Just read Doug Burns’ interview from the Autumn 07 edition of AUSOUG‘s Foresight magazine. It’s a fun read; Doug talks about how he got into technology and Oracle, the strengths and weaknesses of the Oracle RDBMS, and his addiction to the command line. But the part that jumped out at me the most was his comments about Oracle user groups – I wholeheartedly agree that they’re really important and I’m a huge supporter.
A strong user group is essential in my opinion. To have a strong user group, it’s important that it’s not organised for commercial gain, to argue the vendor’s case too vehemently (although talking up the product is okay if it’s a good one) or to be in the vendor’s pocket financially. However, it’s also important that the user group have a good relationship with the vendor so that there’s a circle of feedback that will hopefully improve both the product and service for the customer.
In the end, we all run into problems and it’s good for users to be able to get together, share their experiences and knowledge and passion for the software. I’d encourage as many people as possible to become involved. It’s a lot of fun and the more of us there are, the more we can achieve.
I know that there are lots and lots of DBAs in Chicago – you guys have no excuse not to come out to the user group meetings, especially when it’s 100% free and we meet right downtown!!! Let’s see you at the next meeting! (Probably in August; I think we’re shooting for about four per year right now.)