Piet is a Database Consultant acting as interim-DBA, Database-consultant, troublemaker, and coach/advisor with several clients.
Why did you first engage with the user group?
Around 2002 I noticed that a lot of respectable writers/presenters were regular speakers at UKOUG. My first real UKOUG visits to SIGs were in 2004, when I was lucky enough that the organisation I worked for had a membership.
What value did you find through UKOUG?
For me and my clients, the value is in finding relevant information, knowledge.
There are two sides to this:
- The information obtained outside of the regular support and sales-channels is especially useful when no direct commercial interest is involved - no sales-pitch;
- An open and critical usergroup can help improve the product: If many users experience the same challenges there is a better case to ask for improvements or modifications.
What about UKOUG membership has surprised you?
The number of people this group can mobilize is amazing. No other user group seems to have this momentum, although the German group is learning fast and growing.
Is there a specific example where engaging with UKOUG has had a direct beneficial result for you and your company?
Yes, the alerting to a number of problems/bugs/issues.
What are the top three reasons you would recommend membership to another Oracle user?
- Learning, Training
- Purchasing power, feedback to the vendor
- The fun of meeting like-minded people
Any final comments?
I hope the user group can continue with the current concept - meetings, SIGS (especially those around informative topics) and conferences.
I can certify that the user group is better value than most training. Especially once your people have surpassed basic knowledge levels. They grow better form visiting user groups than from visiting more formal training.