As Published In
Oracle Magazine
May/June 2007

CHANNELS: Peer-to-Peer

The Java Edition

By Blair Campbell

Three peers advise newbies, praise products, and warn against complexity.

Peter Koletzke

Peer Specs


 Company: Quovera, an e-business services firm specializing in process optimization and systems integration

 Job Title/Description: Technical director and principal instructor, consulting on Java platform architecture and integration, transitioning Oracle Forms and PL/SQL developers to the Java world, and leading training courses

 Location: Mountain View, California

 Oracle Credentials: Oracle Certified Master, with 18 years of experience using Oracle products
How did you get started in IT? My previous career as a lighting designer and technician for modern dance companies and television shows introduced me to computer lighting control boards. After mastering the programming of the first wave of lighting boards, I developed a thirst for more programming, which led to a certification from Columbia University in computer technology and applications. An instructor at Columbia asked me to help out with a project for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, where I assisted in developing applications for four years.

What advice do you have for Java development newbies? If you're a "traditional" Oracle developer in Oracle Forms and PL/SQL, the best way to learn the new world is to take an introductory class focusing on Java and Java EE [Java Platform, Enterprise Edition]. After that—or if formal training isn't possible—explore all the tutorials, how-tos, and blog links on Oracle Technology Network's Oracle JDeveloper Web page and on . Then develop a small project using Oracle JDeveloper 10g.

Lonneke Dikmans

Peer Specs


 Company: Approach Alliance, an IT consulting firm

 Job Title/Description: Managing partner; director of the unit focusing on service-oriented architecture (SOA) and integration using Java EE and Oracle technology; software and enterprise architect at an Approach Alliance customer site
 Location: Utrecht, the Netherlands

 Length of Time Using Oracle Products: Seven years
What's your favorite tool or technique on the job? My favorite technique is test-driven development, which I think helps teams deliver quality software and enables them to react to changes in a controlled way. As for tools, Oracle JDeveloper is my favorite—I like that you can use the same tool to create a BPEL process, a JavaServer Faces page, and regular Java code.

Which new Oracle products and functionality are you currently finding most valuable? The middleware is a focal point for me. I like Oracle SOA Suite, and Oracle Enterprise Service Bus is an important addition to the tool stack. I also like that it has become much easier to integrate non-Oracle middleware with Oracle Application Server. It's really important that Oracle Fusion Middleware adheres to standards, so customers can plug their existing components into the Oracle stack.

If you were going to the Space Station for six months and could take only one Oracle reference book, what would it be? I would ask for access to Oracle Technology Network. It contains all the information I need—more than fits in a book.

Harshad Oak

Peer Specs


 Company: Rightrix Solutions, an online magazine publisher and provider of customized software solutions and research and advisory services

 Job Title: Founder and director

 Location: Pune, India

 Length of Time Using Oracle Products: Eight years
Tell us more about the media presence of your company, Rightrix Solutions. Rightrix runs the online magazines , , and , which deal with Java, software quality, and Python, respectively.

What common mistakes do you see in how Java developers approach their work? It's amazing how many people use primitive software primarily because of a reluctance to look for and adopt a new tool. I always urge colleagues to use the latest developer tools. The other thing is to keep the design as simple as possible, since Java developers in particular have a tradition of taking the most hyped and complex approach around. For example, if basic JDBC seems like a good solution, you need not forcibly use an object-relational mapping tool just because everyone else is using it.

What would you like to see Oracle, as a company, do differently, better, or more of? I think Oracle helping Linux grow bigger and better would be wonderful for millions of computer users—particularly in the developing and underdeveloped world.