Newly-seated board of directors member Mia Urman is attending her first International Oracle User Council (IOUC) meeting this week at Oracle Headquarters.
I was privileged to be attending the yearly IOUC conference, which essentially brings together Oracle user group leaders from all over the world. It was amazing to see so many talented and respected individuals who have dedicated so many years to educating new users and bringing new content. They sat all together teaching and learning from each other.
Day one at IOUC at the Oracle Headquarters in San Francisco was all it took for me to be impressed with how well they have risen to the challenge of gathering together the world’s Oracle leaders. The organization skills it took just to get everyone in the same room is incredible, and beyond that we all were treated like royalty. At the first night's meet-and-greet it was amazing to see how people from all corners of the world (Thailand, China, Japan, Latin America, Canada, Australia, and beyond) had come to network and share their knowledge. It shows that Oracle can be a true melting pot.
However, while looking around one thing that struck me was that no one there seemed to be under the age of 45. It was hard not to ask myself, where are all the young faces? While all of these individuals bring their years of experience with them, it cannot be denied that new blood young is in short supply and needed to move forward. Many sessions focused on how to get students, kids, and undergrads into the Oracle development world, but my question is, where are all the 30 - 45 year olds?
This is where ODTUG comes in. The ODTUG group has created an amazing Leadership Program where older Oracle veterans can guide and mentor new leaders. Through the program younger people can throw their hat into the ring and become the next generation of Oracle leaders. New ideas and new energy are needed to continue innovation in the Oracle world and the user communities. It is essential that the people who live in the new social media world begin contributing their ideas, passions, and "friend circles." Otherwise we end up in a situation of stagnation.
With all of this in mind, I encourage anyone who is passionate about Oracle to apply to the ODTUG Leadership Program and help us shape the next generation of user group leadership.
I will end with the wise words of Tim Gorman, my fellow board member, who said today at the IOUC conference, "Start looking for and mentoring your replacement today."