Brett Williams is an Oracle DBA at Trinity College, University of Dublin
Why did you first engage with the user group?
I started by attending the UKOUG Ireland conference in 2012, since then I have attended the 2013 conference and smaller topical days and the Tech Special Interest Group.
What value did you find through UKOUG?
I found the sessions on Oracle Database 12c at the last Ireland 2013 conference to be a good introduction to the 12c environment and how it differs from previous versions with container and pluggable databases.
I like the fact that I can get insight and learn about newer versions of Oracle products at a detail level.
What has surprised you most about UKOUG?
Recently I attended the Tech Special Interest group that had a cloud computing focus. This complemented my self-study and understanding of Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Cloud Control. I also like the fact that at these meetings other DBA’s like myself attend. I was very impressed by a presentation by a fellow DBA in another part of Ireland’s public sector. This was great to see real-world scenarios handled by people like myself.
I was also able to bring up a patching problem I was having with an Oracle rep at the Tech SIG meeting. There was a lot of confusion about how to patch our 184.108.40.206 databases and she reverted the next day with the answer that saved me a lot of confusion and heartache. That saved me endless online searches and analysis about possible solutions.
Is there a specific example where engaging with UKOUG has had a direct beneficial result for you and your company?
Recently it was announced in a UKOUG e-mail about opportunities to review an Oracle Press book in exchange for a copy of the book to keep. This was the first book review I had done, but it helped focus me on learning the intricacies of Building and Managing a Cloud with Enterprise Manager 12c. I was able to learn so much about a topic where I did not know where to start (cloud computing) and how it would apply to the work of a DBA. It increased my understanding so that at the Tech SIG event I was able to know what they were talking about. Moreover my organisation benefitted from my having gained knowledge of the next wave in computing and how it applies to DBA work and employing Database-as-a-Service. I also have an excellent new addition for my personal technical library!
What are the top three reasons you would recommend membership to another Oracle user?
1. The opportunity to learn the new technology.
2. The friendship and networking opportunities.
3. The opportunity to discuss real issues on the day-to-day job with Oracle reps.
Any final comments?
It is definitely worth it to be involved with UKOUG. I feel part of a technical family where we can help each other on the job and to succeed in our careers.