Featured in Select Journal's 2nd Quarter Issue of 2013, Ask an Oracle ACE: Kellyn Pot'Vinhighlights tips and tricks Kellyn has used throughout her career to continue to grow, and offers up her personal advice on how to further develop your career within the industry by getting involved.
IOUG: When did you become an Oracle ACE?
Kellyn Pot'Vin: I’m a new Oracle ACE, only rewarded a year ago in January 2012.
IOUG: What does this experience mean for you personally and professionally?
Kellyn Pot'Vin: It was an honor to be recognized by my peers and to have the Oracle ACE symbol on my site, www.DBAKevlar.com, along with recognition at conferences, magazines and events. I’m very involved in the Oracle User Group community, so it is highly recognizable among many groups.
IOUG: Has your status as an Oracle ACE helped you in your career?
Kellyn Pot'Vin: I believe it’s made a significant difference. I wasn’t one who had time to pursue Oracle certifications, and having my Oracle ACE has brought recognition to my experience and what I bring to the Oracle community. I presented at two conferences the year prior to receiving my Oracle ACE; the following year I presented at six conferences, including Kscope, Miracle Open World and Oracle OpenWorld. I am currently in the process of completing a second book for Apress. I also serve as the director of RMOUG’s Training Days conference and was this year’s database track lead for Kscope. There is no doubt in my mind that having my Oracle ACE helped facilitate many of these opportunities.
IOUG: In your current role researching, writing and teaching for Oracle professionals, what has been your biggest achievement? What has been your biggest regret?
Kellyn Pot'Vin: The RMOUG’s Training Days 2013 conference, which took place Feb. 12-13 this year. The planning for a technical event is a monumental task, requiring the support of so many people to create a conference of this content quality and location for the budget we work within. As a director on the board, I elected to take this on at a time that I was also presenting, writing for more than one book and had started with Enkitec, so the challenge has been immense.
I would have to say my biggest regret is overallocating myself at times. Although the community is filled with incredible people, there never seems to be enough resources to fulfill all that needs to be done, no matter if it’s work needed for user groups, requests for presentations, webinars or co-authoring on books or review of white papers about to be published. I’m always amazed at how much is out there for people to contribute to our Oracle community and how many resources are still needed to join in.
IOUG: What Oracle technology/application are you most looking forward to?
Kellyn Pot'Vin: Although there isn’t much being said about it yet, I’m keeping tabs on Oracle Fusion Tap, Oracle’s answer to tablet run, enterprise cloud-driven applications for Apple (and very, very soon) Android mobile products. As many of us are aware, mobile is where everything is headed. With all of us on the move more and more, the ability to have Oracle applications on our tablets is an incredible opportunity. For me as a DBA, I’m impatiently waiting for a Tap-like solution for Oracle Enterprise Manager that could somehow tie into secure VPN for any of my clients from anywhere with my tablet or mobile phone if the situation arises. Emergency issues can arise at any time and often seem to arise at the worst possible scenarios, so the idea that Tap might lead to something that is functional not just for business, but for secure management of business IT systems, is imperative for my future as a DBA in the mobile world.
IOUG: Do you have any advice for novices in this industry?
Kellyn Pot'Vin: Find technically solid and positive mentors. There are too many who will tell you why you did something wrong, and so few that will spend the time teaching you how to learn how to do things right. A mentor has no need to make him or herself feel better at your expense, so choose wisely. A good mentor will provide you with advice that will serve you for a lifetime.
IOUG: Do you have any advice for IOUG members for their own careers?
Kellyn Pot'Vin: Everyone has something special to offer the Oracle community. Get involved, volunteer and help out. If you are interested in becoming an ACE, find your path and start progressing to the goal. If you are not interested in this type of recognition but have time to offer your regional or global Oracle user groups, do so. They need you. This type of work will pay back in a big way and reward your career. It looks great on your résumé, is recognized on sites like LinkedIn and the networking opportunities are second to none.
IOUG: Now that you’re an Oracle ACE, what’s next?
Kellyn Pot'Vin: I’m finishing up the EM12c book for Apress right now with a great group of co-authors and, once complete, I’m to start another on the EMCLI (Enterprise Manager Command Line Interface) with Ray Smith and Pete Sharman. I have a full schedule of conferences I'm presenting at, including HotSos, COLLABORATE and Kscope, where I was database track lead. I'm planning on heading up the RMOUG Training Days conference, but, more than anything, I hope to do a lot of work in the area of WIT (women in technology). We were very successful in launching a program this year at RMOUG Training Days 2013, and I'm hoping to involve myself heavily in areas promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers in young women. Our younger generations of women are still missing a lot of important role models in why technical careers are valuable places for women to contribute their skills to.
IOUG: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Kellyn Pot'Vin: There are the common sayings about as a working woman that you can't have it all or that you can’t be a “supermom” and, I agree, no one can do it all, but I've been lucky the last two years that while I've pursued my career, I've been blessed with a very supportive partner and great, independent children. It allows me to simply do my best and offer up whatever I can as a solid role model to my children, fellow women and to my profession.
The Oracle ACE program recognizes excellence in the Oracle technology and applications communities, and rewards individuals who generously share their technical knowledge and experiences. Learn more about the Oracle ACE Program.