Oracle Academy Newsletter

January 2016

In This Issue:

Computer Science Around the World
Events and Headlines

What Happens When Software Moves Into Silicon?

In November, Ask the Oracle Experts–an Oracle Academy webinar series where students and educators learn directly from Oracle experts about a wide variety of technology-related topics, including the latest computing trends and Oracle technologies–presented “What Happens When Software Moves Into Silicon?” showcasing Oracle’s SPARC M7 Processor, breakthrough technology that will turbo-charge Big Data and Cloud Computing. The live panel discussion, featuring Oracle senior executives from both software and hardware, offered insights into the strategy and thinking behind the dramatic re-design of computer chip architecture.

Breakthrough Hardware & Software Co-Engineering

The SPARC M7 is the result of 5 1/2 years of co-development by engineers whose goal was to incorporate certain functions normally found in software directly into the microprocessor itself, Software in Silicon—for better performance, lower cost, higher system availability, and most important of all, securing data from intruders. The new SPARC M7 processor-based systems are designed to seamlessly integrate with existing infrastructure and include fully integrated virtualization and management for cloud. All existing commercial and custom applications will run on SPARC M7 systems unchanged with significant improvements in security, efficiency, and performance. In addition, SPARC M7 is an open platform that developers can utilize to create new software that takes advantage of Security in Silicon and SQL in Silicon capabilities.

Key Features

Oracle’s new SPARC M7 systems feature security in silicon, which incorporates two key enhancements in systems design, silicon secured memory, and hardware-assisted encryption. They also feature SQL in silicon, which adds co-processors to all 32 cores to help offload and accelerate data functions. These features, along with balanced design principles, lead to unparalleled speed and performance including for cloud and big data workloads. More information about the SPARC M7 systems is available on Oracle’s website.

What This Means for Students

Technology is constantly changing, and moving software into silicon is revolutionary, not evolutionary. According to Oracle Academy’s expert panel, this kind of change creates new opportunities for multidisciplinary collaborations, and new graduates with strong foundations in computer science and/or electrical engineering and an aptitude for creative thinking and innovation will be valuable parts of collaborative teams. Students should continue to seek out courses in object-oriented programming, Java, database design, SQL, and data management. They should also take advantage of opportunities to develop their communication, collaboration and critical thinking skills, as well as their creativity, in both class projects and extracurricular activities and internships.

Did You Miss the Webinar?

Watch the replay of “What Happens When Software Moves Into Silicon?” to explore one of Oracle’s latest technologies, the practical examples of the innovation this new technology brings to the market, and what students need to learn to be prepared to be part of these kinds of exciting and innovative projects.

Join us for our monthly Ask the Oracle Experts webinars to learn more about the latest computing trends and Oracle technologies.

The “Stemettes” Hack Manchester

On November 28–29, 2015, more than 50 young women participated in an Oracle Academy and Stemettes–award-winning social enterprise addressing the lack of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) in a new way–two day hackathon “Stemettes Hack Manchester.”

The gaming and animation hackathon enabled the girls to:

  • Participate in a two-day event, packed with coding, food, and fun – all for free and in a safe, girls-only environment
  • Develop their coding abilities, irrespective of whether they were advanced or beginner coders
  • Meet other girls interested in STEM
  • Network with women who have built successful careers in STEM

Inspiring the Next Generation of Women

The weekend hackathon was a fun event with a serious purpose–inspiring the next generation of women in Computer Science. The feedback from the young women has been resoundingly positive:

  • 100% of the attendees said they would take part in another Stemettes/Oracle Academy event
  • 94% of the attendees reported interest in coding and computer science in the future

Oracle Academy and Stemettes recognize that gender barriers are not the only barriers that can inhibit girls’ participation in Computer Science. Economic factors can also be barriers. Oracle Academy advances computer science education globally to drive knowledge, innovation, skills development, and diversity in technology fields by offering free memberships, educational resources and curriculum to its members. Stemettes is committed to maximizing the accessibility of coding and all their events are free for the girls who attend. Both organizations are dedicated to breaking down barriers to computer science and coding.

This resonated with the attendees. One young woman commented, “I enjoyed learning how to use software I can actually afford to download at home, rather than being excited about really cool coding software and then realizing it is hundreds of pounds a month.”

Anne-Marie Imafdion, Head Stemette recently profiled in Times Magazine as one of the British women shaking up the tech industry, shared her thoughts about the event. “It was lovely to meet young women from all corners of Manchester who had great creativity, and to see them express that using coding. Their sense of achievement at the end of the event was palpable.”

According to a 2012 Kings College London ASPIRES report, face-to-face interactions between girls and female Computer Science role models are critical to affecting patterns of educational choice and turning the tide of the underrepresentation of women in CS.

Join our long-term goal of student success and bring events like the Stemettes Hackathon to your community. Please contact us for more information.

HBCU ICE Summit fellows and mentors at the Oracle Conference Center

Oracle Academy Welcomes HBCU Innovation Summit Fellows to Oracle Headquarters

On November 20, 2015, Oracle Academy welcomed nearly 65 students representing 21 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to Oracle’s Headquarters in Redwood Shores, California. The visit was part of the United Negro College Fund’s (UNCF) Innovation, Commercialization and Entrepreneur (ICE) Summit. Participating students are pursuing studies in computer science, information technology, and/or engineering, and the summit introduced them to the IT industry with a special emphasis on the Silicon Valley/Bay Area technology ecosystem. Students learned what it takes to be successful in the IT industry, explored the many different career paths open to computer science and IT majors, and learned how to chart and navigate their own paths through school and into careers.

Lorilyn Owens, director, Oracle Academy, North America, facilitates a panel discussion with Oracle technologists

During the summit, Oracle leaders shared Oracle’s strategic vision, commitment to the community, dedication to volunteering, information about employee resource groups, and the impact Oracle Academy has in local communities. In addition to describing their current roles and the technologies they work with, the Oracle panelists shared perspectives on transitioning from school to the workplace, how they keep their skills current in the ever-changing world of technology, and some of the toughest challenges they have helped customers solve.

“My visit to Oracle helped me realize that my IT degree can be used to uplift our youth” said Shyainne Bell, a senior majoring in Information Technology at Bennett College. “Oracle made it evident that contributing to a nationwide, collective effort to raise the next generation of computer scientists should be foremost to all.”

The following day, the summit offered students the opportunity to hear from Oracle Recruiting, recent college graduate employees and former UNCF Oracle interns. “Diverse perspectives design better products,” said Lorilyn Owens, director, Oracle Academy, North America. “Oracle Academy is pleased to support initiatives like the HBCU ICE Innovation Summit that focus on providing opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate in-demand skills in computer science. Our work with UNCF helps to provide access to world-class software for instructional purposes to faculty and students at member institutions throughout the United States.”

An extension of the HBCU Innovation Summit, the HBCU Hackathon League and Tournament, will take place in the spring of 2016, where student groups will conceptualize and develop software applications.

For more information about the HBCU Innovation Summit, read the full press release.

Coders in Action

“Start Coding with Alice” National Competition

“Start Coding with Alice” Competition Winners, M. Abbott and Cătălin Marian Mărgărit Lyceum with their teacher Elena Branzio and Oracle Academy kicked off the Romania national coding competition, “Start Coding with Alice,” to promote technology, the basics of programming and the importance of computer science for Romanian youth.

Competition Objectives

The “Start Coding with Alice” coding competition helped demonstrate that everyone has the ability to learn how to code, regardless of age, background or level of computer science knowledge and skills. Competitors used Alice 3 to learn object-oriented programming and make 3D animations, movies and games using Java.

In addition, the competition introduced a new way for students to learn via hands-on e-learning, a non-traditional approach in Romania. Both teachers and students were engaged and eager to learn through the fun activities that were designed to inspire creativity and teamwork.

Lungu Alexandru Ioan and Virvarei Alexandru, students from National High School, C. Negruzzi, Iasi Romania, commented, “We think the experience of working with Alice 3 provided us great knowledge about game engines, the difficulty of making a well appreciated game and the importance of having an original idea. Also, we are glad we could practice our informatics skills in a brand new programming environment and have the chance to contribute to improving the educational system. In the end, we have to say that working with Alice 3 was a challenge for us, because we had to learn on our own, discover the features in the working sessions and, likewise, get used to a different type of work, making a game.”

Great Participation

AVIO, the Golden Fish, created by Mardare Alexandru and Mărgărit Marian Cătălin from Emil Botta High School, Adjud with teacher coordinator Brînzoi Elena

Teams from every region of the country registered for the “Start Coding with Alice” coding competition, including Adjud, Iasi, Sibiu, Buzau, Bucharest and many others. Three hundred two teams registered for the competition and 144 valid projects were submitted. Student projects incorporated creative elements such as aliens, Alice in Wonderland, labyrinths, warriors as well as other fantasy creatures.

  • 302 teams were registered for the competition
  • 144 valid projects were submitted
  • The Rewards: 3 prizes, 3 honorific mentions and 6 special prizes

Congratulations to all the finalists!

The competition awarded 3 full prizes, 3 honorable mentions, and 6 special prizes. First prize was awarded to the project, AVIO, the Golden Fish, created by Mardare Alexandru and Mărgărit Marian Cătălin from Emil Botta High School, Adjud with teacher coordinator Brînzoi Elena. View the full list of the finalists. Congratulations to these Oracle Academy Coders in Action!

Getting Started with Java Using Alice at the Utah STEM Fest

South Towne Expo Center, Sandy, Utah
February 2-4, 2016

Oracle Academy is excited to partner with local Oracle volunteers and Mark Sunday, Oracle’s Chief Information Officer, to participate in the upcoming Utah STEM Fest that will spark your children’s imaginations and give them a peek into their future career opportunities in Utah.

More than 15,000 students, grades 7-10, will have the opportunity to gain experience with Alice, an introductory Java development environment developed at Carnegie Mellon that is suitable for all beginning learners. This free event will provide hands-on experiences for students and opportunities to connect with educators and innovators.

Register today! You don’t want to miss this exciting event.

Oracle Academy Advances Computer Science around the World

Europe, Middle East and Africa

Accelerating the Shift at OEB 2015

December 2-4, 2015, Oracle Academy was a proud sponsor of the 21st Annual Online Educa Berlin (OEB), the global, cross-sector conference on technology-supported learning and training, in Berlin, Germany.

More than 2,300 people, including ed tech business leaders and heads of educational institutions as well as local and national government officials from 100 countries joined the conference, entitled, "Accelerating the Shift." The event focused on how people, organizations, institutions and societies can use technology-enhanced education and training to accelerate the shift to a new age of opportunity.

Watch the OEB Highlight Video

Riyadh City Experiences Its First Oracle Academy Day

Riyadh City, Saudi Arabia, experienced its first Oracle Academy Day at the Prince Sultan University, introducing students and faculty to the importance of closing the gap between education and the IT industry, as well as the importance IT plays in the stability of the global economy.

Oracle Academy sponsors CUC2015

On November 18 – 20, 2015, Oracle Academy was pleased to be a sponsor of the seventeenth annual Croatian Academic and Research Network (CARNet) Users Conference (CUC)—the largest IT-related conference for educators in Croatia—focused on promoting IT in educational institutions. More than 800 participants attended the extensive program entitled “New Schools.”

During the event, Oracle Academy was pleased to explore potential future collaborations with CARNet and the Education and Teacher Training Agency (ETTA), with the aim of advancing computer science in Croatian schools.

Read more about CUC2015 here.

Women Leaders Encourage Young Women to Develop IT Skills

Oracle Academy and the Azerbaijan ACM/ACM-W Chapter organized a Women in IT Conference at ADA University.

Women leaders encouraged young women to learn and develop their computer science skills to help contribute to the technology-driven economy in order to build their community and be career ready.

Building Future Innovators in Baku

Oracle Academy Day at ADA University, Baku, brought the local community together to learn about the latest Oracle and Java technologies direct from the Oracle experts.

Teachers and students from various educational institutions–100 participants from 10 universities–gathered for this event centered on advancing computer science knowledge and skills.

Promoting Educational Resources for Teachers across Greece

Recently, Oracle Academy has sponsored some key educator conferences in Greece. During the events, Oracle Academy focused on its free memberships and professional development opportunities for teachers as well as offering best practices for incorporating ICT into educational activities.

For more information about the conferences:


Japan and Asia Pacific

Welcome Zhejiang Institution of Mechanical & Electrical Engineering!

On November 23, 2015, Zhejiang Institution of Mechanical & Electrical Engineering became a member of Oracle Academy to further its computer science offerings to students and offer professional development to their faculty. The university is dedicated to improving student interest in technology and enhance the quality of education to develop IT talents to benefit the economy of the Zhejiang province.

Thank you for sharing our long-term goal of teacher and student success!

Teaching Teachers Database Programming with PL/SQL

On October 24, 2015, Beijing Information Technology University, China, offered Database Programming with PL/SQL to their teachers–from 19 schools–for the first time. The teachers learned PL/SQL and how to embed the Oracle Academy curriculum into their schools. They also had an opportunity to network and share their teaching experiences with other teachers.

Vocational Schools in China Experience Alice and Greenfoot

On November 16-18, 2015, Oracle Academy delivered Getting Started with Java Using Alice and Creating Java Programs with Greenfoot workshops for 30 teachers from Middle Vocational Schools in Beijing, China. This professional development opportunity is designed to set teachers up for success as they bring the workshop curriculum to their students.

Java Brings the Community Together

On December 4, 2015, more than 200 faculty and students from universities and colleges in Taiwan attended the Java Community Conference 2015. Oracle Academy was pleased to be at the event and showcased the new Oracle Academy membership structures, benefits, and website – all developed to help make it easier for Oracle Academy members to stay connected and get the most from their program benefits.

Latin America

Virtual Educa Andina

From November 4 -6, 2015, Oracle Academy sponsored Virtual Educa Andina, Peru. The event, “Innovation in Education: Technology Infrastructure, Connectivity, Coverage and Quality,” brought more than 3,000 participants together in Andina and an additional 9,000 participants virtually from different countries. The participants were joined by industry experts to help advance computer science education in the region, increase access to technology, and connect efforts of private companies and governments to indentify improvement opportunities within the region. The conference also aimed to bring awareness to the need for connectivity in rural areas.

Conferencia Latinoamericana en Informática, Peru

This IT conference brought computer science information and resources to more than 1000 teachers, researchers and students. Oracle Academy was proud to sponsor this great event.

CONAIISI Connects Students to IT Experts

From November 19-20, 2015, Oracle Academy sponsored the National Congress of Computer Science / Information Systems (CONAISII) conference, designed to provide students across Argentina with the opportunity to learn about various areas of informatics through workshops, educational resources, and lectures provided by the academic community and private companies. More than 400 participants convened at National Technological University for the event. Oracle Academy was pleased to present four Alice workshops as well as a guest lecture about the digital disruption brought on by the Internet of Things.

Enterprise Architecture Projects – Universidad Nacional de Colombia

On December 2, 2015, Oracle Academy was invited to the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, an Oracle Academy member since 2010, to evaluate student Enterprise Architecture projects. Thirty-five students submitted seven projects developed with Java Enterprise, MySQL and Glassfish.

Professors Focus on Professional Development

This December, the University of Technology, Jamaica, has been collaborating with Oracle Academy to bring professional development to 28 professors and ultimately include Database Design, Programming with SQL and Java Programming in their curriculum. The university wants to provide its faculty and students a competitive advantage for the future by bringing Oracle technologies and educational resources to their schools.

Oracle Academy present in CONCISAS

October 26-30, 2015, Oracle Academy was a proud sponsor of the Second National Conference on Computing, Information Technology and Systems 2015 (CONCISA) in Valencia, Venezuela, organized by Latin American Centre of Studies in Computer Science (CLEI) Venezuela and Venezuelan Computer Society Foundation. This year, the event objective, “Business Model as a Tool to Support Organizations,” aimed to help strengthen the exchange of experiences in research, academic and technology in order to promote the development of the computer science and create cooperation at the national level. More than 400 students from different universities were present to hear from national and international IT experts as well as participate in courses complimentary to computer science careers in Venezuela.

North America

ACTE Conference and Career Technical Education Alignment

On November 19-22, 2015, Oracle Academy attended the Association for Career Technical Education (CTE) conference in New Orleans, Louisiana and met with Information Technology career cluster teachers to provide information about the alignment between Oracle Academy database and Java curriculum materials with the information technology career cluster.

Nancy Hoffman, curriculum manager, Oracle Academy, piloted the new Solve it with SQL workshop, an upcoming resource from Oracle Academy that will available to teachers ready to introduce database concepts to their students, as well as provided educators with information about the new Oracle Database and Java Junior Associate Certifications–enabling students to position themselves to further their education, or get the internship of their dreams.

Upcoming Events

JANUARY 14 2016

Ask the Experts


JANUARY 22, 2016

Oracle Academy Day

Information Service Association of Chinese Colleges, Taipei, Taiwan

FEBRUARY 2-4 2016

Utah STEM Fest

Sandy, Utah

FEBRUARY 21, 2016

Oracle Academy Day

Qatar University, Doha, Qatar

FEBRUARY 27, 2016


San Jose, California

Hardware and Software, Engineered to Work Together