By Jim Grisanzio | December 2021
When I spot cool projects, I’m not shy: I dive in to get involved. That’s what happened when I heard about Oracle Code Innovate in 2018. Chip Baber, senior manager in the Emerging Technology group in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), ran the project. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to build the Oracle developer community.
At the time, Oracle Code Innovate was a brand-new project—not even close to being fully staffed. Chip’s team was planning to engage enterprise cloud developers inside Oracle customers globally. They’d use a simple and innovative Agile framework where Oracle engineers work side-by-side at the keyboard with the customer’s engineers in a three-day sprint coding live projects the customer specified.
I was fortunate to have served as Scrum Master for several of these events in India and Silicon Valley in 2018 and 2019. After every event, I’d talk with the developers to get a sense of how they felt about the project. It was normal to hear comments such as: “Wow, that was great! I loved it! I learned so much in such a short time.” That’s why Oracle Code Innovate continues today in a virtual format. People love it. It’s hands on. As a project, it just works.
There’s more to Code Innovate than just a sprint, of course. Engineers lead structured learning sessions on OCI, projects are chosen and staffed, engineering management is involved to allocate resources and judge final presentations, and awards are given out. During the entire experience, everyone learned and relationships were built.
So, how do you take all of that virtual? Well, retooling an already successful project takes creativity and innovation—and a strong desire to engage developers in real technical experiences. The project now uses Zoom sessions and GitHub project features to communicate live for ideation, coding, standups, and presentations. There are some timing changes to accommodate Zoom fatigue, but other than that the in-person model remains largely intact.
“We‘re hands on keyboard for true codevelopment,” Chip says of the virtual event. And that’s why I think Virtual Code Innovate really works. People involved are passionate and motivated.
Get all the latest details of Virtual Code Innovate in my conversation with Chip, below. You’ll hear his passion for this project. It’s palpable. Also, follow the links below for more technical and programmatic information from dozens of other videos. Thinking about doing your own virtual event? Contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chip Baber is a senior manager for the Oracle Code Innovate program in the Emerging Technology group in Oracle Cloud.
Photography: Courtesy of Chip Baber
The Oracle Groundbreakers Podcast is available via:
Jim Grisanzio is a senior community manager in Oracle Developer Relations. You can follow him on Twitter @jimgris.