Andrew is responsible for creating and maintaining data architecture across a number of parts of the larger BAE Systems UK defence business. The aim is to ease system integration and reduce total cost of ownership through better understanding and reuse of data assets.
Why did you first engage with the user group?
At the time I was a database designer with a company whose primary platform was Oracle. As the Oracle Designer CASE tool was my primary design tool, I engaged with what was then the Design/Model Driven Development Tools SIG, which had evolved from the CASE SIG. This was a valuable forum for me as it brought together lots of users of Designer and a wealth of knowledge and experience that could be shared. I quickly became a presenter myself, sharing what we had done and learned from our experiences with the toolset.
What value did you find through UKOUG?
Knowledge sharing and networking are two key items I got then and still get now. Not only is there the wealth of knowledge from delegates who attend events but there is also the library of past presentations from SIGs and conferences, as well as the back-issues of Oracle Scene magazine.
What about UKOUG membership has surprised you?
That I'm still here and involved with the SIG 11 years after my first visit! After one year of involvement as a delegate I joined the SIG committee and have not looked back.
Is there a specific example where engaging with UKOUG has had a direct beneficial result for you and your company?
Apart from the technical benefits brought from SIG attendence, the personal development I have been able to effect through chairing what is now the Development SIG has been of tremendous benefit. A raft of skills including networking, presentation and facilitating meetings, as well as improved self-confidence have all come about as a direct result of my becoming engaged with the community.
What are the top three reasons why you would recommend membership to another Oracle user?
- Access to subject matter experts who you can talk to directly face-to-face at events, not just via a blog or web page.
- Opportunities to get involved and shape the community.
- The Technical conference is a flagship event on the international Oracle calendar. It offers tremendous opportunities for those that are seeking knowledge, best practice, technology updates or just about anything else Oracle.
Any final comments?
The UKOUG has been through some tough economic conditions over the last few years and has weathered the storm, largely thanks to the effort and enthusiasm injected by the volunteers and the excellent support offered by the full-time office staff. I hope and expect the Group will continue to thrive in the way that it has in the past.