Friday, August 17, 2012

The keys to Oracle…

This is a question I get on asktom frequently – what are the things I need to know, what do I have to do to become expert, where is the list of key things I need to do with regards to Oracle.  It is a hard sounding question that has an easy answer.

If you are still wet behind the ears – or even just damp – then the definitive place to start is the Oracle Server Concepts Guide. Not only is this free - but it is your guide to understanding how the database works.  If you understand something - you can use that thing.  If you don't, well, simply put - you won't be able to effectively use it.  Getting a solid knowledge of how a transaction is done, what locking and concurrency controls are and how they work, how the database makes the data durable on disk (redo, undo management) - all of it is key to effectively using the database.

If you don't know who can see what data, which version of data, at what points in time - confusion will abound and data integrity will be lost.  Getting a good basic knowledge of how the database manages data is the only way for you to know how to code a correct program.

Once you've mastered the material in that document - I would suggest taking a look at the 2-Day guides.  They are a good way to get spun up on the necessary knowledge for either a Developer or DBA track. There is the 2-Day Developers Guide and the 2-Day DBA Guide.  These documents are designed to get you going - you won't be an expert after reading them, but you'll know the gist of what it is you need to know, to learn.  You'll have a good idea of what is available feature wise at the very least.

After these 2-Day guides (you can read either one or both), you might want to move onto some of the other overview guides - the 2-Day Performance would be a must read for anyone (followed by the Performance Guide itself eventually).

While all of this is going on - you should also be communicating - a lot.  Constantly.  Get on the forums -, start writing - start asking questions (after reading the guidelines!!), start participating.  It is the way I learned much of what I know now myself.  But communicate - a lot.  You won't be able to progress forward in a vacuum.  Share everything you have in your head - and find others that will share back with you.  You'll find you not only get to learn (and to teach eventually) from people all over the world - but you may end up calling some of them your really good friends.

And then add time, a lot of time.  Maybe years of time.  You will not become really good at what you are doing in six months, not in a year, probably not in five years.  It will take a while - you need to have lots of different experiences, encounter many different situations, attempt and fail to solve many problems - before you'll become really good at what you do.  You might feel like you are expert in a year - but trust me - you aren't.  And four years later you'll realize how little you knew and how much more you have to learn.

I learn something new everyday about Oracle, just the other day something about Total Recall but many things in general, technical and otherwise - and I've been doing Oracle things for a long time.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Coming soon to Ireland and the Netherlands...

In September I'll be delivering a free Seminar in Dublin Ireland from 9am till 2:30pm on September 19th at the Gibson Hotel.  It is being delivered in conjunction with the Ireland OUG and anyone (even non-members) may attend.  Food is involved so it is a real deal :)  I'll be talking about big data, statistics and managing large sets of data.  We'll close up with a Q&A session before lunch.  Full details on registering and the agenda may be found here.  Also see the Ireland Oracle User Group page.

After that, on September 20th, I'll be delivering a full day seminar with Oracle University in Utrecht in the Netherlands.  Full details - including the agenda - may be found here.

Hope to see you at one of the events!

Thursday, August 09, 2012

What I learned new about Total Recall...

Today I learned something new about the Oracle Total Recall option from a good friend (they were very happy to have told me something about Oracle I didn't know :) ) - it doesn't exist anymore!  The Total Recall option has been made part of the Advanced Compression option!!

Check this out to see what you get with the Advanced Compression option which now includes the Total Recall option as well - the Flashback Data Archive capability.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Latin America OTN Tour....

Just starting the Latin American OTN tour for the week here in Uruguay.

This is my first time in Uruguay and I spent the weekend in Montevideo.  It was a wet, damp weekend - very foggy too!  But on the plus side - the food is excellent and plentiful.  The local user group leaders here made sure we were well fed and warm for lunch every day :)

Today is the OTN conference - Dimitri Gielis is presenting right now using a "slide free" presentation.  He is building an APEX application to the specification of the audience, in real time.  A pretty neat concept, I like it, very good way to show the ability of the tool:


Tomorrow Andrew Holdsworth, Graham Wood and I are doing a Real World Performance day here before we are off to Argentina for a repeat.  To get to Argentina, we are going to a three hour ferry ride.  It is supposed to rain - so that will be a damp, wet trip for sure.

After Argentina we'll be off for Sao Paulo Brazil for a repeat on Saturday (yes, Saturday!).

If you are in the area, you can find the details here:  or on  Hope to see you here!

Now I'm off to answer some questions that I have in my queue...