Last night (January 6, 2016) we had our first-in-2016 APEX Meetup meeting in Columbus, Ohio, USA. For being on short notice, we had a nice turnout, and I was able to distribute the new apex.world stickers. I was most impressed that a gentleman (by the name of Shannon) drove down from Cleveland, Ohio - almost 2 hours drive each way. He's been using APEX for all of two weeks, was using it with PowerSchool, and wanted to see what this APEX was all about.
Today, I wrote on our Oracle APEX Columbus Meetup board a short summary of the information we reviewed last night. For those people who've been doing APEX for years, none of this is going to be new. But the information I posted may be especially helpful to those who are very new to APEX, or even curious about APEX. I decided to simply share it again here, in the hopes that someone else just as new as Shannon will find this useful.
We discussed a few things last night and I wished to summarize them here:
1) There are ways to remain connected to the APEX community via Social media:
Twitter: The hashtag for Oracle Application Express is #orclapex. Most everyone who attended last night is on Twitter. You can follow many of us. I’m at @joelkallman. The APEX news is at @oracleapexnews. If you don't know anyone on twitter, just do a Twitter search for #orclapex.
I’ll be honest - almost everyone in the APEX community is heavily engaged on Twitter, a lot less on LinkedIn, and almost never on Facebook.
2) You should get registered on https://apex.world
It’s the APEX Community site, written by others in the APEX community (outside of Oracle). There are jobs, plug-ins, open source, twitter feeds, news, and more. You should also get registered on Slack, because apex.world is also integrated with Slack. Follow the instructions on apex.world to get a Slack invitation. It’s worth it.
3) I spoke of some upcoming conferences
There is an upcoming conference in May in Cleveland, the Great Lakes Oracle Conference. Not only will Jason Straub and I be there, doing a couple sessions (about what’s coming in APEX 5.1), but we’re also doing a pre-conference workshop. There will be other non-Oracle people there presenting on APEX. You should think about presenting at this conference, and you can submit your abstracts until February. As I tried to convey to attendees last night, don’t think that you have to submit the most exotic, obtuse topic possible. How you’re using APEX, the challenges you’ve encountered and how you worked around them, may be a very useful topic. The conference committee wants to expand their APEX offerings, and I think those of us in Ohio should help them. https://www.neooug.org/gloc/
b) In June, in Chicago, is the Oracle Development Tools User Group (ODTUG) annual Kscope conference. This is the place to be on the planet if you do any APEX whatsoever. Just in the APEX track alone, there will be 46 sessions over 5 days. On the Sunday before the conference starts, there will be the Sunday Symposium, which will be exclusively from the Oracle APEX product development team. From a global perspective, this is the place to be for APEX. It’s highly technical, and attendees and speakers from around the world assemble here. http://kscope16.com
4) How to get started, especially for someone who is new. I offered a couple suggestions:
a) Go to https://apex.oracle.com, and scroll down to the "Learn More" section, where there are links to documentation, tutorials, videos, hands-on-labs, etc.
b) An Oracle employee mentioned that he took the APEX training class on Udemy, and for 7 hours of training, he thought it was pretty good. I can't vouch for the training, and this isn't an official recommendation, but he thought it was worth his time and money. He also said that while it's priced at $25, they often run specials for as low as $10. https://www.udemy.com/create-web-apps-with-apex-5/
5) Lastly, I showed Oracle’s community site for APEX, https://apex.oracle.com/community
I showed the numerous customer quotes we’ve received, and I put another plea out to attendees that, if you’re using APEX, please consider going through your management chain to get approvals for a quote. At least ask. There is no huge legal process involved, approvals can all be done via email. The hard part is taking time out of your day job and pursuing this at your employer (or customer). It will be a huge benefit to the entire APEX community.
P.S. I never showed it last night, but ODTUG also has a nice community site for APEX, at http://odtug.com/apex