One Month as an Oracle ACE Associate

I’ll admit – it’s still a novelty to think that I am an Oracle ACE Associate.  I listed being recognized as an Oracle ACE to Kellyn Pot’vin as one of my career goals, among others, about a year ago.  She laid out exactly what I needed to in order to achieve my goal – and I’ll admit that it was a lot of painful stretching, growing and reaching beyond my comfort zone.  But I trusted her and knew that ACEdom was a goal of mine, so I followed her guidance.  And given that there was only 1 other female Hyperion ACE, I knew that I needed to listen to an ACE sage as I would be going into waters only traversed once in ACE program history.

Throughout the yearlong work I put into reaching this goal, I learned so much about myself, what my strengths are and what opportunities I have to make myself a stronger Oracle developer.  I learned to put myself out in front of the Oracle world without reservation.  This was the hardest – writing blogs about what I *know* I know and having it open for the world to critique was the furthest thing from my comfort zone that I could have imagined at the time.  I registered my Blogspot domain last June, but did not create my first blog post until December.  Why not?  A little thing called confidence.  I knew what I was doing…but what if it’s not the best way?  What if I post something that’s not correct?  These thoughts plagued me for 6 months.  So I had a talk with myself – so what if I *do* post something that is not exactly right…what’s probably going to happen?  What I told myself is that I would learn something new.  Is learning something new all that bad?  My Oracle knowledge can only grow from this opportunity.

Another big step for me was creating a public Twitter account.  I warn you – I am very geeky in who I follow.  They tend to be running, geek, leadership, motivational and Oracle peeps accounts.  It took me about a month to really fall into this account.  What did I learn from this?  There are new friends to be found out there!  I now have people that I have weekly conversations with on Twitter, yet I have never met them.  I’m still waiting for the Hyperion community to be like the traditional side and feel free to ask tech question via Twitter…we will get there.  Communities start small and grow.  And we will!  My Oracle knowledge base has grown and I have many new people to reach out to when I am stuck.

I have always loved public speaking, even though I have not done much of it.  I was shy when I was younger, but always did well when I had to present for school.  There is a certain excitement that comes from sharing knowledge I possess with others.  For the ACE program, this was the easiest step for me…even though I know it’s the hardest for others.  I stepped out and spoke at conferences I had never heard of based on the recommendations of my new Twitter friends.  In this process, my confidence increased and my Oracle circle grew.  In addition to Kscope and Connection Point, I spoke at ECOUG Fall Conference and RMOUG Training Days.  I either have already or will be putting in to speak at these events again.  Side note – who knew that I would like whiskey??  Had it not been for RMOUG I never would have found out!  And ECOUG…I never would have spent time with Jeff Smith, who is now a neighbor in North Carolina.  My husband and I found out one week (!) after ECOUG (located in Raleigh) that we would be moving there.  We had a friend before we ever moved!  My Oracle friends have eased life’s rougher transitions.

And now, one month after being honored by Oracle, I find myself in the same position I was a year ago except with tons more confidence and career direction.  At the time of listing my goals to Kellyn, ACE Associate wasn’t even around so making ACE then ACED was the full path.  Now, my goals are the same -> ACE then ACED (take note, Kellyn).  I’m still going to be working hard sharing my knowledge of Hyperion, speaking on subjects I practice every day and surrounding myself with those with more experience than me so I can get stronger and better.  I have started writing white papers which has been a whole new challenge to me.  The research, writing and rewriting is truly exhausting and rewarding.

I have also found myself digging more into the why’s of an issue or system just so I can be more informed.  Instead of researching the immediate problem, I dig further.  Oracle bestowed this honor on me, it’s only fair to give them their dues and better serve those that look to ACEs for help and knowledge.  I still have a long way to go in my Hyperion education even after 10 years, but the community is stronger for it.

Thank you, Oracle.  I will not disappoint.

Thank you, Oracle community, for letting me be a part of your geek world.

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