Making a difference with Oracle Academy
The spotlight is on Catalina Barbeyto, Professor of the Database Academy, Universidad Tecnológica de Nezahualcóyotl, Mexico.
Universidad Tecnológica de Nezahualcóyotl (UTN) is a public university located in a highly populated part of the state of Mexico, northeast of Mexico City. It was named after Aztec sovereign Nezahualcóyotl, meaning “fasting coyote” in the nahuatl language. UTN provides technical and engineering diplomas in the fields of information technology , e-commerce, multimedia, aircraft maintenance, mechatronics, and more. The Multiplatform Software Development and Software Development and Management Engineering areas of study are encompassed in the ITI Department. Each subject area is run by an “academy.” The Database Academy teaches database design, programming and administration of databases, cloud databases, non SQL databases and knowledge extraction database using the Oracle Academy curriculum and Oracle Cloud Free Tier.
Professor Catalina Barbeyto has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) and a master's degree in University Teaching from Universidad Latina. Prior to working in education, she worked for 10 years in consulting and technical support with Oracle.
Oracle Academy: How did UTN get involved with Oracle Academy?
Catalina Barbeyto: From its inception, the Database Academy used Oracle as its prime teaching tool, with training and technical support handled by Oracle Mexico. When Oracle offered free resources through Oracle Academy, the transition was simple.
I joined UTN in 2010 after 10 years working for Oracle; although the teachers knew Oracle database well, I gave refresher courses and introduced them to the Oracle Academy methodology. Later on, we all took online training with Oracle Academy instructors in Latin America. Today we have four full time faculty skilled in teaching Oracle Academy curriculum.
Oracle Academy: Will you be rolling out Oracle Cloud?
Catalina Barbeyto: The Oracle Cloud offering is super, since we no longer need a server and all the materials are there. I have organized access to the Oracle Cloud Free Tier for my students using the Oracle Academy Cloud Program, and I’m currently focusing on the developer tools including Oracle APEX and SQL Developer for working with the Oracle Autonomous Database.
Students need only their browser and a minimum of computer requirements to use top-notch computing resources. I am granting students access to the Oracle Cloud with their free cloud accounts in addition to using SQL Developer connected to their cloud account. For our cloud database class, we use Oracle APEX accounts to load datasets with more than 300,000 records with no problem.
But the priority right now is on getting final year students prepared for certification exams covering all aspects of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) and Oracle Machine Learning using Autonomous Database.
Currently, we’re all getting ready for the OCI Explorer badge. It’s the basics: being able to create databases and virtual machines in the cloud, virtual cloud networks, load balancing, and so on. It will help students broaden their knowledge base and give them a skill set that’s in demand worldwide. We carry out the practice with a cloud account and with all the products available with OCI.
Some of my former students are at the moment working and therefore no longer part of our Oracle Academy membership, so they use their cloud credits to join me and do the practical work needed for the course. They want to boost their career and salary prospects, and I feel proud of their thrist for knowledge.
Oracle Academy: And what is your experience with Oracle APEX?
Catalina Barbeyto: You can do a lot with this formidable apps development tool; it is brilliant. We use Oracle APEX as a platform for creating objects, developing PL/SQL code, and it has an interface for browsing objects, loading and unloading data, and developing applications.
First semester, students practice Boolean algebra while becoming familiar with databases by performing basic queries with three or more conditions using AND, OR, and NOT, and do so from their Oracle APEX accounts.
In the database class, students are exploring a basic point of sales model. Then in teams they choose a theme like bakery, pharmacy, bookstore, grocery store, candy store, chelería (store that sells alcohol-based beverages), winery, or cellular gadgets. The team prepares company data and uploads it to the database to present its own point of sale model.
Oracle Academy: And your overall experience with Oracle Academy?
Catalina Barbeyto: Oracle Academy is great. It has played a key role in my academic and teaching life, and I firmly believe it is the best place to learn about databases, SQL, PL/SQL, virtual machines, artifical intelligence with machine learning, Java, and more. I have explored other platforms, but they are usually mono-product and in no way compare with the endless stream of knowledge that Oracle Academy gives us.
Oracle Academy quenches my thirst for knowledge and passion for teaching. It’s one of the things that I enjoy the most. If you love your work, life is easy.
When teaching new materials, I feel like a trapeze artist, with Oracle Academy as my safety net. If I fall, it’ll catch me.
Everything is there and it’s so comfortable to know you don’t have to surf around looking for material. We have the cloud platform, the classes, the materials, and the hands-on work. All you need is to dedicate time and make sure to visit the Oracle Academy Member Hub at least three times a week because things are changing so fast.
I also use corporate resources such as Live SQL, an open cloud platform that anyone, anywhere can use for practicing code. You just connect with your Oracle account and get free access to the Oracle database to code SQL with existing schemas or create your own objects. Oracle made a very intelligent decision in providing a mass of resources free of charge to the general public, so that they adopt its technology.
Oracle Academy: How do you find the Oracle Academy Member Hub?
Catalina Barbeyto: I love it. The new version is another world from what was there before. It has career-based learning content, it has ERP, which helps us prepare students for the business world. There’s a mountain of new content uploaded all the time. Through my Oracle Academy Member Hub account I download all the slides I need for my classes.
I recently used the Oracle Academy Member Hub to conduct a Knowledge Builder session for Latin America on Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler with preloaded examples of the relationships between disc jockey play lists, events, track times or fast food orders, customers, outlets, and suppliers.
All the guides and scripts are accessed from the Oracle Academy Member Hub. We used the Quick Guide for connecting to an instance of the Oracle Autonomous Database, assigning users, granting access, and the whole process of database management.
I also use the Oracle Academy Member Hub for additional learning around new Oracle technology. One has to stay up with new developments all the time. The Oracle Academy Education Bytes and other materials on the Member Hub allow us to do that.
Oracle Academy: Which career paths do your graduates follow?
Catalina Barbeyto: I know that a number have good data positions in banks or IT consultancies. Nezahualcóyotl has a high demographic of many students who come from underprivileged families. All of them want to get jobs. One of my objectives is to let them know that they have choices in life and work, that success after graduation is not measured only by money. I tell them to pick a job they enjoy according to their own work-life satisfaction criteria.
I also coach girls. The IT field in Mexico is still predominantly male. In fact, when one of our lecturers recently produced a list of the 20 most successful students, only one was a girl, working in IT security. And yet the opportunities are numerous. I motivate them by taking them on visits to Oracle Mexico, or staff from there visit us sometimes.
I explain my love of teaching, of databases and data, and I encourage them to pursue computer science careers. Many are still reluctant through insecurity. I transmit the importance of doing something that you like, that the field of data has no gender boundaries. When they ask why I am a teacher, I tell them it was my future dream when I was six years old and finally, after work experience and two daughters, I achieved that dream. They like the passion I show and I get satisfaction knowing that young people are applying what I teach. For me teaching and learning go together; if you don’t continuously learn, then there’s something missing.
Oracle Academy: And outside of teaching?
Catalina Barbeyto: I love cooking. The girls’ school I attended offered sewing, embroidery, drawing, and cooking, but the cooking class was always full, and so it was only later that I could indulge myself. Today I love the open-air markets, selecting fruits and vegetables, trying new recipes. I make my own yogurt, make granola from toasted seeds and grains, and enjoy growing plants at an allotment.
I like manual work, and still knit and embroider―though more today for the dogs than for my daughters, who are now grown up!
Thank you, Professor Catalina Barbeyto, for your passion for Oracle Academy and for preparing your students to make a positive impact.