There are two pieces to being successful in my definition. I define successful as
- Being happy with what you do.
- Doing the best you can at what you do.
There are lots of places to engage/interact on the web. Here are some of the ones I lurk or participate in. I'd be interested in growing the list, one of the things I want to do on asktom is replace the sorry I have a backlog message with a link to a page full of resources. So I'll be taking whatever I collect here and growing my list to include them (after reviewing them)
- The Usenet Newsgroups This is where I got started in October 1994 with my first posting. Many people that were there then are still there today which I find amazing. I do not post there nearly as much as I used to, but I still browse it from time to time. Jonathan Lewis is a frequent contributor.
- Oracle-l This list is cool for two reasons. Firstly, there is the contributions of people like (this is not an exhaustive list of posters by any means!) Cary Millsap, Tim Gorman, Jared Still, Mladen Gogala, Pete Sharman, Paul Drake, Mark Powell, Niall Litchfield, Wolfgang Breitling, Jonathan Lewis, Lex de Haan, Connor McDonald, Tanel Poder just to name a few. Secondly, the sense of community there is large. At every conference/event of any size, there is usually a gathering of the oracle-l'ites where everyone gets together. Many good friendships have grown out of that list.
- The Dizwell Forum Howard J. Rogers run forum. Youll find on topic and off topic conversations abound. But lots of good ideas too.
- The Oracle (tm) Users' Co-Operative FAQ Sponsored and maintained by Jonathan Lewis. Remember to give as well as receive here. Any thing you discover is a frequently asked question where you work is probably an FAQ world wide, you too can contribute.
- http://www.dbasupport.com/forums/ Just beware of the Obfuscation Unlimited group, you must take that one group in the context it is meant to be taken (humorously). But lots of good technical information there as well lots.
- OTN discussion forums You might even get an answer from the person that wrote the software you are asking about (especially in the HTML DB forum).
- http://metalink.oracle.com/ Have to mention this one there are interactive discussion forums in there as well.
- http://www.ioug.org/ Now, not so much about the discussion forums here (they do not get much traffic) but the organization as a entity. I am a big supporter of the IOUG and try to do what I can to support it. I would strongly encourage anyone who calls their career Oracle to become part of it. The networking alone is worth it. Meet others in your area from other walks of life that do the same thing for different companies. Hear how they do it, share how you do it. The conferences are great -- I've attended the IOUG-A (Americans), the UKOUG (will be there again this year), and the Irish OUG conference in addition to other OUG events far too numerous to even begin to list (numbering in the hundreds). Great technical content, strong leadership, great organization.
But remember don't take it on faith. There is no such thing as a "faith based Oracle solution". Don't be afraid to ask why, or how. Everyone makes mistakes (if I don't actually set up the example -- I would be wrong more than I am right) so asking for the why or how is not only acceptable but expected. And when you go to answer yourself, remember that asking "and why do you want to do that, what is your goal" is not rude it is the only smart thing to respond with sometimes