Our next guest appearance from the Oracle APEX world is Jackie McIlroy, Director of Product and Client Services at United Codes and APEX content chair for ODTUG’s KSCOPE event. It is my pleasure to share this delightful conversation with you.
How did you get into development work? And how did you know you wanted to study computer science?
I didn’t! Back then I wanted to be a fashion designer or artist, but I also wanted to be able to support myself. I took 2 classes in high school on Computer science and did well at that so I continued with it. Honestly, all my coursework at Texas Tech was enjoyable.
How long have you been working with Oracle APEX?
I was first introduced to APEX in 2006 on a government defense project with a need for a rapid app dev tool. My mission was to learn APEX and determine if it was worth pursuing.
I knew nothing about databases so I worked with a DBA and he was the best person to work with. He taught me how to data model and set up good foundations for my applications. I loved working in low code because I didn’t know PLSQL at the time and I could just click buttons and make amazing things happen which would have taken me ages to code in Java or C++.
Tell me about your current role in Oracle APEX?
In my role at United Codes I tackle the APEX product space. We have a few products for APEX developers: APEX Office Print (AOP), APEX Media Extension (AME), APEX Project Eye (APE) and Plug-ins Pro.
I am usually the first line of contact for most people that want to learn more about our products, want to purchase something, or need general help. In addition to interfacing with our customers, I create and manage our internal APEX apps for United Codes and the customer portals for each of our products. My goal is to make our customers as successful as possible.
What do you love most about Oracle APEX?
I love using APEX because it allows for a lot of creative problem solving and because of its, declarative, low-code nature. It is fun and visual and I can see what I’ve created instantly.
I am a very visual person and being able to see graphically what I’ve done, right or wrong is really satisfying. It’s so quick and easy! Especially compared to traditional coding where you write a bunch of code, cycle through compiling and bug fixing, and finally are able to see and use your application.
What is the biggest message you have for other aspiring female developers?
You just have to do it. Whether it’s diving into coding, creating your own blog, starting a new job, or speaking at a conference – just do it.
There is never a perfect time. And there will always be doubts in your mind about why you shouldn’t. Tech may bring you out of your comfort zone at times, being a very male dominated industry, but it’s worth it.
If you have interest, keep going. There is so much value that can come from it for you personally and for future generations.
What would you like to learn next? Are there other technologies that interest you/where do you see the market headed?
I have always been interested in Machine Learning and Robotics. It would be great to combine this with APEX one day if I can ever find the time :).
APEX has really gained steam this past year and I don’t see this trend slowing down any time soon. As a result, the APEX development team has grown and they are putting a lot of effort into their releases. This is a good thing, and always gives us developers more to learn to stay current.
If you haven’t had the chance to connect with Jackie or the Traust team, reach out anytime or visit the Traust Consulting Blog for more content like this.