Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Lazy Newbies

Tom Kyte has had a good rant on his blog this morning.

He's seriously disappointed in the attitude of a Newbie that has approached him for help. I don't blame him, and I doubt anybody else will.

One of the points I have tried really hard to get across, through some earlier postings on my blog, and in my presentation, is that if you want other people to help you, you have to learn to help yourself first.

You can't demand that other people tell you step by step what to do, to me that is tantamount to asking them to do your job for you.
I've said all this, and more in my How to be a Good Newbie and Newbie Hints and tips posts.

I've even gone so far as to suggest the things you need to know, and what are the best ways of learning them.

In being a Newbie, the most important part of the learning process is to actually 'understand' what you are doing. Blindly following instructions, without fully understanding what you are doing and why you are doing it is just plain dangerous.

Read the concepts guide, read the backup and recovery manuals and try things out on a test system in order to make sure that you understand what you have learned.

It is attitudes like the person in Tom's post that give Newbies a bad name.

Being a Newbie DBA is a challenge in itself, please don't make it more difficult than it needs to be.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Starting with Oracle

I just read an interesting article on IT Toolbox Blogs about how to get started with an Oracle database career.

The article is not specific to DBA's, it applies to Developers too, in fact anybody that wants a career with Oracle databases.

At the moment it's very generalised, there are high level suggestions to read books and browse internet sites, without specific examples of which ones are good.

However, it's the first part in a series, so that kind of detail may come later, it will be interesting to see how it develops.

I posted a while back on what I thought Newbies needed to know and I still think that before you even attempt to log onto an Oracle database you have a good read of the concepts guide.

That is something that doesn't only apply to Oracle, if you want a career as a DBA or Developer then you need a good understanding of database concepts.

I received a phone call from a Newbie DBA friend of mine last week.
They were having difficulties as something had gone wrong with a test restore and they couldn't work out what the problem was.

To me, the problem was obvious, it also became clear to my friend when they suggested "I think the problem is that I don't fully understand what it is I'm trying to do".

We worked through the issue, and my final, polite suggestion was they now spend a couple of hours reading through the backup and recovery guide.

I know I found it really difficult at first, being told I was the new DBA and not really understanding what that meant or what I was supposed to do, but I found I was able to learn more quickly and understand how thing worked more easily once I had a good grasp of the concepts.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Over 10,000 hits on the blog now!

10,034 to be exact.

However, most of them are as a result of the Thomas Kyte effect.

Friday, January 06, 2006

I'm back.

Well sort of.

I received a mail from Tom Kyte this morning, reminding me that I haven't posted in a while, or rather he pointed out that I had taken an entire month off!
I am still around, but there have been a few personal and PC related issues recently.

It's probably also fair to point out that in my time zone, there is a maximum of 24 hours per day. This seems to contrast greatly with Tom's timezone where he somehow manages to cram at least 60 hours into each day. :-)

Seriously, I will be back to my normal blogging self early next week.

In the meantime, I'd like to wish everybody all the best for 2006.