COMMUNITY: Community Bulletin
Bring the NoiseBy Bob Rhubart
Passion and participation drive the Oracle Technology Network Architect Community.
In this issue, Bob Rhubart, manager of the architect community on Oracle Technology Network, provides an update for and about that community.
Oracle Technology Network is organized around four pillars: Java developers, database administrators and developers, system administrators and developers, and architects. The boundaries between those community segments are fuzzy and porous, reflecting the practical reality of enterprise IT, where individual players often straddle multiple roles. Each role makes a specific contribution to the creation, implementation, and maintenance of IT solutions, and each contribution is an integral piece of the larger IT puzzle. While each role is essential to the overall process, it is the architect’s job to see that all of those pieces fit into a coherent, fully functioning whole.
That’s not to say that architects stand above the other roles. But architecture is, by necessity, the context in which all of the individual roles must operate. This is increasingly true as service orientation, cloud computing, the wildly expanding use of mobile devices, social computing, and the explosion of data continue to reshape not just the IT landscape but the very environment in which businesses operate.
Architects must be able to clearly communicate how all the pieces fit together within the solution, and how the solution fits into the larger enterprise picture. That’s no small task, which is exactly why Oracle recognizes the role of the architect.
In supporting the architect community, Oracle Technology Network draws on the community itself, especially the leaders within that varied and dynamic network: experienced IT professionals whose interests center on Oracle technologies and how they fit into the enterprise IT ecosystem. Oracle’s own experts are part of that community, but they are by no means the sole source of the architecture content on Oracle Technology Network. Members of the Oracle ACE and Oracle ACE Director programs, whose collective expertise spans a variety of specialties, are high on the list of contributors. The resulting content stream draws from articles, blog posts, social network updates, podcasts, and videos.
Just as architecture itself focuses on ensuring that the various elements of a solution fit together and act as a cohesive whole, the architect pillar strives to funnel and filter the community information stream into a coherent channel that represents the interests and serves the needs of the architect community. The focal point of that effort is the Oracle Technology Network Architect home page, a portal to a wide variety of resources for architects.
Speaking of open forums, the Architect home page also includes links to companion social channels on Facebook and Twitter where you can track and participate in the community conversation as it happens.
Moving out of social networks and into the real world, the events listings on the Architect home page will keep you up to date on opportunities to connect with community leaders and technical experts at a wide variety of live, in-person events, including the ongoing series of Oracle Technology Network Architect Days.
Of course, conversation is a two-way process. So while we invite you to take advantage of the stream of architecture content on Oracle Technology Network as an information consumer, it is equally important that you contribute to the stream. The aforementioned social channels offer an easy, informal way to participate in the conversation. But those interested in a more in-depth, formal approach are encouraged to submit articles for publication in order to demonstrate and publicize their architecture expertise and practical knowledge.
In the end, a community is about more than shared interests. It is a collection of individual voices and opinions. True, that can often be a cacophonous chorus. But that’s when you know that the participants are passionate about the topic. Oracle Technology Network is listening, always working to gather and distill the architecture conversation in a way that makes sense and provides the greatest value to the community. That’s our end of the bargain. It’s up to you to add your voice and your passion.
Bob Rhubart (firstname.lastname@example.org) is manager of the architect community on Oracle Technology Network, the host of the Oracle Technology Network ArchBeat podcast series, and the author of the ArchBeat blog.