For you to become an Oracle Integration Cloud expert, we engaged Phil in an interesting conversation. He talked about a lot of things that will guide and help you in choosing the right direction which will make your journey to Cloud much easier.
Question: Your brief introduction and how you started on Oracle and Integration?
Phil: For a long time, I worked with an open source tech. About 8 years ago, the company I worked for decided to move to use Oracle across the enterprise from EBS to Exadata including SOA Suite.
As an Enterprise Integration Architect, I needed to get to grips with the Oracle technology quickly. So I invested in the training, taking advantage of the opportunities with the UKOUG and as I worked, a large number of customers participated on the customer advisory board. As Oracle started to develop ICS and SOA CS and my employer was struggling with the Cloud/On-Premises considerations along with getting SOA Suite deployments built efficiently, I lead the company through some early PaaS adoption and the pilot solutions.
We have reached an age where we can solve solutions, not by building from scratch but by orchestrating or choreographing the existing or prebuild capabilities. Even if you’re not actually doing the Integration understanding which makes it easy to integrate, and understand what good integrations are like and crucially the consequences of different approaches.
Phil: Get familiar with the patterns, key factors such as choreography and orchestration are central to the way things are moving. Understand why a pattern is appropriate, and when to deviate – don’t just slavishly follow patterns like VETORO which can be complete overkill for some Integration requirements.
Understand APIs – in the purest sense, not just SOAP and REST. ALWAYS remember to look at what should happen when things go wrong. Keep up with the thought leaders who talk about why things should be done (or not). Translating this to your tech is the easier step. This should cover design principles, security, deployment,
Phil: I keep a track of blogs, particularly those written by the product managers, the Oracle A-Team and ACE members along with some blog aggregators like the PaaS Community. Feedly is a great tool for that. Attend events when I can – such as user group events, developer meetups, webinars, conferences – you’ll learn to watch out for knowledge and interesting speakers in different areas.
Read release notes – Oracle don’t provide nice RSS feeds for their release note pages, but tools like visual ping can overcome that. This means I know at least what features are available. Podcasts and YouTube videos can help as well but these approaches are my least favorite.
Phil: Read, experiment and understand WHY people recommend things. Take your reading outside of just your specialism, often ideas will be relevant from other sources .e.g whilst Bounded Context as a concept often associated with microservices – it has potential applications for more traditional integration.
Phil: They say it takes 10,000 hours to become good at something, that’s 10k of different things. Watch for the trap of doing variations of the same thing. I find the act of trying to explain ideas helpful in unraveling the questions that should be asked myself.