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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 and - 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).


     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.




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.





I got to interview many of the speakers and organizers.



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.


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


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.




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.