Monday, January 4, 2016

My resolutions for 2016: a short, sweet, focused list

Oracle Database Insider newsletter asked me to do another round of resolutions for the coming year. Since I love it when other people act as though they are interested in what I have to say, I told my manager I would have to clear my calendar for a couple of days and get this done. He agreed - so long as I did it during my week off between Christmas and New Years.

Oh, OK.


Before getting to the resolutions, I encourage you to subscribe to this very interesting and useful newsletter.


Here goes....


1. Finish what I and we started. 


I have a long-standing and bad habit of getting all excited about new stuff: new programs, new applications, new websites, new programs…go, go go! But I am not so good at making sure that all the existing and really great stuff is “finished” (as useful and usable as it could be).

So for 2016, I resolve to consolidate what is already in place and make sure our users can get the most out of it. I am thinking about websites like Ask Tom, LiveSQL, PL/SQL Challenge, Oracle Learning Library, the Oracle Database Developer Choice Awards and…

2. Don’t let the screen own me.

Without a doubt, I spend waaaaay too much time in front of multiple monitors and screens (but at least I don’t do anything with my smartphone besides phone calls, texts and photos - and I do not own a tablet). 

Of course, I need to do that for my job, but I hereby resolve to get away each day, multiple times a day, to go outside, no matter the weather, feel the sun and wind on my skin, breathe deeply and celebrate the natural world.

Along the way, I will as a result think more clearly and write better code.

I think.

3. Teach my granddaughter, Loey (age 4), to write code.

Nah, just kidding. 

I believe children should be kept away from computers and technology for as long and as much as possible (and that includes television). They will have loads of time to get sucked up into the Borg known as Civilization. Take your children outside instead, encourage them to play in the dirt (side benefit: boosts their immune system as they grow up into - possibly - a world without effective antibiotics), appreciate trees with them, explore the real world, not a world made of code.

4. Identify and help “raise up” the next generation of PL/SQL experts.

I might not look it, but I am old. Well, 57, anyway. :-) PL/SQL is going to be around - and utilized heavily - for many years to come. We need “young blood” - people under 40, I am thinking - to understand and champion “the hardest working language in software.” (I just made that up, by the way).

The Oracle Database Developer Choice Awards program is designed to do this, broadly, but I will also complement it with a focused effort.

Of course, you could make it easy on me. Are you young(er), experiencing JavaScript framework whiplash, feeling like "Dang, those databases sure are important and sure should be utilized more than they are these days"?

Then get in touch. Let me know you are interested in getting more involved with application development on Oracle Database - and perhaps PL/SQL more specifically.

........

I could go on (anyone who's familiar with my books will attest to that). So tempting, but I will end with just one more:

5. FOCUS

I will keep my lists short and my priorities clear.

So that's it.

I hope you all have a very healthy and productive 2016.

Spend as much time as you can with family and friends.

Write code those same family and friends would be happy to maintain for you (!).

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