Friday, 1 June 2012

Stretching My Own Knowledge

I love to teach, I love to share knowledge but if I am not learning myself, I don't grow. When a presentation is good and you engage with the audience you learn from them, how they achieved the same result, or issues they encountered, or sometimes someone gives you a clue, a different outlook or even the answer to a problem. Some of the best presentations I have seen have been when someone has shared openly a problem.

But, I want to learn more, I no longer actually deliver projects but advise peers and customers at all stages, so I need a much wider understanding of all things Oracle. I am honoured to present a lot so whenever possible try and attend sessions in areas that interest me, e.g. the Exa Debate at Collab.

Recently I have had a few more opportunities to stretch me. Fujitsu have some excellent thought leaders and when Oracle put on their Big Data Symposium I wanted to showcase one of them at it. In my role as Alliance Director I worked with Oracle on the event and to do that had to understand what we were saying. Shouldn't have been too difficult, Mark Wilson our expert had written an excellent White paper but it was 23 pages long, still I know a lot more now. At the Manchester event we also sponsored a drinks reception and had some good conversations, although I think Big Data is where Cloud was a few years ago, too many presentations are about what it is rather than solutions.

A few years back I was tricked into talking about the database under Fusion Apps at Miracle Open World to some of the best DBAs there are. Once I got over the panic I really enjoyed having to research and learn. This year Mark Rittman asked me if I would give a end of day keynote at the RittmanMead BISymposium on how the BI is used in Fusion Apps, I knew a little bit more here but did still need to understand more and again enjoyed the challenge. On the day the audience participation was fantastic, not only did I get to discus Fusion Apps BI with BI experts but I was also able to show them why what they are doing for their customers is Oracle's future and therefore strategic and safe.

Then just a few weeks ago I talked with Donal Forde from Oracle Ireland at the Belfast British Computer Society. I talked about how Oracle had introduced the next generation of Apps and how they did it, and Donal talked about ADF as the development platform. Not a new talk for either of us but this was a very technical audience that were not necessarily Oracle users, so it was a different approach.

Each year for OOW I submit at least one presentation on a topic I know very little about, last year it was 'Consolidation to the Cloud' and it was one of my most popular ever, although to be truthful I did have a joint speaker in mind when I submitted but in the end it was just me. This year and as a big surprise to my really technical friends I have submitted a presentation about Fujitsu's Cloud offering, not as a sales pitch but the use of OEM12c with OVM3 providing of course the challenges are overcome by then. Knowing you have committed to presenting on something really focuses the mind.

Actually that is my favourite quote"Commitment is doing the thing you said you would do, long after the mood in which you said it has gone" - Facing Up by Bear Grylls

Push yourself to learn everyday, it is rewarding and even more so when you pass that learning on to someone else.

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