My Dev Retro 2022
6 min read
Hasnode asked developers to reflect on their journey as a developer and share their experiences from 2022. These kinds of posts are a nice break from my usual Oracle APEX and Oracle ORDS technical posts. It is also an excellent opportunity to reflect on how the year went and what I can work toward in 2023.
In April of 2022, I created a Hashnode account and started writing blogs ✍️... lots of them. Blogging has allowed me to keep learning, contribute to the Oracle APEX and ORDS Communities and gain a sense of value for my work.
My approach to writing blogs has always been to dive deep 🤿 and be thorough. I always write code to back up my blogs to prove that what I am writing about is technically possible.
By the end of 2022, I had written 46 blog posts, obtained 660 Hashnode followers, and racked up over 55K page views. 🎉
Here are the six posts that I enjoyed 😀 writing the most (and why):
Use MS Teams to Chat with the World via Oracle REST Data Services
- MS Teams is a part of most people's workflow. Being able to integrate APEX Apps with MS Teams can bring many efficiencies.
Oracle APEX Builder Social Sign-on
- Implementing SSO into APEX Apps is a core part of improving security and making your user's life easier. Adding this to APEX Builder brings these same improvements to your developers.
Event-Driven Integration with OCI Events, ORDS, & APEX
- I have always considered the combination of APEX and ORDS a capable integration platform. Utilizing some core components of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, like OCI Events, can bring even more integration benefits.
Building Performant REST Services with Oracle REST Data Services
- Building REST services with ORDS is becoming part of most APEX developers' lives. As developers, we are also responsible for making sure these REST services are performant.
Turn Text into Data with APEX & OCI Document AI
- Being able to incorporate AI into APEX Apps can introduce previously impossible functionality. This is especially true now that AI is starting to deliver on its earlier promises.
I have always had more than a passing interest in the infrastructure that underpins the APEX and ORDS architecture. I have installed APEX and ORDS for many customers, and this year I built my development environment and the https://cloudnueva.com infrastructure on the Oracle OCI Free Tier. This free architecture has enabled me to build POCs for my blog posts and customers. This environment also allows me to learn about and experiment with the latest versions of APEX and ORDS. You can learn more about the environment in this blog post.
In 2022, I limited the amount of work I signed up for and focused on fewer, more interesting projects. These projects included:
Integrations between e-Business Suite (EBS) and Oracle Account Reconciliation Cloud Service (ARCS) using APEX
Moving files stored in the database to cheap OCI Object Storage
Integrate SendGrid Email Delivery with APEX and Capture Email Events (open, click, etc.) with Webhooks built using ORDS
Using APEX to build and automate an integration to import invoices and payments from QuickBooks into an Oracle database
Integrating data across Oracle Databases using ORDS and APEX REST Data Source Synchronizations
Favorite APEX Features of 2022
My favorite new APEX features for 2022 are:
Approvals and Unified Task List
- Workflow finally comes to APEX. After years of integrating APEX with Oracle Workflow (in EBS), it is great to have native APEX workflow functionality.
- Search is part of most applications. Search capabilities that look for matches across multiple data sources and display relevant matches in a single unified search results region are a welcome addition to APEX.
- I often find myself building test data for the Apps I build. Data Generator allows you to define data generation blueprints and fill tables with representative sample data. Once your blueprint is defined, you can generate data as CSV or JSON files or insert the data directly into existing tables.
CLOB Support for Page Items
- This has been a long time coming. Now you can store values larger than 32K characters in page items and Interactive Grid columns.
Progressive Web Apps Functionality
- PWA functionality is not new in 2022, but there have been several significant enhancements that make PWA a core consideration when building APEX Apps, especially mobile APEX Apps
I learned 📖 the following important lessons in 2022:
💡 Blogging makes me a better developer. No matter how well I think I know a subject, I always learn something new when I write a blog about it.
💡 APEX is not an island. Building integrations between APEX and other Cloud services can bring innovative solutions that are impossible using APEX alone. Examples include MS Office 365, Cloud-based AI services, Object Storage, etc.
💡 AI has come of age. After years of promise and few valuable applications, AI is breaking into our everyday lives. I don't just mean Chat GPT. Cloud Services like OCI Document AI can bring value to your APEX Apps today.
Looking Forward to 2023
After 46 blog posts in 24 weeks in 2022, I realize a blog a week is not sustainable for me. For 2023 I plan on releasing a blog every other week. Having said that, I reserve the right to write more 😊
I plan to continue working on projects that interest me and bring maximum value to my customers.
Areas for Improvement
🖥️ I want to up my Oracle APEX User Experience game. APEX brings a rich and responsive User Interface out of the box. Having said that, there is always more we can do to engage users
📖 Keep on Learning. You only code what you know. If you only know one way of doing something, you miss out on other (possibly better) methods. I plan to pick areas of APEX, ORDS, the Oracle Database, and OCI that I use frequently and deep dive into them to see if I can improve. Blogging helps with this
⏱️ Incremental Improvement. Similar to the previous point, if I can make minor incremental improvements over a long period, I should get pretty good at whatever I do. It's also less daunting than making a few significant improvements
I hope you enjoyed a look into my 2022 Dev Retrospective. I found it to be a beneficial experience and challenge you to do something similar, even if it is in a Word document that is never published.