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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Below are the speaker heroes who made APEX@Home a success.