How apt that this should be my next blog post, following So long, and thanks for all the fish. I’ve been an Oracle ACE Director since 2009, and watched the program evolve in form considerably over that time. It’s always difficult to maintain high quality advocacy as a program grows – my time as part of the OakTable ‘junta’ has made that very clear. I feel for the Oracle ACE program organisers, I really do, but the recent changes to the administration of the program pushed my personal quid pro quo envelope over the edge. I also think that, in some ways, it might serve to lower the quality of the program. I won’t reveal specific details about what changed, but in essence the program has moved to a points-based system for membership retention. This means that (a) my administrative burden increased tremendously, but also that (b) it becomes easy to retain membership if you are willing to fulfil that admin, with no basis in quality of advocacy. I think the second one worries me more than the first.
Personally, I didn’t use the benefits of the program very much at all, especially now that I live 10 minutes away from the Oracle campus, and I can’t justify the overhead of retaining my membership of the group. It’s a shame, mostly because I will miss the best part of the program – the annual pre-OOW briefings. It was great to have a concentrated and detailed overview of all the new announcements in one place before the madness of the conference began. I won’t miss any of the people, of course, because nobody died – I will still see everyone!
Thank you, Oracle ACE program, it’s been fun.