UK Oracle User Group

Meet UKOUG's Oracle Liaison Co-ordinator - Susan Duncan

22 November 2016

If you've attended a UKOUG event you may have met some of the committee members, you'll know that the mix is usually a balance of end users, partners & Oracle staff - but have you wondered how the Oracle staff get selected for these roles? Over to Susan to explain more.

Hi Susan, many will be familiar with you being a presenter at SIGs and our conferences but you've now taken on a new role with UKOUG, tell us about it. Susan Duncan

For those that don’t know can you explain what the role of the Oracle Liaison entails?
I’m the day to day go-to contact for the UKOUG in Oracle. In this role I help Stacey McGown who is the Oracle Executive sponsor. Actually there are over 40 liaisons for the UKOUG SIG’s, all working voluntarily as they, like me, feel that the opportunity to collaborate with the UKOUG and to bring our Oracle knowledge and enthusiasm to the UKOUG and its members, our customers, is worthwhile. My role is varied, and I get to meet and interact with more and more different people - which I love. The liaisions sit on the event committees and will either find themselves presenting themselves things like Oracle support sessions or they are tasked with finding the appropriate speaker to present on a topic that the members have requested to know more about.

Tell us a bit about your Oracle background
I’ve been with Oracle since 1997, a lifetime ago! I started as a technology consultant - many of the UKOUG members will remember Oracle Designer, and some of them even remember working with me in my early days with the company. Around 2000 I moved into Product Management and worked initially with the Designer Development team but soon moved over to JDeveloper. I worked with the Database, UML Modelling, Life Cycle Management and the Web Services teams. It was an exciting time adding new functionality to the IDE. As we moved into mobile I was lucky and helped to develop some of the early training materials for that. From there I moved to my current role as the Director of Oracle’s Mobile Development Program Office. I work not only with mobile development teams across Oracle, but also with Oracle legal and business practice teams defining process and best practice - again, I get to meet wonderful diverse people!

How long have you been involved with the UKOUG?
For as long as I can remember! I’ve been speaking at the Development SIG since the Designer days and have spoken at conference for many years. In fact, once I was the Oracle Speaker of the Year at conference (don’t ask me which year!) I remember that my top paper that year was 'JSP 101’, so we could try and work out how long ago that was. Technology has developed so much over the last 15 years, continues to develop, we’ve all been very lucky to be involved with it. And being able to introduce and champion some of these technologies within the UKOUG has been very rewarding.

What is the most challenging thing about liaising between Oracle & UKOUG?
I think just its diversity. booking rooms for the 2017 SIG meetings, introducing the UKOUG’s new ED to the Oracle community or helping to secure Oracle execs for conference - you never know what’s coming down the line.

What projects are you currently working on with UKOUG in this role?
I’m very excited about the Hands-on-Labs that we are putting together for this years Tech/Apps16 conferences. I believe it’s the first time the conference has had such an offering. Delegates will be able to experience Oracle development on Oracle Cloud - whether they are interested in mobile, integration, process, low-code development, javascript - that all come under the Platform as a Service (PaaS) umbrella or even using Oracle’s Infrastructure as a Service cloud. Once they sign up for a session all they need to do is plug their laptop into one of the connections and we’ll get them working from a script on the service of their choice. Fantastic hands-on experience, and as a developer (of old) I know how important that kind of opportunity is.

Thanks for your time in answering these questions - anything you'd like to finish with?
Can I mention this year’s Tech16 and Apps16 conferences in Birmingham again? The agendas are varied and exciting, it’s a great way to learn new things, expand on existing knowledge and of course network with new and old friends and colleagues. Oh, and the social events in the evenings that the UKOUG puts on are not to be missed - whether you want to talk tech or dance the night away - and this year, well, let’s just say there might be a couple of surprises!

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