Community CountsBy Blair Campbell
Three peers on the value of providing patches, getting social, and giving feedback
What technology has most changed your life? Open source software. When I started evaluating MySQL solutions in early 2004, I noticed that MySQL Database 4.1 incorrectly converted Japanese local character sets. I checked the source code, found the root cause, filed a bug report, and submitted a small patch. Soon after that, the patch was merged with the MySQL source code and the problem was solved. This is a pretty typical scenario in open source communities, but I was very excited about having the opportunity to work with the original developers.
What would you like to see Oracle do more of? Oracle has managed MySQL products very well, and I hope to see more of this type of product management. MySQL Database 5.5 was released in a very timely manner, and Tomas Ulin, vice president of MySQL engineering at Oracle, has been great at product development.
What advice do you have about getting into Web and database development? Work at a relatively large Web services company. The more servers you have, the more problems you’ll encounter, so you’re bound to learn a lot.
How did you get started in IT? My IT journey began when I went to college for a computer science degree. During college I wrote my first Oracle-centric application—along with a thick manual—for the Lahore Stock Exchange in Pakistan, which earned me first prize in a nationwide software competition.
How are you currently using cloud computing in your work? I’m using it in a SaaS [software as a service] project for one of my clients, UnitedHealth Group. I’ve been integrally involved in architecting, modernizing, and managing the Oracle Database infrastructure for multiple SaaS applications hosted within the cloud.
How are you using social media? I use it everywhere in my professional life. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, FeedBurner, Oracle Mix: you name it, I’m there! Along with my fellow Oracle ACEs, I recently organized and cohosted VirtaThon 2011—the largest online-only conference for the Oracle, Java, and MySQL communities.
Which new Oracle Fusion Middleware and Oracle Database products and features are you finding most valuable? As far as Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle WebLogic Server has brought a lot of great new features, such as clustering possibilities and new deployment options. On the database side, my current top features and options are Snapshot Standby and Oracle Active Data Guard. With Snapshot Standby, it’s really easy to test or validate against real production data without losing your high availability or rebuilding the standby database after the validation.
What advice do you have about getting into Web and database development or software architecture? A good starting point is the Oracle Learning Library on Oracle Technology Network. The how-tos and demos provided are really helpful.
What would you like to see Oracle do more of? A long time ago Oracle started Project Marvel, which led to HTML DB and what is now Oracle Application Express. Every interested Oracle user could join the project, give feedback and input, and have a great influence and a strong voice. I’d like to see more of such projects.
Learn more about the Oracle ACE Program.
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