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Oracle creates "Super ACE" designation:

Oracle has announced a new "super ACE" designation called Oracle ACE Director.  The lucky winners of the Oracle ACE director list includes many unknown names in Oracle technology, "nobody" people without any apparent qualifications or credientials (click here for full Oracle ACE Director list):

Yeddu Prasad
Venkat Tipparam
Srinivas Rao Polsani
Parameswar Das
Lonneke Dikmans
Harshad Oak
Geoffroy de Lamalle
Eirik Lygre
Basheer Khan
Andrejus Baranovskis

Inside the ACE Director Scam

The Oracle ACE director ploy is a brilliant marketing strategy by Oracle Corporation whereby they enlist unpaid "evangelists" to preach at the alter of Oracle technology.  These Oracle ACE Directors are recruited very inexpensively.  They are bought and paid for with nothing more than a tacky glass trophy, and flattered into spending thir time promoting Oracle technology for free.  Oracle calls it "honorary participation", but it's really just their way of recruiting gullible foreigners into working for free.  It's the perfect scam!  The Oracle ACE Director program reminds me of the local Raleigh Man of the Year scam

It's important to remember that Oracle ACE directors all have pledged allegiance to Oracle, and they are little more than mouthpieces for Oracle Corporation.  By and large, they tend to be people with low self-esteem who can be easily flattered into promoting Oracle for free.  These ACE Directors are sometimes "legends in  own minds" and they are the perfect fodder for this unpaid army of Oracle evangelists.  The Oracle ACE director program is brilliant!

Credibility without Credentials?

What status does the Oracle ACE Director moniker confer when the participants proffer no credentials?  Can we trust that Oracle has vetted these people for "acknowledged technical expertise"?  Sadly, it appears that the answer is "no".

"I don't need no stinkin' college to be an Oracle ACE Director."
The Oracle ACE director program does not vet its people for college-level knowledge and many of the Oracle ACE participants are blue-collar tradesmen with no advanced degrees and no verifiable work experience with Oracle databases. 

In fact, many of the Oracle ACE Directors hide their qualifications such as Oracle ACE Director Daniel Morgan, who once  told me that he has a doctorate from Stanford, but who steadfastly refuses to disclose his credentials. 

This is true for the vast majority of the Oracle ACE directors, they are people who hide their credentials, and we must wonder if this shyness is just a cover-up for lackluster credientials.

Are Oracle ACE Directors just evangelists?

The Oracle ACE Director program makes no qualms about seeking people with a "track record of evangelism", ostensibly choosing those who are not willing to make derogatory statements about Oracle technology.  

This ORACLE-BASE poster echoes concerns that Oracle ACE directors are biased:

"since last couple of years you (Dr. Hall) became Oracle doctrine submissive person just like most of the rest of ACE Directors.

When you were just ACEs, you were more trustworthy than now and you weren’t just Oracle interpreters…

And unfortunately I’m not the only person with this opinion, but probably I’m only one who is not afraid to make it public . . "

According to the Oracle web site, becoming an Oracle ACE Director requires extra credentials above-and-beyond those for the regular Oracle ACE:

- Acknowledged technical expertise

- Good communication skills; presentation experience

- Track record of evangelism

- Ability to commit to participation in an honorary (noncompensated) capacity for 12 months

Read how Oracle ACE holders are speaking out about foreigners working in America.

It's interesting to note the requirement of a "track record of evangelism", which appears to disqualify anyone who points-out any shortcomings of Oracle.  Also, note the requirement to participate in something (not disclosed) for free.  

A new ACE Director logo

The new ACE Director logo is denoted by a "spade" (like in a deck of cards), topped with what appears to be a light green crown, sort of the "king" of aces..

Oracle’s Mr. Potato Head approach to the Oracle ACE Director logo has some interesting possibilities, especially since Oracle has chosen to humanize the logo by adding a hat! 

I imagine that it’s really some sort of a human spade, with the letter “A” for a nose, capped with his crown, the ace king, the straight flush of logos!

But what should a spade king look like?

With a little more enhancement we can complete the anthropomorphism, adding some eyes, a mouth, and a nice conservative necktie.

So, what do folks think of this royal straight flush of a logo?

Comments from Oracle ACE's

Oracle ACE, Dr. Tim Hall has some comments on the new Oracle ACE director designation:

When I looked at the list of people who are ACE Directors the cynic in me came out in full force and here’s why:

  1. Every ACE Director has expertise in “Oracle Fusion Middleware”. There is not a single person listed as an ACE Director from a Database Management or Development background. So knowledge of the database, the product that made Oracle great, is not worthy of any note.
  2. The majority of ACE Directors are newly assigned ACEs, with a few notable exceptions. So all the people who were previously deemed worthy of ACE-dom are not actually as worthy as the new kids on the block.
  3. In my opinion, some people stand head and shoulders above the other people in the list of ACEs. When I look through the list, none of the real stars of the Oracle community are listed as ACE Directors. It seems people like Tom Kyte, Jonathan Lewis and Steven Feuerstein (to mention just three) don’t currently qualify as having “a higher level of expectation in terms of community activity”. Are you sure?

I’m sure that some of these points will be rectified in the coming weeks, and I don’t want to put other people and their achievements down, but for the moment, this whole re-jig of the Oracle ACE program doesn’t look right to me.

UPDATE:  I subsequently read the top “Oracle ACE New” story, which says,

“The Oracle ACE and Oracle Fusion Middleware Regional Director programs have merged, with the latter now being known as “Oracle ACE Directors.” Furthermore, Oracle Database experts (on management and app development) are now eligible to serve as Oracle ACE Directors as well.”


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