Jenny, from the Oracle Database Insider Newsletter, asked a number of us in the Database division at Oracle to share our New Year's resolutions for 2016. And while I'm a bit reluctant to share this somewhat personal information, I like the fact that publicizing these resolutions may force me to remain a bit more focused on these goals. So here goes...my resolutions for 2016:
- Attend an Oracle Real World Performance Training class. I thought I knew a fair amount about the Oracle Database, SQL and tuning. But at a conference in 2015, I was able to spend some quality time around Vlado Barun from the Oracle Real World Performance team, and it quickly become clear I knew very little compared to these folks. I’m asked to diagnose “APEX issues” all the time, and the vast majority of cases are simply database configuration or SQL tuning exercises. To become a better database developer, I need to become deeper in my understanding of the Oracle Database and performance.
- Broaden the message of APEX, Database and Oracle Cloud development to those we’re not reaching today. And I specifically would like to share our message with higher education institutions and students attending university. Developing Web and responsive applications is cool and I believe the combination of technologies (SQL, PL/SQL, APEX, Oracle Database, Cloud, REST) results in an incredibly rich application development platform. University students probably think of “big, bad corporate” when they hear the word “Oracle”. I want them to think “hip, cool, innovative, modern”.
- Be more patient and understanding of those who ask me questions. I can actually credit a customer (Erik van Roon) who helped me to recalibrate my understanding on this topic. Sometimes I’ll get questions where it’s clear someone hasn’t done the least bit of research into the topic. And it was at those rare times when (to a fellow employee, never a customer), I’d reply with a lmgtfy.com link. But as Erik correctly pointed out - I have 20 years experience, and they don’t. Arrogance may not be the message I intend to send, but it may very well be the message that is received. And that’s not how I wish to be perceived by anyone, ever. Thus - time to drop my impatience and arrogance, for every occasion.
- Spend more time with my family. 2015 was a great year for Oracle Application Express, and I’ve never worked harder in my career than I did in 2015. But that has a price, and I value the finite time with my family more than anything else. While I love working for Oracle and I dearly love the team I’m blessed to work with, I value my family even more. And I need to define a bit more rigid boundaries between work and family time.
- Read a novel. When I read, it’s usually one of the following: the Bible, a functional specification, a military history book, a computer programming/Web design book or the Wall Street Journal. My wife is an avid reader and gets such joy from well-written and captivating novels. I’d like to expand my imagination (and vocabulary), and be able to set aside time for some reading at leisure.
- Learn a language. I’ve dabbled back and forth with German over many years. And I know enough German to order food in a restaurant. But I’m not fluent enough for even the shortest of conversations in German. It’s time to either forge ahead with my self-study of German and practice it with the 3 native German speakers on the APEX team, or simply switch gears and direct my focus to Spanish which is probably much more practical, living in America.
- Exercise at least 3 times a week. The older I get, the easier it is to gain weight and get out of shape, and the more difficult it is to lose it and get back in shape. And by "exercise", I don't mean walk around the block. Instead, I'm referring to something that causes you to sweat - running, biking, jumping rope, or resistance exercises (the Total Gym will work just fine!). While I fantasize about training enough to run a 1/2 marathon in 2016, I'll be happy enough to just consistently exercise 3 times a week.
These are the goals. Some are easy. Some will span the entire year. I probably won't meet them all, but they're a goal.
What are your goals for 2016?