Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The beginning

Well, here I am!
I've decided to create my own blog as a result of the tremendous feedback I received from my public request for information on Tom Kyte's blog and the subsequent posting on Niall Litchfield's blog.

Basically, I'm giving a presentation at this years UKOUG conference based on the world of Oracle through the eyes of 'Newbies'.

I decided to do this presentation after attending last years conference and noting that there wasn't much material for the beginner.
I'm not looking to provide a means of teaching people about Oracle, rather I'm wanting to show people how and where to learn and how to get ahead.

I'll be posting a little bit about myself and my experiences, and inviting others to do the same.
This has started out as research for my presentation, but we'll see how far it goes!

Too kick it off, I want to say a public 'Thank You' to all who have contributed so far.


Blogger shrek said...

one thing you can do is not confine it to just oracle. treat it like the OT list.;-) and your welcome.;-)

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 7:07:00 pm  
Blogger Thomas Kyte said...

oh no, another one to add to the list ;)

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 10:27:00 pm  
Blogger Tyler Muth said...

VM Ware is sooooo key IMHO. You can create a base Linux or Windows image and save it off. Then install the database into it. If you make a major mistake, no problem, just grab the clean image you created and try again. As you start installing more "stuff", you can really make a mess of your machine. VM Ware contains the mess, makes it portable, and makes it easy to start over.

I keep a "Doc" folder in my Start menu in Windows. I make it a peer of "Programs" at the top, so I only need to press Start > Doc > db > 10 > all doc here. There's a utility out there to speed up the opening of PDFs that's great for this too. It just disables all of the plug-ins so acrobat opens in ~2 seconds.

I'm also a fan of the stand-alone version of Enterprise Manager (pre 10g) as a learning tool. Instead of digging for hours for the solution, do it in EM but press the "Show SQL" button. This way you learn what's going on under the covers.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005 1:12:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about posting your slides or whatever you present here afterward? Those information would be very useful for newbies like me who don t have the chance to attend the presentation (I'm some 6000 miles away from UK)

Wednesday, July 20, 2005 5:48:00 am  
Blogger Noons said...

Yes, the beginning. Excellent idea, Lisa.
I do confess I'm at a loss as to what format to use for this sort of thing. Do you go for a tutorial approach? Totally free format? Make sections for major areas? Which ones, OSD/DB/Design/Development? Or something else completely different?
Web site complemented by the blog? Forum?

Dunno, so many things to think about. Start by posting your presentation somewhere so we can all get an idea of what is it really that "scares" the n00b?

Tom is spot-on: "oh-no, another one to add to the list"! :)

(just joking: it's a pleasure really)

Wednesday, July 20, 2005 7:15:00 am  
Blogger Lisa said...

I will be posting the presentation when it is done, quite a few people have requested this.

I'll also be looking to somehow include some of the great comments and tips I have been sent by seasoned DBA's on how Newbies can help themselves on the forums.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005 9:31:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I started in IT 3 years ago with
Fundamentals of Database Systems - by Ramez Elmasri, Shamkant B. Navathe and got hooked on to RDBMS. Lucky for me I got a break as Jr. Oracle DBA. I also read Design of the UNIX Operating System by Maurice J. Bach and I think till today these books really give me the edge which I have over my fellow DBA's, I got my concepts right.Next on my list is
Transaction Processing : Concepts and Techniques by Jim Gray, Andreas Reuter
After that there is always
I always check the site everyday and also encourage my co-workers to do the same, too bad they are always hooked on to some fancy new technologies and technical jargon.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005 10:00:00 am  
Anonymous Dave said...

another DBA in Newcastle - I thought we were a rare breed up here :-)

Wednesday, July 20, 2005 12:10:00 pm  
Blogger Michael Dinh said...

A humble DBA. I like that.

I would have considered myself an expert after three years. J.K of course.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005 4:42:00 pm  
Blogger Pete_S said...

Welcome! Post what your heart tells you. Most of us are quite nice

Key things:
Never stop learning
Always question
Never trust blindly - say 'show me'
Have a database of your own where you can try things - I test concepts for multi terabyte data warehouses on my laptop
Always measure things

Wednesday, July 20, 2005 8:11:00 pm  
Anonymous Charlie B. said...

Great topic!

Mentors and Oracle classes in combination are extremely useful. The classes pack so much info into your head that it's hard to know what's important; a mentor can help you sort things out.

Books and Web searches are next; I prefer books because the content is more organized. You frequently have to follow a train of thought both forwards and backwards from where you start working on a problem and (imho) that's easier with a well-written book. Google becomes more valuable only once you've got more db knowledge and experience.

You learn a lot about your craft and yourself when you have your first crisis. Mine was when a teammate accidentally copied a test db on top of prod, while prod was up. A great learning experience.

Get to know the OS your db is on. Learn how it works, its strengths and weaknesses. Keep a constant dialog going with your sysadmin staff, and listen.

Finally, move around. Work with different DBA's on different apps, even if within one company. People tend to do things differently and always for a reason. Learn why they chose not to do something the way you were about to do it. You'll make smarter decisions in the future.

Thursday, July 21, 2005 12:38:00 pm  
Anonymous Harry said...

Some of us have been around for years and still feel like newbies :-)

One thing that rarely seems to be addressed is that there are different levels of Oracle DBAs, and I don't mean senior vs. junior. I've never worked with really large databases, and I've never worked where there was more than one DBA (me!). My databases are measured in gigabytes or tens of gigabytes, which means I've never encountered some of the problems of the big installs, nor have I worked with Enterprise Edition. So my level of knowledge is lower than many, and the intimidation factor in throwing out a question on some forums is great. In some cases, the answer is either along the lines of "why the %^*$ are you doing it that way?", or the person responding seems to assume a level of knowledge higher than what I have. This isn't always bad - I've learned lots by digging to comprehend what I've been told. But I just keep thinking I should know more than I do.

So - I guess, to bring this back to your original post, my suggestion would be to remember the little guys using SE.

Thursday, July 21, 2005 3:48:00 pm  
Blogger Lisa said...

I started in IT 3 years ago with
Fundamentals of Database Systems - by Ramez Elmasri, Shamkant B. Navathe

That book was the core text of the database modules on my degree course. A very helpful book indeed!

Thursday, July 21, 2005 4:05:00 pm  
Blogger Lisa said...

Dave said...another DBA in Newcastle - I thought we were a rare breed up here :-)

Not so much rare as unique and special I like to think!

Thursday, July 21, 2005 4:06:00 pm  
Blogger Lisa said...

Harry said...my suggestion would be to remember the little guys using SE.

Harry, I've just posted about my beginnings in Oracle. Your post has hit a crucial point, one I shall post about separately. I am in the same position as you, SE user, only DBA, small databases. That's why I'm doing this.
Check out a future post about the 'Little Guys!'

Thursday, July 21, 2005 4:10:00 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

UKOUG tends to be the only conference that really does include "newbie" presentations (i.e., things for newbies as opposed to presentations by newbies).

I tend to be good at teaching beginning stuff, so when I presented, that was what I concentrated on. And found quickly that I was not getting accepted to some of the larger US conferences.

Having been there during your first UKOUG conference (can you say "velcro baby"? :) ), I'm pleased to see how far you have spread your wings.

You go girl!

Thursday, July 21, 2005 7:44:00 pm  
Anonymous Dave said...

Lisa said
Not so much rare as unique and special I like to think!

I agree :-) im a very special case

Friday, July 22, 2005 12:35:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lisa, I'm curious, what effect do you think the IT degree has had? I ask because my background doesn't sound disimilar to yours. I left University in 1997, aged 20, with a humanities degree and zero computer skills. By October I had a temp job as an office admin. assistant and by 1999 I'd somehow ended up as a junior DBA. Six months later my boss resigned and I was given her job. That six months was the only time during my DBA career that I've had a mentor; that's why the forums and some (good) books have been so important to me (and why some bad books have set me back). I've often wondered to what extent an IT degree would have helped me. No regrets about my humanities though; I enjoyed every minute of it.

Friday, July 22, 2005 7:37:00 pm  
Blogger Lisa said...

Anonymous said...
Lisa, I'm curious, what effect do you think the IT degree has had?

I think the degree gave me the benefit of a more rounded knowledge of IT. The database elements of the course didn't cover any more than the DBA101 courses, athough it did go into more depth on the theory of relational databases.
Like most courses, I'm sure there'll be stuff I've learned that I'll never use again, but I've learned some great new skills in Business Analysis, programming, and development lifecycles that I probably wouldn't have learned otherwise.

The point that I will stress is the amount of time and effort required. Going back to school part time whilst holding down a full time job is not easy and at times it's not fun.
I found that I pretty much had to put the rest of my life on hold during term time.
But am I glad I did it?


Tuesday, July 26, 2005 11:31:00 am  
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Wednesday, August 02, 2006 8:13:00 pm  

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