Tuesday, November 17, 2009

UKOUG Tech and E-Business Suite Conference – 2 weeks and counting!

It’s now less than 2 weeks until the UKOUG TEBS Conference 2009 gets underway in Birmingham and I for one can’t wait!

This year’s event is spread over 3 days and there are over 240 presentations, so a fully packed agenda – click here to see the agenda grid.

I’ve been involved with the UKOUG for a number of years now, as a SIG Chair and a speaker/volunteer at Conference.
I’ve also worked on a stand in the Exhibition Hall so I’ve been able to experience the conference from all angles.

This year is my first conference as a UKOUG Director, so I’ve been able to see how much goes into making the Conference happen – it’s hard work, but very rewarding.

There will be no exhibition or presenting for me this year due to a change in job, but I’m looking forward to attending a lot of presentations and seeing the Exhibition from the other side.

It’s not too late to register for the Conference – visit the UKOUG website for registration details, or head here to see the great “Where’s Everyone Gone?” video and register for the free prize draw with a chance to win free Conference passes!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Pay it forward…

A couple of things recently, both personally and professionally, have reminded me of the concept of ‘Pay it Forward’.

When somebody does you a favour, you repay it by helping out someone else.

It was this concept that got me started with planning my first ever UKOUG presentation, which led to the blog.
I’d had a great deal of help and encouragement from people within the community and I wanted to return the favour by helping others.

Since then (which was way back in 2005!) I’ve continued to volunteer for the UKOUG first as a SIG Chair, then with the Northern Server Tech Days and the Back to Basics Event and most recently I have been doing my bit as a UKOUG Director.

I may not have been blogging recently, but I have still been able to feel that I have been doing my bit for the community.

Like most people that blog or post responses in the forums etc, I do what I do because I enjoy it and because I get a lot out of it.

I suppose with that in mind it’s quite easy to forget that you are paying it forward.

However, today I was reading this article which brought it all back again.
I realise that this particular post is aimed towards OBIEE, but judging by some of the comments and others I have seen elsewhere, it seems to reflect the OTN forums as a whole.

Is the sense of community really in danger of disappearing? I really hope not.

Way back many moons ago, I posted this about people being lazy and expecting to have knowledge handed to them on a plate with no inclination to learn or understand for themselves.

Everybody needs to remember that the forums, list servers and User Groups exist to serve a community, and this service is provided, for the most part, by volunteers.
That’s right, people who are under no obligation whatsoever to contribute, yet they choose to do so.

I’d hate to think that there could come a time when volunteers feel that the time and effort they invest in the community is no longer worthwhile.

If you want to take something from this community, then do the decent thing and put something back into it too – even if the only thing you can contribute at present is putting a bit of thought into what you are asking and showing a bit of respect and appreciation towards those who have taken the time out of their day jobs to help you.