As Published In
Oracle Magazine
March/April 2008

CHANNELS: Peer-to-Peer

The Virtues of Versatility

By Blair Campbell

Three Oracle ACE Directors discuss evolving careers, interests, and technologies.

Jason Jones

Peer Specs


Company: Zirous, a firm specializing in Oracle sales, development, implementation, and integration

Job title/description: System architect, responsible for design and architecture on many of Zirous' Java and SOA projects, as well as acting as a solution architect with the company's sales team

Location: Des Moines, Iowa

Oracle credentials: Oracle SOA Implementation Champion, with four years of experience using Oracle products

Oracle ACE

What's your favorite tool on the job? It's been BPEL for quite some time. I'm amazed at the versatility of Oracle's BPEL implementation. It's great at modeling long-running business processes; it's a powerful workflow engine; and it can actually function as a decent ETL [extract, transform, and load] tool. What's great is when you can combine all of these elements into an end-to-end solution.

What would you like to see Oracle, as a company, do more of? As an Oracle partner, we work with a lot of small and midsize organizations, and they can really benefit from service-oriented architecture [SOA] technologies too. I'd like to see more support from Oracle for starting SOA initiatives on a smaller budget and with less staff.

What's your favorite thing to do that doesn't involve work? I'm an avid golfer—that's actually partially the reason I'm now involved with Oracle technology. I played in a golf tournament about five years ago with the sales and marketing director of our company, and he got me an interview.

Torsten Winterberg

Peer Specs 

Company: Opitz Consulting GmbH, a provider of Oracle solutions and consulting

Job title/description: Divisional director, application development, responsible for building Java Platform, Enterprise Edition, applications as a trainer and serving as a project coach and architect

Location: Gummersbach, Germany

Length of time using Oracle products: Seven years

Oracle ACE

What do you like most about your job? The most beautiful aspect of software development for me is the creative process of building something new. Generally in software developing, you rarely build something you can touch; therefore the focus is slightly different. What's fascinating for me is designing and developing elegant software solutions that are easy to maintain going forward, as well as tracking, understanding, and—if required—adapting the evolution of the technology, frameworks, products, and languages.

What green practices do you use on the job? My company as a whole values green practices enormously. Our location is quite rural, and we use solar generators and run a block-type thermal power station to save energy.

If you were going to the International Space Station for six months and could only take one Oracle reference book, what would it be? The Oracle SOA Suite Best Practices Guide [available at ]. It's the best source for current information about Oracle SOA tools.

John Stegeman

Peer Specs


Company: Cambridge Solutions, a provider of IT and business process outsourcing services

Job title/description: Senior program director, responsible for architecting and implementing solutions based on the Oracle platform

Location: Ascot, U.K.

Length of time using Oracle products: More than 17 years

Oracle ACE
How did you get started in IT? After college, I did a stint as a waiter. One of the problems we had in the restaurant was trying to schedule waiters and kitchen staff, so I taught myself to program in C and wrote an application to help with that task. A short time later, I saw a newspaper ad looking for someone to work on a development project involving Oracle technology. I took the restaurant scheduling application with me to the interview, and I got the job.

Which new features in Oracle Database technology are you finding most valuable? Oracle Real Application Testing—because being able to record and play a workload against the database without having to do massive amounts of scripting is so helpful.

In what ways are you using the internet today? The internet gives me a platform for connecting to clients and team members across the globe. Lately I've been doing some work for a U.S.-based client and have been collaborating with team members in the U.S. and Asia. The application is being rolled out around the world, and training is being conducted across the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Australia—all remotely over the internet. The issue-tracking and version-control systems are hosted somewhere in the U.S.—I don't know where, and thanks to the internet, I don't particularly care.