All posts by bcarter

Off to a slow start

<Excuses> Due to typical work priorities and the fact that I’m still settling into a new position, I didn’t make as much progress as I had hoped last week.  I’m almost certain there was minimal procrastination. </Excuses>

I have to admit, I wish I would have started learning Python a few years back.  The language is very intuitive and the way it’s structured just seems to mesh with the way I think (so far.)

I ran through most of the sections.  I like the way the tutorials flow and the code runner at the bottom is a nice feature.

There were a few times when the code runner didn’t work.  I would hit the run button and not get anything back, no errors no output at all.  If you see that problem try doing a shift+refresh in your browser (kind of a soft cache clear) and if that doesn’t work, hard clearing your cache should.  Once I had to close and re-open my browser.

Usually when I write code and hit something I don’t know/remember, like most people, I google the answer.  So I tend to do the same thing when running tutorials rather than going back and re-reading.  I try to learn something the same way I know I’m going to use it.  I’m a firm believer in “You play like you practice.” This is also helpful in finding tools you can use later.  For example is now in my bookmarks.

Next up is getting my build environment setup.  I’ve installed Oracle Database 11g Express Edition to get started and for most of the quick things.  When I get up to the more advanced features,  I will be running Oracle Database 12c both on VirtualBox and Oracle Cloud.

I’m still trying to pick an editor/IDE.  I don’t plan to spend much time covering IDE features unless I come across something extra good or bad.  I’ll try a couple and settle down quickly.

I plan to just jump right into writing a simple application backed by a database and see how that goes.  I will try to post my code to give everyone a good laugh.


Collaborate 15

Last week I had the privileged to attend Collaborate 15 in Las Vegas.

The facilities at the Mandalay Bay were top notch.  The food was very good and there were plenty of quiet comfortable places where you could catch your breath, relax and catch up.

I was only able to attend for a couple days at the end, but I still learned a lot and made a few great connections. I came away with new useful information from every session I attended, even the one I jumped into late just for a place to sit down. A couple of my favorite sessions had lively discussions that were focused, on topic and helpful.

I think most people prefer substance over flash when they chose a conference, at least I know I do, but some flash is fun.  I really enjoyed the mix they put together. The floor exhibits were interesting and there were a lot of them.  The 60s party was a blast and the band was awesome. Just when I would reach the “my brain is full” point, there was something shiny to focus on while my mind absorbed the info and I could relax before loading up the next chunk of information.

Overall I thought it was a great conference and I would definitely recommend it.

Diving into Python

I’m going to start learning Python.  I’ve wanted to pick up Python for a while now and it seems like a great place to dig in.

I’m starting at the very beginning (Howdy World) with the goal of developing a few tutorials to showcase the cx_Oracle driver using some of the newest Oracle Database 12c features.

At this stage, I’m collecting a resource list for getting started tutorials and a decent IDE.   I prefer hands-on tutorials over videos, mainly because I like to copy, paste and break the example code.   But I also like videos, especially when I feel like trying to type fast and keep up with the presenter.

If you have any suggestions for tutorials or IDEs, just drop it in a comment and I’ll give them a shot.

Learn -> Code -> Share

A little about me and what I’m trying to accomplish.


I’m Blaine Carter.  I’m part of Oracle’s Developer Advocate team.  My ‘focus‘ is open source. Having such a narrow focus, I’ll be jumping around a lot. Going deeper into some things I think I know and learning some new stuff.

I tend to pick up new things fairly quick.  I like to learn a bit, then code something.  Preferably something that interests me, that makes it stick in my head better.  However, the thing that really makes the learning stick is when I share what I’ve learned.  To that end, I’ll be making some tutorials, videos and posts.  I’m sure they won’t be anywhere near perfect, but it will help me learn and I hope help others avoid some of the mistakes I’m going to make.

If something I’m doing is wrong, don’t be afraid to let me know. I’ve got a pretty thick hide on me and I think we learn more from what we do wrong than from what we do right.

That’s really the point of this blog. I’d like to help encourage people to Learn -> Code -> Share -> repeat.