Making a difference with Oracle Academy
The spotlight is on Simone Maria Viana Romano, computer science instructor at Faculdade de Tecnologia (FATEC) Praia Grande, São Paulo, Brazil.
Romano joined FATEC Praia Grande more than 16 years ago. She coordinated the Systems Analysis and Development department, and now teaches database and programming using Oracle Academy resources. FATECs are colleges specializing in information technology.
She selected Oracle Academy curriculum for her courses because of the jobs available to graduates skilled in Oracle technologies, and also because the materials are available to institutions free of charge. Most of her students are from underprivileged families who otherwise would not be able to offer their children information technology training.
In addition to working at FATEC Praia Grande, Romano teaches database courses at two other universities in São Paulo State. Over the past four years, she has taught Oracle Academy database classes to more than 3,000 students.
Oracle Academy: How did you become such an enthusiastic proponent of Oracle Academy?
Simone Romano: After graduating in 1997, I worked in the private sector for many years building systems using Oracle technology and other solutions. But when I understood the power of technology to change people’s lives, I decided to become a teacher. I took a multitude of courses and joined FATEC Praia Grande.
When I was a student, technology courses cost the same as buying a car. But Oracle Academy is free and opens a whole new world to young people, especially girls. It’s a real differentiator, with tools that provide a richer, deeper learning experience and help students prepare for the real world of work—a life changer!
Many of my graduates become breadwinners for their families. It’s amazing!
Oracle Academy: What resources do you use?
Simone Romano: I use Oracle Academy curriculum in all my classes. It’s a teaching methodology that is easy to understand and attracts student attention and interest. It also means that the students don’t need to buy expensive textbooks. In Database Foundations, students learn the theoretical content and then work through real-life business cases using Oracle Application Express (APEX).
They seem to love it. That’s proven by my dropout rate having declined dramatically over the past five years. Pass marks have increased, and students are finding better jobs.
Oracle Academy: What type of jobs do they find?
Simone Romano: They find work in all the entry level jobs you would expect from a diploma in database and programming, such as programmer, software developer, or data analyst. Some become teachers themselves. And when they become teachers, I feel I have achieved something important. I feel very special! In the last four years, some of my graduates have become directors and coordinators of public schools. Two of my faculty here were once my students.
Oracle Academy: How is the market for programmers and database analysts?
Simone Romano: There are job opportunities everywhere. The Brazilian market needs database knowledge and Oracle technology skills. Oracle Academy prepares students for the business world. The content is totally related to the job market. Some of these young people never would have entered the professional world of work if it weren’t for Oracle Academy.
Oracle Academy: Do you do any 'train the trainer' activities?
Simone Romano: Yes. Last year we signed agreements at UNIBR in São Vicente city and São Judas Tadeu University in Santos city, under which I will be teaching the Oracle Academy platform to teachers. I’ll be training teachers at each location in how to use Oracle Academy materials in their classrooms. They in turn will teach other teachers.
Oracle Academy: In what other ways do you collaborate with Oracle Academy and Oracle?
Simone Romano: I attend events held at Oracle premises, sharing knowledge, transmitting the life-changing value of learning Oracle programming, the workings of the database, the power of business intelligence. Last year a group of my girl students had the opportunity to attend the Oracle Academy Girls in ICT event with workshops at the Oracle office in São Paulo. It was wonderful!
Recently I’ve been involved in Oracle Academy Knowledge Builders events, where I take students to learn directly from Oracle experts. I also was invited to share my experiences with the audience at the next Girls in ICT event—from meeting my husband through the world of computer science, to becoming the Oracle Academy champion of today.
Oracle Academy: Attending Oracle Academy and Oracle events must be a prime way of staying fresh with the technology?
Simone Romano: I also keep up to date through the online resources. In 2019, I took 18 different courses, including Java programming, big data analysis, and data integration. I too must keep learning, and it motivates the students.
Although the role of teacher isn’t well considered in Brazil, many students have told me they joined FATEC in order to become teachers. I find this priceless.
Thank you Simone Maria Viana Romano for your passion for Oracle Academy and for preparing your students to make a positive impact.