Job title & company: Director, Chandler Systems
What have been the highs and lows of your business / IT / Oracle / career?
Since I started in IT almost 30 years ago, much has changed but much has just been rebranded and re-sold.
I've been working with relational databases since 1990 and all versions of Oracle since Oracle 6 in 1992. I spent the first 10 years or my career working for software houses, designing and delivering financial software from SMB's to Globalorganizations, as well as being the global troubleshooter resolving client’s system problems. I spent the next decade at end-user organizations, initially joining a property start-up as Database and Development Manager implementing 3rd Part and In-House clustered Oracle solutions, which was subsequently sold for £120m. During this time I have ran geographically diverse database and development teams for global corporations and the entire operational side of an IT department for a FTSE100 company.
I have been an independent contractor and consultant since then, helping clients to design and implement successful solutions across industries as diverse as Finance, Government and Real-Time Logistics. For example, I managed the Baggage System IT support teams for Heathrow through the 2012 Olympics with zero outages, successfully managed and implemented the migration of a major trading system for a global investment bank - on time and on budget, and designed and implemented a high speed 24x7 processing system for stock market regulatory reporting with a capacity of 15,000 tps.
What have you already achieved/ contributed to within the Oracle community?
I attended my first UKOUG event in the mid 1990's, when a Very Large Database was classified at 40GB and the Internet wasn't in the public consciousness. It demonstrated to me the power of community and networking. In 2007, I decided to start to give back to the community and became the Deputy Chair of the newly formed Management and Infrastructure SIG, subsequently the Deputy Chair for the Availability, Infrastructure and Management SIG, and I am currently the Chairperson of the RAC, Cloud, Infrastructure and Availability SIG.
I have also volunteered for several of years helping with group strategy workshops, part of the committee for the flagship Tech conferences, culminating with leading the Database Streams for Tech16 and being overall Tech Lead for Tech17.
I write an Oracle technical blog, and also attend conferences around the world to present technical content on topics such a Performance Tuning, Maximum Availability Architecture, GoldenGate and Systems Design. This allows me to interact with other user group boards and delegates to discover their strengths and positive attributes. I was promoted from Oracle ACE to Oracle ACE Director in December 2017.
Skills and strengths I intend to bring to the UKOUG:
Having previously been a been a corporate member of the UKOUG since the 1990’s, and currently an independent partner member, and I feel I am well placed to understand the changes which have taken place in our industry. I have progressed in the last 20 years from consumer to volunteer to content provider and organizer. I am an enthusiastic advocate of the community and would like to help oversee the change and growth of the UKOUG as we face the challenges ahead, and I can bring my depth of experience to assist in this evolution.
Please identify an improvement you feel UKOUG could make:
We face significant change in IT. The Cloud and application outsourcing have changed much of the focus of IT departments. There are challenges maintaining attendance at conference, SIGs and special events. We need to be creative with how we deliver our message to corporations and partners, so they feel engaged with us and each other to the benefit of all.
We need to help members, especially new members, get more out of the user group by enhancing current and looking at new delivery channels. We need to deliver through different channels, using the internet for Brown-Bag Webinars and evening meeting events to maximise the engagement and value to members.
We also need to ensure we continue to enhance our relationship with Oracle.
Manifesto (written for March 2018 election):
I have been a member of the UKOUG for nearly 20 years. I believe in user groups. I believe in community, for the benefit of all of the participants.
The members are the core of this organization. We need to provide value to them, showing how they don't need to be isolated and how sharing helps all. This will lead to enhanced value to partners by engaging with a large and vibrant membership. We also need to look at the amazing and dedicated volunteers, to see how we can support them and help them enhance their career goals and community aspirations through the volunteering experience.
I have knowledge of and contacts with many other user groups outside of the UKOUG, allowing me to understand and integrate their successes within our community. I would like to bring my user group experience, from both the UKOUG and at the other user group conferences and SIGs where I attend and present, to help maximise the member, partner and volunteer experience.
Current elected term: March 2018 - March 2020