User Group Benefits – (Extending Kellyn’s Post)

A few weeks back Kellyn Potvin-Gorman, wrote an excellent blog about Local and Regional user groups (http://dbakevlar.com/2015/07/community-and-regional-oracle-user-groups/), i encourage everyone to read this blog.   As many of you know i have been associated with the Oracle User community since the day of the dinosaurs and floppy disks with Oracle 4 and Oracle 5.1c.   Again, I have told this story many times, but it bears repeating.   During the early years of my Oracle experience, i was to develop a application that kept track of machine / press assets and usage.   Primarily to save on purchasing new molds and dies.   I was using Oracle Forms 2.0 at the time and needed to map my heading information with the detail information on the same page (I was trying to follow popular Database design).   i spent at least 2 – 3 weeks and many hours trying everything to make them match up, but back then we didn’t have the internet or google.   We only had old fashion (RTFM) Oracle manuals, that never had decent examples (BTW, still don’t, IMHO).  The other item was that I was NOT to call Oracle, because at the time we were still considering Oracle and didnt want to tip our hand to Oracle.

I was at the point of breaking many of the database design rules to make it work, when someone (Thank you) mentioned that there was a Oracle user group meeting at the local Oracle office that night.   So I headed over there and it just so happened that Oracle Forms was the agenda item and a local user and Oracle Instructor indicated that there was a trick to make it work.   I tried it the next day at work and that saved the day and many additional hours of trial and error.

Since that time i have been involved in all areas of user group activities.  This includes the current chair of the Southeast Michigan Oracle User Group (SEMOP) , many regional group boards (MOUG, MOUS) and the International Board (IOUG).  I have also shared my experiences with presentations and papers at numerous conferences since 1988.   This includes giving presentations in Brazil, UKOUG, RMOUG, IOUG, OOW and many local user groups around the country and publishing articles in Select magazine.

Ok, I know, you are saying what does this mean to me ?   Since my Involvement my DBA skills have greatly improved, my communication skills have improved and i have met and made friendships with many great people around the world.  Oracle (Like Rugby) is a small world / Community and no matter where you go in the world, someone will know or use Oracle products.

I once met a cab driver in Miami, while attending the IMS oracle user group meeting who use to be a Oracle programmer and when i tested him with many higher level questions, he aced the answers with comments only Oracle Programmers would know.

I know we now have the internet and lots of information is out already,  I ask you to get involved at some level.   So even if its just publishing a paper, Presenting a paper, Room Monitor, volunteering to sit a a registration desk, or just volunteering to order pizza at the next meeting.   its a small community and get involved, it will make you a better DBA and as with me, I have learned more from participating in the User community from both the technical and technical areas.   It has made me a better DBA, employee, employer and person overall.   There are many local, regional and Special interest groups in your area (Trust me) and I encourage you to try it, here are some links:

www.ioug.org

www.rmoug.org

www.odtug.org

www.semop.org

www.mous.us

Please feel to reach out to me if you have any questions or having issues finding a local/regional group.

–Mike

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