RMOUG Winter 2003

Published in the president's column of the Winter 2003 edition of RMOUG SQL>Update.  As there is no electronic copies available online prior to 2009, I have pulled this from my email records.

There have been years when I vowed to have all of my holiday gift shopping completed before Halloween.  Never happened.  Like countless years past, I found myself shopping on Christmas Eve, desperately chasing down the last items.

This year, feeling more moderate, my vow was to have started holiday gift shopping before Halloween, but once again procrastination rules.  I am relatively certain that I will start before Thanksgiving, but what I know about procrastination could fill a book.  I’d write it too, but it can wait until next month…

Part of my reason for falling behind on so many things has been the welcome quickening of the economy, which is finally beginning to feel “real”.  After a long and painful dormancy, business is picking up and with it, the need for technical expertise in Oracle technology will explode.  The past two years have been difficult and heartbreaking for all of us, as each of us have experienced the loss of jobs either directly or indirectly.  There are many reasons for the recent contraction, but at least part of it is the result of our own successes in IT, the result of gains in productivity.  Something to think about…

RMOUG’s place in world

The coming recovery makes RMOUG all the more necessary.  The primary mission of RMOUG is training, as exemplified by our fabulous annual 2-day conference Training Days, which promises to be better than ever this coming February, thanks to the untiring efforts of Peggy King, our Training Days director.  Each year it is bigger and bigger.  This will be the ninth year since Training Days became a two-day conference, and now we are attracting speakers and attendees from around the nation and around the world.  RMOUG Training Days continues to be the highest quality and best value for training in Oracle technology anywhere.

Additionally, our quarterly meetings provide a series of one-day seminars from local practitioners as well as well-known speakers.  Attendence is down from 2-3 years ago, but we average 125-150 people at our quarterly meetings.  These quarterly meetings, held in different parts of the city but most often in the southern tech center area, gives area professionals a forum to learn and stay in touch with Oracle technology, new and old, as well as each other.  If you haven’t been to a meeting in a while, please come on down and email Wayne McGurk, our programs director, if you have any questions.

This newsletter you are reading is perhaps the crown jewel of RMOUG.  >From full-length in-depth articles to useful tips, it is easy to find the newsletter visible on people’s desks and bookshelves whereever you go in IT in Colorado.  I visit at least a dozen different Oracle shops on a monthly basis, and one of the reasons I’ve been inspired to stay with RMOUG is the popularity and pervasiveness of the newsletter.  Dan Fink has taken on the responsibility of creating four newsletters per year, and please let him know if you have any ideas for an article or quick tip.

RMOUG has been in existence for 20 years, since 1984.  Our membership has seen good times and bad.  Right now we are coming off some down times, and RMOUG is ready to prove its worth yet again.  Please come and share your knowledge and experiences with your colleagues, or meet with people who face the same issues you do, day by day.  RMOUG is all about training, expertise, and growth, and we hope to hear from you, especially if you are sounding off on something of concern!

Birth of an IS department:

Just this past summer, RMOUG graduated from the generous email list services provided by Fat City of San Diego.  We had started using Fat City about 7-8 years ago, and they have never charged us a dime.  However, over the past 2 years, the management at Fat City made it clear that, while they would continue to provide free email list services if we wished, they wouldn’t be heartbroken if we started paying or found alternate services.  How often have you run across someone so civilized and polite?  A huge thanks to Bruce Bergman and the nice folks at Fat City!

The board of RMOUG discussed the matter two years ago and decided that it was time that RMOUG have its own services, so we could move beyond reliance on the largess of generous donors.  Thus, over the past 2 years, largely due to the efforts of Ron Bich, our IS director and Stan Yellott, our past president, RMOUG’s website (http://www.rmoug.org) and its email lists are running on our own servers.

Please stop and visualize the enormous efforts it has taken to sustain this effort over a 2 year period, through the vissitudes of a sinking then recovering job market, working always nights and weekends.  Our heartfelt gratitude goes to Ron Bich and his volunteers, who include Bill Coulam.  If you meet Ron or Bill, please be sure to thank them and please visit the website at “http://www.rmoug.org” and use the email lists!

In an effort to move away from paper-based communications, RMOUG created the ANNOUNCE@RMOUG.ORG email list.  This list is intended to be used to be used to communicate events and information to the entire membership, replacing most of the direct mailings we used to make.  The list is used only by the board of RMOUG and we average about 2-3 emails per quarter.  The TECHIES@RMOUG.ORG list is a forum for technical questions about Oracle technology, and the MISC@RMOUG.ORG list is a free-format forum for ideas, advertisements, and discussions related to Oracle.  Most recently, the ISPROJVOL@RMOUG.ORG list was created for those interested in helping the all-volunteer RMOUG IS group operate.  For instructions about joining the TECHIES, MISC, and ISPROJVOL lists, please visit the website at “http://www.rmoug.org” and click on the “Membership” link at the top of the page.

The Rocky Mountain Oracle Users Group is one of the largest and most active users groups in the US, indeed the world.  It is a unique training and networking resource available to all of us here in Colorado.  I look forward to seeing you at our meetings and at Training Days in February!  Happy Holidays!

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