Oh how jealous I am of ODTUG
As a user group leader I know that the success of any volunteer organisation is the volunteers themselves, and I would give anything to have 22 great, passionate people step up and be nominated to our board at UKOUG. What an election this will be.
ODTUG not many years back was struggling. When other user groups were coming together to take on the benefits of Collaboration, ODTUG saw their offering as different, more intimate, more personal and stayed out on their own. It wasn't easy but with the range of development tools expanding and the adoption of them by Oracle users they felt they were right. OTN supported them for a while and when Hyperion came on board, being welcomed by ODTUG as their new home and the APEX community took off, ODTUG not only survived but also flourished.
I have made my name 'not being technical' but by being 'technically literate', understanding what the technology under the applications are and how they work. Kscope is my training ground and only once in the last 9 years have I missed it. I have presented and volunteered and when joining Certus last month one requirement was that Kscope was included in my training plan.
When I heard 22 people had stepped up this year, I was amazed but not surprised. Several candidates have asked for my support and I personally know many of them. So then I looked deep into their manifestos to decide how I would vote. But I have two problems:
- How do you select just 4 from the list?
- I am not an ODTUG member.
At this point I want to underline that UKOUG do provide great development content but as I have said in other posts being part of the organising committee means I never have time to attend the sessions.
Choosing just four is a much bigger problem and I'm going out on a limb here because so many are friends, but as a usergroup leader I think I know from some authority what balance ODTUG need to continue to grow and to reach more.
Today I tweeted my intention to become a member so I could vote only to discover that you needed to join before the end of September so I am too late. Disappointing but understandable, all boards especially Not for Profits must be scrupulously free of any opportunity for fraud.
So I have decided to share who I would have voted for and why. This isn't a new step for me I have written similar blogs for UKOUG. I have read everyone's manifesto and can make a case for each and everyone. My final choice is based on balance:
ODTUG works because it is addressing reach, by age, by region, by gender and by product and it succeeds because it is a true community, these are the areas I have considered.
Roel Hartman, representing APEX and wants to grow reach into Europe and beyond through collaboration with regional user groups. Collaboration is key, you must not simply compete with or threaten the success of local groups.
Bambi Price, who during her previous tenure on the board, brought ODTUG to Asia Pac. Bambi won't mind me saying this but she also works tirelessly for IT in the older generation, somewhere some of us will get to sooner than others. Bambi represents all development solutions both traditional and emerging.
Sarah Zumbrum who is a graduate of the ODTUG Leadership Programme and you need to show support to the program which is held up as best practice within the International Usergroup Community (IOUC). Sarah is part of the Hyperion Community.
Finally I select Mike Riley, your past president. This was the hardest choice, I think the board needs experience as well as new blood, and Mike's tenure during the growing years speaks volumes. Part of me thinks Mike should have another year off before standing again to recover fully from his health problems, but at the same time ODTUG is about community and the way everybody rallied to help Mike and his family shows just how much that is true. People who volunteer stay busy and grow and Mike needs that now as he returns to normal health. As well as giving him the motivation to return to full health it will also be a way to for him to say thank you; and I KNOW, you, the ODTUG community will benefit from his experience and passion.
To voters I say: Don't worry if you don't agree with me, just make sure you vote. Study the list carefully and select your choice.
To the Candidates I say: Don't hate me, I would happily have voted for any of you and know you would all do a good job. Many of you are great friends and I value that so much. What I do know is that if you are unsuccessful you will continue to be a big part of ODTUG, none of you are doing this for altruistic reasons.
I wrote this post to highlight the importance of this obligation and to make people think. I was unable to vote and even if I did the outcome is uncertain. If you are successful, well done and if not don't give up keep trying. My first year for UKOUG board I failed to be elected and look at me now!
User Groups fail without great volunteers, to all 22 I say well done and keep up the good work.
P.S. I still joined ODTUG today and will be voting next year and this is my personal opinion not that of UKOUG or any other group.