As we start the second half of 2020, it’s a great time to reassess where we’ve been and where we’re headed. For example, I just realized it’s been six whole months since my last blog post, but it’s not like anything happened since the beginning of the year, right?
It’s hard for me to believe that in late January, as I was getting ready to attend what turned out to be my last in-person Oracle User Group event for the year (so far), that my greatest worry was whether the conflict between the USA and Iran might erupt into a shooting war while I was speaking in Tel Aviv at ilOUG2020. That seems like such a fond memory of relative normalcy when compared to once-in-a-generation events like:
a) a Presidential impeachment that further polarized USA politics;
b) a pandemic outbreak that the USA should have tackled and defeated handily;
c) record disruption of economic systems worldwide as a result of the pandemic;
d) major civic unrest after years of brutal police violence towards people of color, and many of us have said at last “Enough!”; and finally
e) increasing tensions between several major world powers.
Through all this drama, my wife and I have spent countless hours worrying about younger family members all in possible contact with COVID-19 through their work either indirectly or directly support health care in hospitals, nursing homes, and the Veterans’ Administration. We’ve sewn face masks for them, sent messages of encouragement and thanks, and made sure they knew we loved them and honored their commitment to their professions.
And what better time could I have personally chosen to move my career in a different direction?
In mid-April, I said a fond farewell to the team at Viscosity North America, as I’ve decided to concentrate more on volunteerism for causes like Hire Heroes USA as well as helping our local US Congressman during his efforts to secure a second term during the upcoming 2020 general election. In both cases, it’s been a great opportunity to develop some real-world use cases for Oracle Application Express (APEX), Visual Builder, and Machine Learning, which I’ve been writing about since early 2020. In my role as ODTUG’s Database Community Lead, it’s been exciting to help some excellent authors publish their knowledge on our TechCeleration portal. (Don’t hesitate to contact us if you’re interested in volunteering to share what you know!)
So while I don’t know what the rest of 2020 holds for us all, I’m going to stay positive, focused, and most of all, science-based. If there’s anything positive that the COVID19 pandemic has provided, it’s the ability to learn just how many of us will decide to listen to scientific experts, follow their advice, and work together to get through these challenges.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and most of all, don’t forget to vote in upcoming elections. It’s the only way things get better for everyone else!