IOUG Member Spotlight
Join IOUG each month as we shine the spotlight on one of our members. Learn fun facts about what inspires our members, what they do for fun and how they got started in their careers.
November 2017 -Jim Czuprynski
What's your current job and title?
I’m currently an Advanced Technical Consultant for Oracle Solutions at ViON Corporation. ViON is an Oracle Gold Partner and I’m helping them build out their Oracle practice in the US. Since ViON’s customer base is closely aligned with many units of the federal government and the US military and navy, I’m pretty excited because in an indirect way, I finally get a chance to serve my country.
What is your favorite moment of your career so far?
I’d like to think that it hasn’t happened yet! But if I’d have to pick one event, it would be achieving the status of Oracle ACE Director in March 2014. It’s opened some incredible opportunities to evangelize about Oracle database technology to Oracle user groups on six of seven continents over the past three years as well as befriend and learn from some of the best and brightest speakers in the Oracle universe. And this December, I’m hoping to at last visit India at SANGAM17 to share my knowledge with my colleagues in Hyderabad.
What was your childhood dream job?
Astronaut – or anything to do with aerospace! I would’ve loved to have been able to work at NASA or (if born a little earlier) at SpaceX with Elon Musk. Who knows, maybe one of these days he’d accept an old Oracle DBA and ex-machinist to help out in SpaceX’s rocket ship tool shed – I’d work for free!
How long have you been a member of IOUG? What's your best experience thus far?
I’ve been an IOUG member since at least 2008. I’ve really enjoyed participating in COLLABORATE events and this year I’m helping select the best presentations for C18LV. My best experience so far was receiving a Special Contributor’s award at C14LV for an article series on Oracle Database 12cR1 histogram features – completely unexpected and quite humbling! But I’m also deeply involved in giving back through our recent IOUG Master Class series with my colleagues Charles Kim and Rich Niemiec from Viscosity NA.
What advice do you wish someone had given you when you first started your career as a technologist?
I spent the first 15 years of my IT career mired to a dying technology – a 4GL language, FOCUS – that I should have abandoned and instead transitioned to a purely RDBMS orientation about five years earlier. I wish someone had mentored me to take a closer look at the future of the technology path I’d chosen and advised me to research viable alternatives to my career path; I could have become an Oracle DBA at a tipping point in my career and I would now have an extra five years of experience!
What features or products are on your wish list and why?
I’d really love to see Oracle Enterprise Manager (OEM) 13c Cloud Control be deployable with a much thinner footprint – similar to good old OEM Database Control – that could be rolled out in under half an hour and that didn’t require an Oracle instance to manage all of its metadata and performance data. I haven’t had a chance to experiment very much with Oracle Management Cloud yet, but I’m hoping it will function more along those lines.
What is the biggest technical and/or business challenge you have faced, and how did you overcome it?
Making the transition to Oracle DBA from application developer in 2001 was probably the hardest thing I did in my entire IT career. I spent the first few years just reading the manuals at lunchtime and then experimenting with the features I’d read about just about every spare moment I could afford. These days, probably my biggest challenge is simply staying current with Oracle database technology, especially with the onset of the Oracle Public Cloud. There are just so many new features that have come out in 12cR2 alone like sharding, partitioned external tables, and real-time data analytics that it’s virtually impossible to master everything. I think that it’s important for an Oracle database professional to be able to at least explain why someone should use these tools (or not use them!) depending on my clients’ use cases.
How do you stay active? How did you discover that activity?
I’m an avid walker – my wife and I walk at least 15 miles a week around our neighborhood, even in winter! – but when it’s warm enough. I cycle as often as possible. And living in the Midwest, I’ve discovered that the best way to get through winter is to embrace it … so I’m actually excited when it snows a lot because I find cross-country skiing an exhilarating outdoor activity. There’s nothing quite like gliding through an open field on a late afternoon in January with deer, coyote, or hawk as my only companions.
What's your favorite film? Any memorable moments? Any favorite quotes?
Only one? I love almost every genre of film, but as a tech nerd, my favorite is science fiction. I particularly enjoyed the loneliness of the Discovery astronauts’ deep-space mission in 2001: A Space Odyssey, Interstellar’s fifth-dimensional beings’ tesseract and the robots’ variable-humor settings, the relentless pursuit of the alien in John Carpenter’s The Thing, and Klaatu’s speech at the end of the classic The Day The Earth Stood Still (the one with Michael Rennie – sorry, Keanu Reeves).
What piques your passion in technology?
Whenever I’m able to explain a complex aspect of Oracle database technology to someone well enough to see the light bulb go off above her head, I get this electric feeling run up my spine! I love talking about how we as information engineers can transform our civilization and our planet every day – we’re in a unique position at this point in history to make a difference through technology.