Job Title: Director and Consultant
Company: OR600 LTD.
Tell us about yourself in 50 words.
I am a self-employed Oracle RDBMS consultant with 2 decades of experience, OakTable member, Oracle ACE and keen User Group advocate who now works less and shares more. My academic background is genetics and I like cats and beer. Married and have one cat.
What is your goal in life?
To spend more time doing what I want to do and less time doing what I have to do.
What are your interests (in work and outside)?
Work interests are the core Oracle RDBMS technology, both working with it and talking about it. I blog about Oracle, management, life and random stuff. I love fixing issues and sometime the fix is not technical. Outside work my main interests are Science (especially biology), hill walking, beer, gardening & DIY if they involve power tools and visiting different places with my wife.
When did you first start volunteering with UKOUG?
I first presented for the UKOUG at the 2003 conference, I think, and was soon presenting regularly at SIGs and the conferences. I became deputy chair of the Management and Infrastructure SIG in 2007 and very soon after the Chair. I've been a chair or deputy chair ever since.
Why did you want to become a volunteer?
I think that user groups are the best way to learn about technology and find other people who are interested in learning and sharing. Once I was involved in the UKOUG, becoming an active volunteer was just the next logical step.
What volunteering activities do you undertake?
I currently deputy chair the RAC CIA SIG, I usually chair sessions at the conference (which is a great way to meet speakers for the first time) and for the second year running I am on the volunteer committee organising the technical content of the annual Tech conference.
What does a day of volunteering involve for you?
If I am at a SIG or conference I try to talk with lots of people and see what they are enjoying or not. I'll usually be at the front talking at some point, either as a chair, on a panel or presenting. In the evening there is nearly always a chance to relax with a beer with old and new friends. These are all great ways of meeting more people. Outside events, day to day is quite busy at the moment. We have a joint RAC CIA and DBMS SIG in 6 weeks and of course there is always stuff to do for the conference. It only takes up a few hours a week though. Today I am discussing what our technical keynote will be with the rest of the committee and the intended speaker and also discussing a very interesting potential session - and learning some tidbits about up-coming news from Oracle Corp as a result.
Which volunteer contribution are you proudest of?
Being the database lead for Tech14 and introducing the "beginners" stream of talks.
What is the best thing about volunteering?
Socialising with the other volunteers and normal members.
What is most rewarding about volunteering?
Knowing you are contributing.
What experience with UKOUG influenced you most?
Being involved in the conferences made me realise just how much goes into organising large events.
Get in touch with Martin
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