“You can swim all day in the Sea of Knowledge and not get wet.” ― Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth
The time is fast approaching where it will be three years since I was graced with the status of Oracle ACE, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I can’t speak highly enough of the program and its steadily growing list of members. But don’t think for a minute that once someone becomes an Oracle ACE or Oracle ACE Director the work stops; nothing could be further from the truth.
Sharing my knowledge got me here and that hasn’t stopped or slowed down. I still blog, still write two articles each month for http://www.databasejournal.com and still contribute to the Oracle technical forums and I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve said it before, sharing what you know may not seem important to you at the time, but others who you may not know or ever see will find it useful and will be grateful that you took the time and effort to pass it on. It’s not about the laurels and praise, it’s about contributing knowledge to the Oracle community in order to help others.
Allow me to quote from my original post on being an Oracle ACE:
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.
That still holds true almost three years later; I keep that thought in mind every time I post to a forum, write an article or create a blog post because I do those things to add to the knowledge base provided by members of the Oracle community. And even though others may post more often it doesn’t mean my contributions are diminished in any way, since I (hopefully) have a unique voice and viewpoint that adds to, not detracts from or duplicates, the contributions made by others. The world is a vast place and everyone’s voice should be heard. It’s incumbent upon you to make that so; raise your voice and be heard.
Oracle isn’t just a product line, it’s also a community and it takes more than one person to keep a community going. Others may be blogging and sharing but don’t let that stop you from doing the same. There is no rule that each contribution be unique; sometimes a different view on the same topic can turn the light of understanding on and provide insight and knowledge to clear the confusion. Your voice is special; don’t deprive others of your contributions simply because you can’t think of a unique topic. You may provide understanding by approaching the topic from a different direction. Sometimes a change of perspective is all it takes.
Again from that previous blog post:
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.
It’s still great to be an Oracle ACE, and to me it always will be. But it is good to remember that being an ACE isn’t the destination, it’s just the start of the journey.
Head ’em up, move ’em out.