Blaine kindly shared the following for your reading pleasure.
Hi, I'm Blaine Carter.
I started programming in 1995. For most of my career I've used Oracle tools to build applications. Beginning with Oracle Forms and Reports, I created an application 100% in Designer 2k. I helped write and maintain an HTML framework in PL/SQL similar to APEX. I've done a little Java both inside and outside the database, and of course a whole bunch of SQL and PL/SQL.
While using these technologies, I started to drift away from Oracle. The prevailing viewpoint in these communities seemed to be that Oracle is wrong, in one way or another, for open source technologies. Most of them prefer a data storage solution that is "free" -- if you just put in enough effort. I spent quite a lot of time bumping up against one "small" problem or another, getting increasingly grumpy along the way, because I knew how to solve the problem in an Oracle database, sometimes with something as simple as a synonym.
Last month, I saw the posting for the Oracle Developer Advocate for Open Source position and my first thought was "It would be awesome if that were real – if Oracle was really serious about reaching out to open source communities." I decided to give it a shot and see what it's all about. I spoke with a lot of people both in and out of the team. Everyone was so excited about the future that I became convinced it is for real....and that I really wanted to be a part of the effort.
Fortunately, Steven Feuerstein and Mike Hichwa felt the same away about me, and I started my new position on April 1st – and that's no joke!
I think this is going to be one of the most challenging jobs I've ever taken on – and that's exciting! The way I see it, we have a couple things to accomplish:
1. We need to show open source application developers that Oracle is not the enemy. We need to help them see that they can explore and build with these languages, but still use proven, powerful Oracle Database technology.
2. On the other hand, even though I believe Oracle Corporation is committed to open source, some inside the company might still see open source as the enemy. We need to help Oracle get more involved in the open source communities, get some pull requests submitted, attend and present at meetups, and show the world we're serious – about having fun with open source. J
I see the work I will be doing is kind of bridge building, between Oracle and open source communities.
I intend to help the open source communities see that when they chose the best language for their project they don't have to be locked into that language's default data store. They can still choose the very best database for their project. Sure, that might not always be Oracle Database, but when it is, it should be easy for them to integrate Oracle Database into their technology stack.
And I intend to help my fellow Oracle technologists understand why we are sometimes seen as a bad guy, and work with them to undo that image by making Oracle Database and its many fantastic appdev features more accessible and easier to use. Our Cloud Database will be huge in making this shift happen.
Another part of my bridge building is reaching out to other bridge builders: Oracle technologists also working in the open source space. So I'd love to hear about your experiences, your ideas, and how I –and the entire Oracle Developer Advocate team – can help.
You can reach Blaine at email@example.com.