Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Oracle ACE Alumnus - so long, and thanks for all the fish

The Oracle ACE program has morphed once again, with ACEs at all levels now required to fill out their contributions in the ACE Program app (written in Oracle APEX of course).

The level of detail includes:
  • type of activity (presentation, book, article, blog, forum activity, tweets etc.)
  • substantiation (conference links, presentation links, book ISBN etc)
  • analytics where relevant (blogs, tweets)

Meaning the Oracle ACE program website is out of date:
What expectations does Oracle have of an Oracle ACE?
The Oracle ACE designation is given to individuals as recognition of his/her past contributions.
Oracle's only future expectation is that the recipient maintains his/her level of community activity.
Currently to maintain an ACE status requires 200 points of activity for a year.
I did look at entering my activity, but quickly decided it just wasn’t worth the time and effort to do so.

Here is how I calculated what I would need to do to generate 200 points using my typical activities:

A new presentation takes about 100 hours to write and prepare.
A decent blog post takes about 2-4 hours to write, a cynical one to rort the system takes a few minutes.

2 presentations (2*100 hours) presented 3 times (20 points each)             => 200 hours, 120 points
16 blogs (16*3 hours) (5 points each, unless mention "Cloud" for 15 points ) =>  64 hours,  80 points

So roughly:
6 weeks to produce content (spread over months of evenings and weekends)
1 week  to present content (travel, accommodation)

Direct cost to present content (lost income, travel and accomodation expenses) => 2 weeks salary
Indirect cost to family and work/life balance - incalculable.

Plus the time taken to record activities; all this effort for something that is just a nice accolade.

I don’t get any financial benefit for presenting, either directly or indirectly, it’s just my way of giving back to the Oracle community and sharing my insights. Similarly with blogging, I only blog when I’ve got something worth sharing.

I believe the ACE program contributions criteria will have the following impacts:
  • large reduction in the number of ACEs (probably the intent)
  • a number of disenchanted and disgruntled ex-ACEs
  • rules driven behaviour to maintain status at the cost of quality/integrity
  • ACEs predominantly coming from consulting/training firms with a direct financial incentive.

Overall I think I’m better off to not bother with the ACE program, hence I've now converted to an Oracle ACE Alumnus.
Instead I'll contribute when I have something worth sharing,  and use the time/money recouped with my wife and family.

So in the words of Douglas Adams, "so long, and thanks for all the fish".


Juergen Schuster said...

Thanks for your insights. You can now update you status on to ACE Alumnus too :-)

Anonymous said...

I agree with your assessment. I guess the ACE dinners were getting too expensive.
I think a recognition program is important in order to keep folks motivated to contribute to the community. I can't imagine doing my jobs without the help of blog posts and presentations. I'll continue to contribute as much as I can, but I won't stress over that carrot dangling before me, just out of reach.