology Network (OTN)), however, I want to shed light on another community that has been getting a lot of news lately which is the Oracle Application Express or APEX community. Just to be transparent, Oracle is a large company and although my focus has been on Cloud and other Emerging technologies, I am still in the infancy of understanding APEX and the community. However, as the Community is so strong, over 500,000 developers worldwide, and has a 21 year history, it is a fascinating one to look at. It all started with Michael Hichwa and Joel Kallman back in the early nineties. For those not familiar, APEX is a low-code development platform that can be installed on any Oracle database from version 9.2 or higher, and starting from Oracle 11g it is installed with the database by default. It obviously comes for free with Oracle Autonomous Database and allows you build apps quickly, securely and deploy them anywhere. It was in the news and you can read more about it.

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Following on it's newsworthy heels on April 16, 2020, the Oracle APEX community held the first-ever APEX@Home virtual conference. An amazing back-to-back 24 hours with 24 speakers across the globe sharing about APEX and all done by the community. Joel Kallman writes about the experience and it is well worth a read.

 

The whole idea of APEX@Home was brought to Joel by three Community members, Martin D'Souza, Adrian Png and Trent Schafer, hats off to them. Watching Joel and then later Shakeeb Rahman discuss their experience highlighted what makes communities come alive. It is when they are on a mission that is greater than themselves and with it they charge everyone around them and make things happen. That's real passion!

 

Having spoken with Joel and Shakeeb, I reached out to a couple of the APEX Product Managers, Salim Hlayel and Monica Godoy, to get a better understanding of APEX and they too have gone out of their way to help me. Thank you all for welcoming me.  As I become more familiar with APEX and you the Community, I want to share your stories, how you became involved with APEX, why are you passionate about it, what makes APEX so unique, what kind of groundbreaking Apps. have you made with it. I can record these 60 Second Developer stories with you on Zoom. If you are interested, please reach out to me at javed.mo.mohammed@oracle.com. Below are the speaker heroes who made APEX@Home a success.

 

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Sometimes when I blog, I try to plug into any observance that is going on for the month. Last month on the Oracle blog I covered International Women's Day.

For the month of April, amongst many observances, I was pleased to learn that one of them, is National Volunteer Month/Week/Day. I wanted to reflect on a Volunteer experience I did through my employer, Oracle Corporation and specifically with the Oracle Education Foundation. Due to frequent travel, it took a few attempts for me to be able to synch. up, with the volunteer schedule,  but came June 23, 2019, the stars lined up. The destination was Eastside College Preparatory School, a combined middle and high school in East Palo Alto, California that helps under-served families and their first-generation children.

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Three of us Oracle employees teamed up with three Oracle Education Foundation staff, including team lead, Ashley Sullivan. There were over 20 students and each of us volunteers worked with a smaller group. I learnt about a simple technology platform called the Arduino Circuit playground with which students could build some very creative and sophisticated projects. It all started with trying to light up LEDs to coming up with real world use cases. The students got to interview Oracle and other Professionals, everything from Athletes and other professions, find out what challenges they were facing and coming up with practical solutions using the Arduino, software they wrote and creative hacks to make them wearable.

 

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Ashely Simpson and a student

 

Each day would start in the playground and Ashley and her team would challenge the students with a mental-physical puzzle. The creativity of the problems and how smart the students were blew me away. I built a rapport with not only my group but with some of the other students. Going back to a circuit board brought back memories of my youth as a College student, studying Computer Engineering. My skills truthfully were a little rusty, but the experience of working with everyone was beyond words.

 

When the opportunities next arise, and we can safely do so, I look forward my next volunteering challenge, and hope you will too.

A couple of years back, I recorded the  Top 10 Technology Predictions of 2018 with Siddhartha Agarwal. I thought it would be fun and informative to have an executive look into the technology crystal ball. Below you will find the Podcast that I did with Bob Quillin, VP of Developer Relations.

We started off with the big picture:

 

1. Big tech learns it’s hard at the top. We spoke about the Big 4, GAFA – Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Antitrust, anti-competitiveness and Cloud reckoning – learning what Oracle and Microsoft have had to deal with for decades. From there we dug deeper.

2. Cloud native skills gap widens – threatens to slow down tidal wave of progress

3. Cloud App Integration becomes critical

4. Multi-cloud reaches the edge of the chasm – ready to cross over

5. AI and ML ethics moves to #1 enterprise blocker for AI/ML apps

6. Service mesh has its Kubernetes moment

7. Real-time architectures – stars align

8. Open source

9. Observability moves to front of the class – it’s already having a great run

10. Game of Enterprise Cloud Thrones. Again rising back to the top and discussing the battle ground in the enterprise  with Oracle and Microsoft already being there. We discussed AWS and Google trying to move into this space and the battle for who best can get the enterprise big, complex $$$ workloads into the cloud. We also covered security, performance, compliance and geography.

 

Checkout the full Podcast.

Another year has passed and it's December 2019, wow what a year for both me, my team and the Oracle Groundbreakers community. I just want to cover some of the highlights from the year.

  • As Community Managers (Bob Rhubart, Jim Grisanzio, Pablo Ciccarello and myself)  created a lot of content for developers. In the first calendar half of the year we were busy with Oracle Code events. Between my team we divvied up the 5 cities, New York, Berlin, Rome, Shenzen, Bengaluru, along with the joint events of Oracle OpenWorld Dubai and Singapore, that we covered across four continents, North and South America, Asia and Europe.
  • Bob, keeps the spotlight on community members through a variety of channels, including the Groundbreakers Podcast, the 2 Minute Tech Tip video series, and a series of profiles of Groundbreaker Ambassadors for Oracle Magazine.

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      Bob Rhubart at Groundbreakers Live stage at CodeOne 2019

  • Jim Grisanzio did a whopping 16 trips worldwide doing interviews, at Oracle Code, Oracle Code Innovate, APAC Tour, Sangam, and others as well as being a ScrumMaster/Facilitator of several Oracle Code Hackfests (officially called Oracle Code Innovate) with our Customers. There were 10 Code Innovates with six of them being in the last half so the pace of these are picking up. Here is a video that Jim did  at Cisco Bangalore (March 2019).
  • Pablo led the effort for not only creating content for Latin America, but also leading the South and Central America Tour. Twelve cities in a four week period, plus other third party events.
  • Then there was the Japan Tour, NORDIC and EMEA Tours where  along with the local User Groups, Oracle Groundbreaker Ambassadors, Oracle ACEs, Java Champions, and Oracle Product Managers tour city by city in a crash course to reach.

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     Latin America Groundbreakers Tour lunch at CodeOne 2019

  • In October we had Oracle Open World 2019 and along with it our second Oracle CodeOne event. Again we had so many customers, partners and other folks attend the Groundbreakers Hub, it was truly wonderful. We had so many cool demos, and besides doing Groundbreakers videos, I got to host the Video Hangout. This is where any attendee could come and talk about a subject of their interest for 60 seconds on a green screen which we backed up with really cool backgrounds, and live-streamed it over Periscope/Twitter. Here is an example of a 60 Sec Dev Story.
  • My colleague Chris Bensen, has been busy creating all kinds of cool demos for CodeOne as well Oracle Code, including the CodeCard, and the Superhit at CodeOne 2019, the Raspberry Pi Super Computer, 1024 Raspberry Pi running 100% Oracle Linux and Java. He keeps churning out hit after hit from Escape Room to IoT Manufacturing where lasers meet wood run by Oracle Supply Chain technology to produce customized luggage tags.

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          Chris Bensen demonstrating the Raspberry Pi Super Computer and Pablo Ciccarello capturing the moment

  • In the Blogosphere, Shawn Bendinelli and Tania Aggarwal are working  on a number of things planned to improve the Blogs experience and better serve blog owners. On the Community and Developer sites, Christina Brashear has been busy creating and redesigning the look and feel of developer.oracle.com and community.oracle.com - with the process continuing into the new year! Working on creating better experiences for developers, online and off, through the community platform and attending in-person events.
  • Over in Advocacy (which has over 700 members in our programs including ACEs, Groundbreaker (GB) Ambassadors, Java Champions (JC)), my colleague Jennifer Nicholson has been super-busy hosting three ACE briefings (UKOUG, Kscope and OOW) and five  networking dinners (collaborate, UKOUG, DOAG, Kscope, OOW/CodeOne).

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     Oracle ACE Dinner CodeOne 2019

  • The programs have netted over 7k community contributions by Oracle ACEs and GB Ambassadors, including presentations at conferences, blog posts, videos, plus  over 6,000  attendees came to the Groundbreaker tours. Thank you Jen and all of you for a vibrant, knowledgable, and sharing community.
  • Last but note least all these operations continue to work  like a well oiled machine courtesy of Linda Bronson.

 

It has been a fulfilling year and I want to thank you all for your participation and help.Thank you to all the wonderful people I met in my travels and for that heart to heart connection. I will leave you with a Rumi quote, “Words are a pretext. It is the inner bond that draws one person to another, not words.”

 

javed mohammed

Before it became Devoxx Morocco it was known as JMaghreb and had been held in Marrakesh and Casablanca. That's a short bit of history. Devoxx Morocco 2019, this year was held in the beautiful port city of Agadir.  It was my  first time both to visit  the show and officially visit Morocco. The conference was held at the Royal Atlas Hotel. For those not familiar with Morocco, what I learnt about the four major cities of Morocco are that, Casablanca is the Commerce capital, Marrakech is the tourist capital, Fes the spiritual capital, Rabat is the political capital. In addition Agadir, is the beach capital. Besides the significance of each city, I observed some color themes,  Marrakech is earth-tone red, Agadir was mainly white, and although I didn't visit it, there is the blue city of Chefchaouen.

In November the weather is still pretty mild with temperatures in the seventies (low twenties Celsius) in Agadir.

 

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Several of us attendees took a three hour bus ride from Marrakesh into Agadir. As with many Middle Eastern cultures the hospitality is amazing. It was very nice meeting the organizers including Badr Elhouari, Hanae El Bouyousfi, and many of the staff and volunteers. The Conference was held on November 12-14th and each day approximately 800+ people showed up. With ten parallel tracks,

Java Language & Server Side, Mobile, IOT & Embedded, Modern Web & UX, Architecture & Security, DevOps, Agile, Methodology & Culture, Cloud, Containers & Infrastructure, Big Data, Machine Learning, AI & Analytics, Robotics, VR & Tomorrows World, Programing Languages, Startup, Innovation & Creativity, there was a lot going on.  The overall vibe I got from it was people are hungry to learn, there were plenty of students wanting to know how to jump start their careers and professionals wanting to update their skills.

 

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I got to interview many of the speakers and organizers.

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There were also official visitors from the city and state who were also sponsors of the event. I got to attend the speakers dinner on the Monday prior to the event, where we got to taste Moroccan cuisine, including Moroccan Lamb Tagine. On Wednesday night after the conference all the attendees had the opportunity to attend the Devoxx party where we were all bussed to the venue. We were welcomed by two different bands of traditional Moroccan music.

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Many of the early attendees got to wear traditional Moroccan clothes for a wedding.

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It was an amazing and memorable experience and to learn the names of the clothes and dances, I turned to one of the attendees Leila M Haidrat (below).  I learnt from her that for the bride they are called Tekhita and Caftan,  for the groom his clothes are called Jelaba and Jabador. For every dress they set and take pictures with the family and friends and also dance with them. It is a communal dance and the music with speakers is loud. The music and dance of Moroccan weddings is based on the region. in Fez they are called 3Issawa, in Agadir Ahwash, and Marrakesh, Dqayqiya.

 

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Whether you want to learn about Java or Javascript, Cloud or Containers, Devoxx Morocco is the largest technology conference in Africa. Along with its rich culture and cuisine, it is an event that I would highly recommend attending.

A couple of days back, I was dropping my daughter of at her college and she asked me what sounded like a fairly simple question. “Do you like driving?”

The short answer was yes, but (and there is always is a but), “it depends”. Am I driving in start-stop traffic or just cruising along the highway? The former is a stressed-filled, hazardous journey, the latter a pleasant dream (considering I live in the SF Bay Area).

 

In a time where we are moving to an Autonomous world, cars, planes, databases, drones,… what does that mean for the role of the humble System Administrator? I don’t have all the answers but I know for sure, “it depends”.  Traditionally SysAdmins, made sure the IT Infrastructure was up and running, with no down-time and was secure. They managed the Servers, configuration, operations, and maintenance of all systems. Now with the advent of the cloud and DevOps there is a paradigm shift. A similar story for  DBAs with the advent of the Autonomous Database. Do we all pack up and go home? Of course not, as with life our roles continue to evolve.

 

For yours truly, I have had three distinct careers, Engineering, Product Marketing, and Community Management. Even with the latter as a Community Manager my role in each organization I have been with has been totally different. You may no longer have to add, install and configure a bare-metal server, as the Cloud takes care of that, but you will need to understand DevOps and how many of the open-source tools work in the cloud.

 

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You will have  to understand the complete software development lifecycle, and know what to automate in the continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline. You will have to know how containers work and ensure through continuous monitoring that all critical applications and infrastructure are running 24 by 7.

 

Within reason, if a suit no longer fits, you don’t have to throw it away and can have it adjusted, so it is with the evolving IT landscape and your career. Whether you are a SysAdmin or DBA, the autonomous world offers so much to offload you of the mundane so you can focus on the more value-add exciting tasks. To learn more about DevOps, check out the Oracle DevOps Technology page.

Whenever, I sit down and have to write the hardest thing is knowing how to start and end, the middle just happens. How do you encapsulate a 12 city tour, of which I did nine along with many of my colleagues? Let's start with a couple of quotes from huge literary figures of South America.

“Everything touches everything” Jorge Borges “And one by one the nights between our separated cities are joined to the night that unites us.” Pablo Neruda. That is how I come out of this tour feeling more interconnected with Oracle Groundbreakers, Java Champions, Oracle User Group organizers and attendees and then everyday folks from Uber drivers to the man or woman on the street, the Concierge at the hotel and more.

 

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The Oracle Latin America tour was started by my colleague Pablo Ciccarello along with the local Oracle User Groups in South and Central America. It has been going on now for eight years. I had heard of Oracle User Group tours like The Japan groundbreakers tour and in India the Groundbreakers Yatra tour Some road/air warriors did the Yatra tour in India followed by the LAD tour. Others drop in and out. (I think the sweet spot for travel is about two weeks.)

 

The Latin America Tour went from August 2nd to August 28th, it started in Santiago Chile, way in the South and worked its way up North and criss-crossed the coasts, ending in Lima, Peru. This was my first ever tour and I covered it up to San Jose, Costa Rica, so did 9 of the cities (Mexico City, Guatemala City, and Lima were the remaining cities.) Here are some highlights:

 

* The Groundbreakers tour is organized by the local User Groups to share about Oracle technologies and to engage the communities. I think it is/was very successful in terms of sharing knowledge, networking, and growing/building community, which is at the heart of the tour.  I want to give a shoutout to all the organizers, sorry it is hard to enumerate them all, but special thanks to Edel Weissmann, Nelson Calero, Pablo Ciccarello, Otávio Santana, Alberto Salzar, Alexis Lopez, Lilian Riveros, Gustavo Gonzalez, Alex Zabala, Rafael De Belloni, Roy Salazar, Eddie Mora, Rita Nunez, and all the other folks who showed me and the Groundbreakers their hospitality. Jennifer Nicholson bookended the tour at the beginning in Santiago  and closed out the tour.


* Pablo did an awesome job managing the tour. I helped him with setup and manning the camera for interviews, doing social media and  I filled in for him in three cities where I did the Community Keynote (15-20 mins). The Slides were in Spanish and I spoke in English and it went down great. I don’t know the count of interviews Pablo and I did, not as many as Groundbreakers Live, but easily 40-50+, plus a lot photos that were shared in Tweets of keynotes, sessions and dinners.


* For the "GroundbreakersTour" - Hashtag: Mentions 1,384 and Reach 759,917, so we made some connections. Th top 3 Countries for Mentions/Reach were U.S. followed by Uruguay and then Brazil.

 

* All the venues we visited were at universities, and that worked out pretty well in terms of attracting both young and mature audiences. The goal was to live-stream as much of the interviews as possible with a mobile setup and we managed to do that successfully. I did a Video Mashup of each of the nine cities based on photos, plus intermediate and final wrap-up videos.


* There were ~20 plus  local speakers. All events were all day w/ multiple tracks ( 2 to 5). Almost all events had Hands-On-Labs. Audiences varied from 50-400+ based on the venue.

* All the Oracle Advocates/Oracle PMs did an awesome job of promoting the tour and sessions on Twitter. I find I am slowly descending to the dark side and starting to take a lot more selfies and promoting on Twitter. But the king of selfies, content and social media promotion has to be Sandesh Rao, who deserves an award. I learnt a lot from him (but still have a ways to go). Pablo posted from @OracleDevsLA, I posted from @OracleSysDev and Lori Lorusso (who gets high 5’s) retweeted all our posts at each event on @groundbreakers

 

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I started with a quote, so I will end it with one too from Jorge Borges.

 

“If I could live again my life,

In the next - I'll try,

- to make more mistakes,

I won't try to be so perfect,

I'll be more relaxed...

I'll take fewer things seriously..

I'll take more risks,

I'll take more trips,

I'll watch more sunsets,

I'll climb more mountains,

I'll swim more rivers,

I'll go to more places I've never been

I'll eat more ice ...I'll have more real problems and less imaginary ones

If I could live again - I will travel light

If I could live again - I'll try to work bare feet at the beginning of spring till the end of autumn,

I'll watch more sunrises ...If I have the life to live”

Hola,

just a heads-up to share that along with Pablo Ciccarello, Jennifer Nicholson and a dozen or so Oracle advocates and Product Management specialists, I will be taking part in some of the tour. I am excited and nervous. So many cities, flights, cabs, new places, food, directions, dilemmas, but I am confident it will be well worth it.

 

Oracle has done User group tours in Japan, Europe, India, and this year will be doing for APAC also. The goal in them is the same, to reach out and meet user groups where they are. We need your participation to make it a success. I love to meet people, technology is cool, the presentations can be hot, but what I treasure most are your stories. Please come and share them and help make LATAM 2019 happen.

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The tour will be in 12 countries. Below are the details:

 

** South Leg **

Chile - Friday 02-Aug-2019

Uruguay - Monday 5-Aug-2019

Argentina - Tuesday 6-Aug-2019

Paraguay - Thursday 8-Aug-2019

Brazil - Saturday 10-Aug-2019

Peru - Wednesday 28 -Aug-2019

 

** North Leg **

Ecuador - Tuesday 13-Aug-2019

Colombia - Thursday 15-Aug-2019 & Friday 16-Aug-2019

Panama - Monday 19-Aug-2019

Costa Rica - Wednesday 21-Aug-2019

Mexico - Friday - Aug 23, 2019

Guatemala - Monday Aug 26, 2019

 

And this year it expands in knowledge by warmly welcoming all Java groups and developing the new “Oracle Groundbreakers Tour LATAM 2019” with the following tracks:

 

- Databases

- Middleware

- Security

- Integration. Big Data, BI & Analytics,

- Developer tools ALL!

- Java, APEX, PL / Sql, Microservices, Chatbots,

- Open Source, Serverless, Python Development

- Oracle Application CS, Containers, Kubernetes, Oracle Wercker, Oracle Fn Project, Blockchain CS, Oracle JET,

- Chatbots, Oracle Intelligent Bot, API development, API Management,

- No-SQL Databases., Mobile Development., Conversational Interfaces.

- Oracle Mobile Cloud Services.

- DevOps CI / CD, Oracle Developer Cloud Services

- Applications. Implementing and Extending your apps.

 

 

For more information visit the following page Oracle Groundbreakers Tour 2019 Latin America

Yes I know, I know they call it football, we call it soccer what should I call it, a dilemma? Either way congratulations to the U.S. Women's team on their fourth World Cup Football championship. The congrats. are due not only to the U.S. team, but really all the teams that qualified and then made it to subsequent elimination rounds.

 

As our focus is on technology, I thought it would be interesting to delve into some of the technology that made the World Cup possible. The first and most visible technology usage for the first time in the World Cup was Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology.

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     Illustration from Wikipedia distributed under a CC-BY 2.0 license

 

 

Any time there were close calls the referees used VAR to review footage of the incident on a monitor and and make a decision. The second was Goal-line technology (GLT). All the stadiums had GLT deployed  which consists of 14 high-speed cameras which are used with assistance from compute power to determine if a ball had crossed the goal line. The third primary technology that was used in the background was Electronic performance and tracking systems (EPTS). EPTS are a suite of tools that use data from optical tracking cameras to track both the ball and players used by the teams for coaching, medical staff , and by analysts/commentators.  Then there is all the supporting systems that allow attendees to book and get tickets, get concessions which all require online transaction software as well as databases to store all the data.

 

Whether it be VAR, GLT or EPTS, they all generate gobs of data, otherwise known as Big Data. Rest assured in the background some place where there was a lot of storage and processing of data, some on  the cloud and others on on-premise software. Besides storing and processing the data there is a lot of AI and Machine learning that is used and that in turn brings me to the topic of CodeOne 2019. You can learn about technologies that are changing everything. See how Oracle is helping shar the future  and experience deep-dive into sessions and hands-on labs on leading-edge technology such as blockchain, chatbots, microservices, and AI. Experience cloud development technology in the Groundbreakers Hub, featuring workshops and other live, interactive experiences and demos. To learn more check out CodeOne.

I am excited to share that I got an opportunity to observe and participate in an Oracle Code Innovate Event for FedEx Supply Chain in Cranberry, PA a couple of weeks back. It is a three day Hackfest, where several teams of FedEx engineers work with Oracle techies to design and test drive real use cases in the Oracle Cloud.

 

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The program was guided by Matt Thompson, a Developer Evangelist along with Mat Viera and Emily Huegel as Scrum masters as well as Linda Bronson and a whole support team. It is a three day program that broke down as follows:

 

 

Day One: Ideation

 

Day Two: Iteration

 

Day Three: Innovation

 

 

For each customer what they want to get out of the Code Innovate experience differs. For FedEx the management/engineers wanted to see what code (and specifically Micro-services and Containers) goes through to get get deployed in the cloud through a Continuous Integration- Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) pipeline and in some cases using Kubernetes as the Orchestration tool for Containers.

 

There were 20 engineers broken up into four teams. Each team had to come up with a creative Team Name, Goal (Use Case) and the Tasks that were required to implement the Use Case. Matt Thompson emphasized that unlike tutorials and workshops, this is a true Peer-Peer relationship where both FedEx and Oracle engineers work together and learn from each other. In addition to assigned Oracle engineers to each team, the SE lead Moe Khan and Architects like Brad Egler floated around the different teams to help them if they were getting stuck or just needed some strategic guidance.

 

In a Hackathon there is always a clear winner, but the emphasis in a Hackfest even though there is competition and awards is on collaboration. The focus is on learning and Matt emphasized to the engineers to get out of their comfort zones and to grapple new areas in which they were not well versed.

 

On day one, Matt gave an overview of the program followed up by an Oracle engineer who gave a tutorial on Terraform.  Terraform is a CI/CD Infrastructure as Code tool, that all the teams used to deploy their micro-services. Then the teams broke up and started the Ideation phase, with lots of Post It’s in hand and trying to come up with as many ideas as possible. When the time was up, they then started to converge on the idea they wanted to pursue. In the afternoon the teams got together in their huddles and started to drill down on the tasks and  becoming familiar with the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) dashboard with the help of Oracle engineers.

 

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At the end of day one, the teams had to do a Check-Out true to Agile and then at the beginning of day two a Check-In to make sure nothing had changed in terms of goals and tasks and everything was on track. Day Two was heads down all coding. The mood was intense and Matt shared with the teams that it’s ok at times to feel overwhelmed but that there is plenty of supporting help.

Day three was dedicated to wrapping up coding by lunch and to start preparing the presentations and in the afternoon to give the Lightning Talks. There were three FedEx judges all from management who just like on "America's Got Talent" were asking tough questions. Every team prevailed and won a different type of award.

 

At the end of the event the feedback from both management and the engineers was overwhelmingly positive, not only because they accomplished their goal but the whole experience.  Besides FedEx, companies such as GE, Cisco, McAfee, and others have seen the benefit of participating in Code Innovate. Check out the following link if you would like to learn more about participating in an Oracle Code Innovate program.

Stories are a window into life. They can if they resonate provide insights into our own lives or the lives of others.They can help us transmit  knowledge, pass on traditions, solve present day problems or allow us to imagine alternate realities. Open Source software is an example of an alternate reality in software development, where proprietary has been replaced in large part with sharing code that is free and open. How is this relevant to not only developers but people who work in technology? It is human nature that we continue to want to grow, learn and share. For my work, as a Community Manager I get to interview speakers at various Oracle and other conferences. That is great but everyone is not a speaker. For them, I started 60 Second Developer Stories. I have a mobile kit when I am on the road that consists of just my iPhone, microphone and a mono-pod and anyone who wants to can come and share their story. Below are some of the ideas I give as a suggestion, as well as some FAQs. I look forward to meeting you at a future User Group Meeting, Oracle Code event, Oracle CodeOne, Oracle Open World or another event.

 

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  •       Share what you learned on your first job
  •       Share a best coding practice.
  •       Explain how  a tool or technology works
  •       What have you learned recently about building an App?
  •       Share a work related accomplishment
  •       What's the best decision you ever made?
  •       What’s the worst mistake you made and the lesson learned?
  •       What is one thing you learned from a mentor or peer that has really helped you?
  •       Any story that you want to share and community can benefit from

 

Here are some FAQs about the 60 Second Developer Story

 

Q1. I am too shy, and as this is live what if I get it wrong?

A1. It is your story, there is no right or wrong. If you mess up, it’s not a problem we can do a retake.

 

Q2. There are so many stories, how do I pick one?

A2. Share something specific an event that has a beginning, middle an end. Ideally there was a challenge or obstacle and you overcame it. As long as it is meaningful to you it is worth sharing.

 

Q3. What if it’s not exactly 60 seconds, if it’s shorter or longer?

A3. 60 Seconds is a guideline. I will usually show you a cue-card to let you know when you have 30 secs. and 15 secs. left. A little bit over or under is not a big deal.

 

Q4. When can I see the results?

A4. Usually immediately. Whatever Periscope/Twitter handle we are sharing on, plus if you have a personal Twitter handle, we tweet that before you go live, so it will show up on your feed.

 

Q4. What if I am not a Developer?

A5. We use Developer in a broad sense. It doesn’t matter if you are a DBA or Analyst, or whatever. If you are involved with technology and have a story to share, we want to hear it.

I just returned from a long overseas trek at a couple of Oracle OpenWorld and Code events. A big thank you to all the folks who helped set things up, the guests and speakers who attended. While staying in one of the cities (neither the city nor the hotel will be named), I had one of those frustrating experiences and then an aha moment, that I wanted to share.

 

I check into one of the well known brands of hotels that we are all familiar with and as I enter the room, I struggle to figure out how to get the lights on and what buttons control what lights. This is not unique, it has happened at other places I have stayed at and I am sure you have experienced.

Then I enter the bathroom, just to check it out and realize after closing the door, I am not able to open it. I play with this unique door handle and struggle to figure it out. Is this a prelude for things to come? Well yes, I get into the shower without too much thought as it has been a long 12+ hour flight. I start to look for the shower faucet and nothing in sight. I touch every chrome fitting hoping for a miracle but no luck. Eventually I see that all the controls instead of being in the front are on the side behind me. I turn the shower on, and all I get for the longest time is cold water, and given I have to leave for a meeting, I have to endure it. Later on when I return, I am using the WC (don't worry nothing graphic here), and I try to feel my way to the toilet roll holder which  is behind me, and while trying to get to it many times end up dislodging the phone which happens to be there, and then try to save it from falling in. Don't worry I caught it every time.

 

I don't know if this was something unique to that chain of hotels, the city, country, but what it reminded me off, was the importance of User Experience (UX) Design. I know UI and UX are used by lay people like me, interchangeably, so I won't go there. This in turn reminded me of an interview I did with Shakeeb Rahman about UX Design. Rather than rehash it, I will just share it below. So my parting thoughts are just this, the key thing is no matter what a engineer or developer designs, software, video games, cars, hotels, or anything that a human has a touchpoint with,  thought given to how the product or service will be used can go a long way in avoiding frustration and providing customer satisfaction. Please make things intuitive and "Go Shakeeb!"

The industrial revolution of the 18th century automated pretty much every aspect of society from agriculture to transportation. Fast forward to the present and “Autonomous” technology is again changing everything. Even though most of us may not be able to afford a Tesla, we are all aware of it’s capabilities. By moving from a fossil-fuel based car to an all electric, digital, software controlled vehicle, the very experience of driving has been changed.

In Autonomous mode, not only Tesla but the cars of the future are able to self-navigate, self-park, and pretty much self-maintain themselves. Gone are oil-changes and tune-ups. The paradigm has shifted.

 

That shift now of Autonomous is being applied to the “traditional” datacenter. Whatever was routine and monotonous is being replaced by automation. We see that with DevOps where with Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment the role of the Ops engineer and SysAdmin has changed. Similarly with the advent of the Autonomous Database from Oracle, the world of the DBA will change. No longer will they have to worry about the monotonous things like patching, backup and tuning databases. Instead they will be able to focus more on the business and higher value tasks including architecture, SLAs, and just overall getting more value from data.

 

autonomous_database_vision.png

 

Oracle Autonomous Database services for transaction processing and data warehousing are Self-Driving, Self-Securing and Self-Repairing. Whether you are a SysAdmin or a DBA, change can be scary. Rest assured though whether it be the Auto-pilot in a cockpit, or a Self-driving car or an Autonomous database the need for human oversight and touch will remain. If you drive a Tesla or have test-driven one, you will know the “Back to the Future” feeling of that rush and that quote from the movie, “Roads? Where we're going we don't need roads.” Here is to the future and if you want a test-drive check out this link Oracle Autonomous Database.

The  following is an edited interview with Chris Thalinger, the founder of LavaOne being held on the beautiful island of Oahu in Hawaii.

Chris.JPG

 

JM This is the second year of LavaOne. What was and is your vision behind starting this unconference?

CT Having lived in Hawaii, and noticing that more workers are remote, I thought it would be great to put Hawaii on the map. Hawaii is mainly known as a tourist destination and I wanted to start an event that would let local college students see that something is happening here. I want to help the local Hawaiian community get better jobs on the island.

 

JM You are building a community here, what word in the Hawaiian language reflects this?

CT It is probably Ohana.  Ohana means family, but it can extend beyond that to include members who cooperate with one another, and that is exactly what we do.

 

JM What are the challenges you are facing to start a community here?

CT Just the name “Hawaii” has a stigma attached to it. As Hawaii  is a tourist destination, it is seen as just a place for having fun on the beach. I want to turn that around. I want Hawaii to be perceived like any another state which has a technology hub.

 

JM If you were to try and capture the state of affairs of Hawaii technology wise and socially how would you describe it?

CT There are at least three universities in Hawaii and each has a Computer Science department, which is awesome. The challenge is that to get goods jobs, people go to the mainland and so we have a brain-drain going on. Also with Hawaii being a tourist destination, everything is expensive, that makes it harder for locals. There are people coming from the mainland to retire here, and the twist is, as it is getting too expensive here local retirees are moving away from the island and going to the mainland.

 

JM How are you reaching out to the developer community and college students?

CT When I first started this, it was very hard to reach developers. Over time I am learning about the different channels, everything from Slack, to 1990s Bulletin boards and more.

 

JM Are you modeling this unconference after another event?

CT JCrete is an uncoference that happens on the island of Crete in July. I thought it would be great to do something in January on another island, in this case  it is in Oahu.

 

JM Looking ahead how do you see the event going forward?

CT Besides having an increasing number of participants  and after reaching a certain threshold we may alternate the conference vs unconference format. To get more college student participation we may have to move from North Shore and closer to Honolulu where the universities are.

 

JM For those who read this blog post and want to help, what are the kind of activities that you would like to kick off  to help build this community?

CT It would be great if we could have a Java User Group or for folks to do Meetups. It requires local participation and for folks to take it on.

 

JM If people want to reach you, what is the best way for them to connect with you?

CT @christhalinger or christian.thalinger@gmail.com