Recently I was declared, for want of a better word, an Oracle ACE. I was nominated by someone I respect and admire; just the nomination itself was enough, really, to make my day. When I received notification that I had been selected I was truly surprised. I immediately thanked my nominator, who told me:
"Still, it is just a nomination form, and you did all the work that made it so impressive. Congratulations!"
Honestly, it wasn’t, and isn’t, work. It’s a pleasure to share my knowledge with others, which is why I blog, write for http://www.databasejournal.com twice a month and wrote “Oracle Exadata Survival Guide”.
Being an Oracle ACE is an honor, but it’s also a responsibility. What got me here was writing and participating in discussion groups, and that won’t change. Knowledge is to be shared, not hoarded. What you know does no one else any good if you don’t share that knowledge and experience. If Da Vinci had kept his notes to himself, if Newton hadn’t published his Laws of Motion, if Copernicus has kept quiet our world may have been quite different. It’s because these people had the foresight to look deeper into our world and then tell us what they found that puts us where we are today. It’s only right that we, as beneficiaries of the knowledge others before us shared, share our knowledge no matter how unimportant it may seem. Someone, somewhere, will find it useful and will be grateful that we did.
It may be that our knowledge is gained equally by insight and by mistakes. I know that I’ve made mistakes I’ve learned from, and I know others have done the same. Norton Juster, an architect who wrote a wonderful book named “The Phantom Tollbooth”, said it best:
"You may not see it now," said the Princess of Pure Reason, looking knowingly at Milo's puzzled face, "but whatever we learn has a purpose and whatever we do affects everything and everyone else, if even in the tiniest way. Why, when a housefly flaps his wings, a breeze goes round the world; when a speck of dust falls to the ground, the entire planet weighs a little more; and when you stamp your foot, the earth moves slightly off its course. Whenever you laugh, gladness spreads like the ripples in a pond; and whenever you're sad, no one anywhere can be really happy. And it's much the same thing with knowledge, for whenever you learn something new, the whole world becomes that much richer." "And remember, also," added the Princess of Sweet Rhyme, "that many places you would like to see are just off the map and many things you want to know are just out of sight or a little beyond your reach. But someday you'll reach them all, for what you learn today, for no reason at all, will help you discover all the wonderful secrets of tomorrow."
I think this sums up being an Oracle ACE better than any words I could put on a page. I keep this quote with me, to remind me that mistakes aren’t the end of the world if you learn from them and move on. And what I learn from those mistakes may help others so they don’t make those same mistakes.
I love sharing what I know; I’ve been doing it for over 16 years now, in various forums, some that are no longer as popular as they once were. I never realized how far my commentary reached until I became an Oracle ACE; I have received congratulations and comments that I never expected, mostly of the ‘it’s about time’ sentiment. Simply because you don’t see the gratitude of others who benefit from your knowledge doesn’t mean that gratitude doesn’t exist. I see now that it does, and I am humbled by it.
“Oracle ACE”. To be among those who have been graced by this honor gives me pause. It’s a good pause, awesome if I may be allowed to say it. And it’s an honor that will only make me work harder so that I can live up to such high standards.
Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.