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I’ve Been Made an Oracle Ace Director July 16, 2015

Posted by mwidlake in ACED, Presenting, User Groups.
Tags: , , ,

Well, I guess the title of this post says it all. As I tweeted yesterday:

I’m grateful, proud, honoured and overall just Jolly Chuffed to have been made an Oracle Ace Director! #ACED

I can now put this label on my belongings

I can now put this label on my belongings

I’ve been an Oracle ACE since 2011 and I’m really happy to be making the step up to being an Ace Director. What does being an ACE Director mean? Well, it certainly does not mean that I am technically brilliant. As my community role is as a technical person then I do have to be competent and experienced to be an ACE (or Associate or Director) – but there are many, many people out there who are technically superior to me and are not {and may well not want to be} ACEs of any kind.

To be an ACE of any flavour you have to be committed to supporting the Oracle User Community. The whole ACE program is, I believe, more about recognising and supporting that user community than anything else. Actually, the ACE program web site states this (ACE Program FAQ). To become an ACE Director you have to demonstrate that you have been actively supporting the community for a while (please do not ask me to quantify “a while”) and that you are committed to continuing that activity for at least 12 months. There are some specific activities and commitments that come with the badge but that is balanced by a commitment by the Ace Program to give you some support in doing so (this does not include being paid, it is still voluntary). As I understand it, all ACEs and ACE Directors are reviewed every 12 months and can be re-designated if your community activity has changed.

As I said above, there are a lot of technically strong people who are not and never will be ACEs. This is often because user community activity is not their thing – they have little interest in blogging, presenting, writing or volunteering for user groups. I also know some people who do all those things but they would rather do that with no specific acknowledgement by Oracle Corporation. I guess I am saying that though I am proud to now be an Oracle ACE Director, the main thing it tells you about me is that I am passionate about the user community and I am happy {heck, Jolly Chuffed} to be recognised by Oracle for that. And I am happy for that dialogue to be two-way also. One of the conditions of being an ACE Director is you play a part in representing the user community to Oracle.

Does this mean I have “drunk the Oracle Kool-Aid” as I think some of my American friends would call it? No. Before I became an Oracle ACE I chatted to several friends already on the program and no one I know has been told to not say anything or sanctioned by the ACE Program for criticising some aspect of Oracle Tech. We are still free to be Bitter Old Men & Women (apart from the Bitter Young ones of course). Anyone who has followed my blog for a while, seen me present a few times or spent a couple of evenings in the pub with me will known that I can, at times, be quite critical of aspects of the corporation or it’s software. There is no gagging of us ACEs that I am aware of.

Will being an Oracle ACE Director alter my user community activity? Well, it might. I was doing a lot for the community before now, I made a decision 2 or 3 years ago to become more active in the User Community {for the simple and selfish reason that I like doing it a lot more than I like commuting in and out of London every day}. You don’t do all of this for the ACE recognition, you do it for others reasons and maybe get the ACE badges on the way. But the program helps the Directors a little more, opens a few more doors. So I think I’ll be able to step it up a little more. I’m really looking forward to that.

I’ll stop there. If you are interested in another Oracle ACE Director’s take on the role, check out this video by my friend Tim Hall.



1. Zohar Elkayam - July 16, 2015


2. oraclebase - July 16, 2015

I will be requesting your ACED be removed as you’ve not sent me a “.com” video!

Yours video-less


mwidlake - July 16, 2015

I did a couple on holiday this week but either the quality was awful or I was “too happy”.

Long suffering wife( aka millinery Sue) - July 16, 2015

I can attest… I filmed them… They were not good, and yes he was indeed happy….

3. abugharbieh - July 16, 2015


Paul Stuart - July 16, 2015

Well done Martin!

4. stevenfeuerstein - July 16, 2015

Congratulations, Martin! A fine addition to the program….

5. Long suffering wife( aka millinery Sue) - July 16, 2015

I am very proud of you… But just remember…… Behind every successful man there is a woman rolling her eyes… 🙂

6. Brian Tkatch - July 16, 2015


BTW, in America, it’s Kool-Aid, with a “k”. Don’t accuse us of knowing how to spell!

mwidlake - July 17, 2015

Bizarre spelling of said American Beverage has been updated, thank you.

7. Debra Lilley - July 17, 2015

congratulations, and don’t do yourself down, at ACE Director you do have to be an expert, perhaps not the best but a recognised expert who SHARES

8. mwidlake - July 17, 2015

Thank you Debra.

OK, OK, I’m very, very good at what I do! I’ll keep repeating that to myself…

Neil C and I were talking in the pub last night about our tendencies to say “I don’t know much about that” when in fact we have a really good grasp of “that” – but as we do not know absolutely *everything* about it and we pretty much do about some other things, we mentally mark down our abilities on “that”.

I was building 40TB databases on effectively Desktops-on-steroids in 2005. I must be damned good.

9. Pete Finnigan - September 18, 2015

I was just browsing your site looking to see if you have posted your slides from the UKOUG Database SIG this week as I had to leave before your talk for my train; did not find them yet..:-( and maybe I will see you at YODB next week, not sure if I will make it to Leeds yet.

Congratulations on becoming an Ace Director, well done, don;t put yourself down. At least you are an #ACED, I am not even an Alumni, associate or even a normal Ace so you are further up the ladder than me by far!



mwidlake - September 18, 2015

Thanks for that Pete. The slides should be in the UKOUG web site now but if you need a set direct (with some small typo corrections) then let me know. I hope you make it to Leeds.

Pete Finnigan - September 18, 2015

It would be nice to see them Martin, thanks if you could email me a copy? – pete at petefinnigan dot com
Kind regards

mwidlake - September 18, 2015

Will do, I just need to add a couple of corrections some bloke called Feuerstein sent me….


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