Design Is Why April’s Oracle ACE Adventure Was the Perfect Start to an Amazing Week

By: Tim Vlamis
April 18, 2024

Being a part of the Oracle ACE program has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had in my professional career. As a community, we’re passionate about technology in general, and Oracle’s specifically, and how we can share what we’ve learned and give back to our community. However, one of the best aspects of the program is that it recognizes that personal growth is not limited to a singular realm or outlook.

Jennifer Nicholson hosted a group of ACEs this past Monday for a special day of touring before we spent the rest of the week at the Oracle Conference Center in Redwood Shores California. We visited Filoli Gardens and then went to the Hiller Aviation Museum. Here’s why those two choices were the perfect start to the Analytics and Data Summit – a geeky deep dive in the most advanced aspects of Oracle’s Analytics portfolio and analytical processing in the Oracle database covering such topics as machine learning, graph analytics, spatial analytics, and artificial intelligence. Enterprise analytics systems require both careful planning and design along with a strong dose of natural growth and imagination.

We started at Filoli House and Gardens, a spectacular 654-acre estate featuring exquisite plantings and an architectural masterpiece. This was the realization of superior design exactly because it was founded in nature. It was dynamic, alive, and engaging at every scale, from the smallest flowers to largest Japanese maple trees I’ve ever seen, from detailed focal areas to a fully realized landscape architecture that perfectly expressed the unique climate of California. The mansion was beautiful but still warm and comfortable. We had the chance to wander and drink in the beauty of a superbly realized design.

We followed our visit to Filoli with a stop at the Hiller Aviation Museum. Here we saw a presentation of man’s aspirational vision to fly. Gliders to helicopters to sport airplanes to the first fully controllable unmanned aircraft (we call them drones now) with an enormous wingspan stretching across the majority of the museum’s ceiling. Here on display was the embodiment of marrying engineering and technology with imagination.

Filoli’s design was about bringing together nature and a space for living while Hiller’s design was geared toward defying the natural force of gravity and achieving new goals for the first time. It felt like the perfect backdrop for learning about advanced analytics. Every time I learned something about graphic analytics or AI or a new feature in Oracle Analytics Cloud, it reminded of something I saw on our tour.

While most Oracle ACE events are social with lots of interaction and discussion, this was a day of quiet observation and contemplation. It was comforting, however, to experience everything with colleagues that I know and respect and to achieve a shared experience without lots of talk. It was perfect. Here’s a huge thank you to Jennifer Nicholson and the entire Oracle ACE program staff and to the leadership team at Huron who continually support us in every way.


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