We don’t call it COLLABORATE for nothing

Apr 5, 2011 / By Michael Abbey

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When is the last time you consulted with one of your colleagues to solve a technical dilemma … let me stop for a second … not in the last 13 minutes :)

collaborate: –verb (used without object), -rat·ed, -rat·ing.

  1. to work, one with another; cooperate, as on a literary work: They collaborated on a novel
  2. to cooperate, usually willingly, with an enemy nation: One is discouraged from collaborating with opposing forces ..

Knowledge transfer and mentoring are fundamental to solving technical issues. Something that you may have never experienced is ingrained in the psyche of your fellow technologists. What makes collaboration so intriguing is best illustrated by something that happened to me when I was working for the federal goverment from 1989 until 1995.

I was a well-experienced and more than competent SQL*Forms 3 developer and struggling with how to get a field level trigger POST-CHANGE trigger to fire as the cursor left a field without altering its contents on the way through. Remember the key word in the name of this trigger … CHANGE. Suppose you travel through a field containing the text IOUG, making no changes. You guessed it … no change means no trigger. So in walks Lise, a junior developer with less than 2 months experience, listens to my predicament, and exclaims … “just put the keyword ENTER; on its own line and the trigger will fire …”. Ya that will happen :) So I tried it knowing the result and, lo and behold, it worked!

There is no better source for knowledge transfer and interaction with fellow techies than a software user group event such as COLLABORATE. The biggest bang for your buck is shmoozing with your peers. The seemingly most insurmountable technical obstacles melt once in the presence of people who are well-armed with the knowledge to solve your most pressing problems. The attendance at many user group meetings has shrunk over the years and I have an explanation for that with an interesting twist …

Wanda desperately wants to go to the local user group meeting but she has been tearing her hair out with a pesky rman problem seemingly related to controlfile autobackup. Her investigation consumes all her available time, and she cannot afford to take the time to go to the user group meeting. Had she been able to go, she may have had the opportunity to listen to a presentation entitiled “What You Need to Know About controlfile autobackup”.

COLLABORATE … the ultimate yearly destination for knowledge transfer between peers … what a vehicle. I have missed one year of the IOUG show in the past 21 offerings. There is no better place to be in the spring of each calendar year … see you there.

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