Vote for Karen Cannell for the ODTUG Board of Directors
I seek your vote for reelection to the ODTUG Board of Directors, so I may continue to actively establish and maintain ODTUG as the center of excellence for Oracle developers.
ODTUG has a spark, an indescribable vibe that you just don’t find at other user groups or conferences. We are technical, committed, passionate and fun. Something happens when top technical experts and Oracle product teams combine, elbow to elbow to share and talk tech. As an ODTUG Director, my job is to make sure that spark continues.
There are many challenges in doing so – engaging members, conference attendance, leading (not bleeding) edge content, member recruitment, quality practical technical resources, marketing what-where-when-how – all these balanced correctly combine to keep that ODTUG difference alive. That quality, that vibe, is our distinction – ODTUG is the best resource for Oracle developers. It takes work to keep it that way. And I love doing that unsung behind-the-scenes work. I gained from ODTUG, I have the experience to give back. I look forward to serving ODTUG for the coming years..
How developers work and learn continues to evolve – ODTUG must keep pace by delivering practical, actionable advice and training on legacy and emerging technologies. For all experience levels – novice through expert.
I am a senior ODTUG member, developer and consultant. I bring a quiet, steady, long-term perspective to the Board that is needed to balance the enticements of the “next new thing” with the need to deliver practical, get-the-work-done knowledge to our members. Please support my reelection to the ODTUG Board of Directors.
Experience / Attributes
Experience and attributes I bring to the ODTUG Board include:
- Insight on developer needs and challenges gained via 30+ years of development experience, across large and small companies, government and private, large to single-person development teams.
- Insight on user group operations gained through 13 yrs volunteering at local, regional and national user groups as reviewer, monitor, conference committee member, presenter, attendee and editor. As a board member I will have greater ability to solicit more content in more diverse formats.
- Eye for timely, quality material on the latest Oracle tools, gained through 8 yrs as Editor and writer, for ODTUG, IOUG and APress
- Quiet steadfast persistence to get tasks done, even the less glorious ones.
- First-hand experience with major Board committees and activities:
- Leadership Program
- Emerging Technology Committee
- Marketing Liason
- ODTUG Innovation Award
- APEX Community Liason
- Various other committees on future not-yet-to-be-disclosed projects. All good stuff that may or may not be going forward, depending on research.
Read more details about my involvement in these Board activities, below in this post (just scroll to the bottom)
As the ODTUG Board of Director election for the 2019-2020 approached, I reflected on my term as an ODTUG Director, on ODTUG in general and why an running again. This started small, then grew. There was lots of time and experience to cover!
You want to what? my husband asks. Then he laughs – that kooky, you-are-certainly-crazy-girl laugh. The one that says, “I have no clue why you do this, but clearly you love it, so have at it”.
Why do I love ODTUG?
Why do I do this stuff?
ODTUG is where I learned to be a mature technical professional. Sure, I had technical Oracle skills before I got to ODTUG. I worked at General Electric writing automation engineering drafting applications – code that produced production drawings. At Computervision, I wrote CAD-CAM Architecture, Engineering and Drafting packages. I used bit of Oracle at CV, about when that Internet thing came to be. Then I worked in state and federal government (fisheries) agencies, on Oracle databases. Forms, Reports, Discoverer, Designer. Then came Portal, then HTML-DB.
I was privileged to attend an IOUG Live conference – what a great way to learn! I volunteered – reviewing conference submissions. Presented! On Oracle Forms. Helped out with the IOUG SELECT Journal.
Then someone suggested I try ODTUG. They thought it might be a better fit, since I was a developer. Thank you, Bob Reidman, for that not-so-subtle nudge.
About that ODTUG Spark
ODTUG has a spark, an indescribable vibe that you just don’t find at other user conferences. We are technical, committed, passionate and fun. Something happens when top technical experts and Oracle product teams combine, elbow to elbow to share and talk tech. That spark was evident in the first ODTUG I attended. And I don’t even remember which one it was. I got accepted to speak,on Oracle Forms and again, and JDeveloper for PL/SQL Developers (literally days before they split off SQL Developer as a separate product). I attended – still attend – both ODTUG and IOUG COLLABORATE conferences. By speaking and volunteering, I gained – gain – confidence in my skills, in myself as a professional. Good stuff.
But something is different about ODTUG Kscope. The level of technology, a bit higher. The intensity of learning, a bit higher. The technical focus and quality of presentations – higher. Willingness of presenters and attendees to sit down and talk shop – much higher. No one scatters at the end of the day – they hang out and gab, About Oracle and related technology. Geeky stuff. Non-stop learning. The connections made I use throughout the year – if I get stuck, I know who to go to. That was before things like the ODTUG listservs (now retired). And before the Oracle forums. And before apex.world. Now when I go to the Oracle forum or apex.world, I know who is answering – and someone always answers. Cool! Can’t buy that anywhere.
Getting Involved, My Story
ODTUG Technical Journal – submit papers now!
Of course I soon volunteered for ODTUG. Reviewing conference submissions, writing book reviews, then as Assistant Technical Editor. Then as Technical Editor when Donna Richey-Winkelman retired. (Thank you for all I learned from you, Donna!) At one point I was also Associate Editor for the IOUG SELECT Journal.
The beauty of being an editor is that one gets to read content from all over, and meet the experts and make connections from all areas.
All communities, all topics, I got to learn more, every month, I got to meet more people in other user groups, more people at Oracle. I guarantee many persons got tired of seeing me, they knew I was asking for another column, or another article. I wrote articles. Edited articles. Wrote book reviews on early versions of the JDeveloper Handbook, by Peter Koletzke and Paul Dorsey. What a privilege to learn editing from Peter Koletzke! (Many Thank You’s, Peter!)
As an editor I got to see a lot. Observe a lot. Experience a lot of ODTUG and Oracle technology in general. Traditional “Developer” roles changed – are changing. Traditional “DBA” roles changed, and are changing. With Dev-Ops, the roles are even continue to blur. How do we change with the technology? We turn to ODTUG for the latest sound technical resources. As an Oracle developer, I must evolve with the technology – I cannot do that alone – I can do that with resources and connections like I find at ODTUG.
Back to ODTUG.
The connections I made through ODTUG convinced me to go into consulting. (Thank you Scott Spendolini and Doug Gault!).
I would never have had the courage to make the jump to consulting without the support of ODTUG and the connections I made therein.
With the friends I had made in ODTUG, I knew I had the knowledge, I knew I had the technical support I needed, and I had the consulting support I needed. Fortunately, TH Technology continues to work for me and my clients.
I keep up with the latest versions of the Oracle database, or APEX, of ORDS, SQL Developer, and all sorts of earlier tools – JDeveloper, Application Server, HTTP Server, Discoverer, (I am dating myself …). By presenting at, and attending ODTUG Kcope, and attending webinars, and meetups when they are local, I have a bounty of training that I cannot match anywhere. I do not have the time nor the budget for formal weeks of training on one or two topics. As a consultant, it is my job to stay ahead of the curve – to advise my clients on the next steps for their installations. Fortunately I do best when I am learning – good thing in this field, as it never ends.
Important Board Activities
This term as a Board member, I am engaged in the following activities. If/when elected to a new term, I wish to follow on with these activities, passing some on to newer Board members, and in turn rolling on to new committees as they may fit ODTUG’s strategic direction.
- Leadership Program, Board Advisor – The ODTUG Leadership Program prepares selected ODTUG members for leadership positions within their current organizations, or for that next step. LP persons read a leadership textbook, attended a series of online presentations/discussions and execute a group project, the topic of which changes year to year. The LP is NOT “how to be an ODTUG leader”. However, when we do our job right in the LP, the graduates want to stay on and give back to ODTUG. It is hugely rewarding to watch younger (time-wise, not age-wise) workers grow as the program progresses. It is fascinating how persons grow within this simple program. Due to certain opportunities, I initiated a post-LP mentoring program, underway now, and possibly ongoing. I know I am getting a lot out of this – I hope the participants are gaining as well.
- Emerging Technology Committee – Investigate emerging technologies such as Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Internet-of-Things (IOT) and others to discern what our members need to know about, how much and when. There are lots of new cool IT things out there – which do you as an Oracle developer, EPM product manager related technologist need to learn? Know about is one thing – need to learn to stay relevant and productive at your job is another. ODTUG strives to deliver some of the former, more of the latter, the Need-To-Learn material.
- Alternative Revenue Committee – Investigate alternative forms of revenue for ODTUG. As a non-profit organization, we watch expenses. We aim to give our members the best technical resources and the best conference for the best price possible.
- Marketing Liaison – Review and recommend on ODTUG and ODTUG Kscope marketing materials – social media, email blasts, conference advertising.
- APEX Community Liaison – The APEX community essentially runs itself, yet there are still needs for planning for ODTUG Kscope community activities, exchanging requests from the community, planning webinars, and assistance in planning meetups.
I am also involved in committees on future, yet-to-be-disclosed projects. All good stuff that may or may not be going forward, depending on initial research.
- Editor’s Choice – While serving as Editor of the Technical Journal, each year there was a corresponding Editor’s Choice Award for the best white paper – remember them – out of the ODTUG Kscope conference materials. Presenters used to submit both a white paper and a presentation for each conference they attended. The white papers served as materials for the ODTUG members, part of the overall ODTUG library. The Editor’s Choice reviews – an annual read-fest where a small group literally read and graded/ranked every paper submitted to the conference. At one point there were 125 papers. The beauty of the Editor’s Choice reviews was that one got to read the conference material before the conference. Like attending the conference before the fact. I learned more about Hyperion and Essbase through those papers than I ever knew existed. By far, our Hyperion/EPM community is the most prolific!
- Pants On the Ground – In 2011, as part of our Long Beach conference, I participated in the general session reality-TV vote-off. I got to learn the American Idol Pants on the Ground song, and gave my husband (and no doubt many others) another good laugh. For kicks and grins, check out those 2011 general session videos. Always practice your dancing before an ODTUG Kscope.
- ODTUG Volunteer Award – In 2012, I was awarded the ODTUG Volunteer award – a surprise for sure. And a huge honor. And yes, they caught me off guard on that one.
- ODTUG Innovation Award – When the Editor’s Choice was retired – mainly due to lack of papers (who writes White Papers? The world writes Blogs now) – I initiated the ODTUG Innovation Award in 2016. The ODTUG Innovation Award honors technical excellence and innovation in the use of Oracle technology over the past year. Innovative, Wow! stuff. We have had great entries every year – and awesome winners: Mia Urman, Vincent Morneau, and Stewart Bryson. Any many more to come!
The ODTUG Innovation Award opens in April, closes before ODTUG Kcope in sufficient time for a panel of judges to evaluate the submission and award a winner, announced at ODTUG Kscope. Best luck to all future submissions!
- APEX Conference Submission Reviews – I am honored to review conference submissions for ODTUG Kscope and other major conferences. This is a natural followup to reviewing Editor’s Choice papers. I have learned through the years what works and what is new and what is not yet – and I have fun doing it.
In short, I originally joined ODTUG to learn. I originally volunteered to give back. As a senior ODTUG member, developer and consultant, I bring a quiet, steady, long-term perspective to the ODTUG Board that is needed to balance the enticements of the “next new thing” with the need to deliver practical, get-the-work-done knowledge to our members.
ODTUG, as an organization, has a mission:
To establish members as leaders in their organizations through education, timely access to the latest information, communication, and networking within the community, and provide a united voice to influence the strategic direction of Oracle and other vendors.
As long as ODTUG follows that mission, I can keep working, keep learning, keep current technically, keep a great bunch of friends and connections. And be a solid technical professional. Help me forward ODTUG’s mission, for all our members.
I ask for your vote for reelection to the ODTUG Board of Directors to ensure that the ODTUG spark, and the ODTUG flow of knowledge continues.