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RE: My career path and Oracle?

From: Loughmiller, Greg <>
Date: Tue, 06 May 2003 11:39:16 -0800
Message-ID: <>

agreed... Been there.. There are a few caveats that make a difference.  


-----Original Message-----
Sent: Tuesday, May 06, 2003 2:27 PM
To: Multiple recipients of list ORACLE-L

>-To be perfectly honest I believe experienced Oracle DBA's will have a much
easier time picking up SQL Server than the reverse  

This is very true. I am speaking from experience on this one.  


-----Original Message-----
Sent: Tuesday, May 06, 2003 10:03 AM
To: Multiple recipients of list ORACLE-L

I am not a guru but I am an experienced Oracle DBA, dedicated Oracle DBA for the last 8 years with experience in data warehousing and VLDB. I have been equally concerned. I don't think your fears are unfounded.  

My shop is predominately a windows/SQL*Server shop and in the last few versions SQL Server has made a lot of progress plus you get the TCO (lower total cost of ownership) argument by SQL*Server DBA's. Of course, I can't help teasing them that what they are saying is that they aren't as critical since TCO for SQL * Server is so very very much lower. The issue is scalability with SQL Server. However, it is hard to prove when the line is crossed.  

TRUE SQL*SERVER/ORACLE PRICE PERFORMANCE COMPARISON: Also, in reality I don't think SQL Server is that much cheaper than Oracle when you consider the "options" you need from SQL Server. It isn't a completely apples to apples comparison because the costs of the database are blurred into the cost of the operating system, backup software, etc.  

It is also true that the opensource databases will be competitive in the smaller end of the market first. Not too many CIO's are going to want to take the risk of deploying large, mission-critical databases on open-source. They just don't get the warm and fuzzy. However, on CIO magazine's front-page which in my opinion is not radical but pretty mainstream the featured article was: "Opensource, what is your plan for migrating..." or some such thing. The basic concept being you must have a plan as a CIO for opensource to implement to save cost to your organization. It is not a matter of if you will or won't but when are you going to implement opensource. My basic take is that LInux for web application servers and Apache will be implemented first. However, realize that it is a matter of time before opensource databases are implemented.  

OVERSEAS LABOR MARKET:   India and other countries have invested a lot into their educational systems to make their labor market more competitive. Also, in the IT market there is little appreciation for experience from pointy-haired management or bean-counters. With both Microsoft and Oracle development teams moving overseas I think we will be seeing cheaper labor affecting the IT market in the United States - it already is. I would like to see the certification process be more demanding and relevant as a way to objectively separate experienced and technically-saavy versus not. I can only hope I would pass the test myself but feel that it would be worth the effort.  

DBA CAREER PATH IN THE FUTURE:   I am seriously thinking knowing more than one DBA engine is important. It gives you an edge. Also, knowing how to design systems, model databases and answer business needs is also important. Data Architect is simply going to become more important than DBA. Your ability to demonstrate that you can successfully deploy different types of databases using different database engines and even understanding and deploying systems on the web and understanding web application servers all will help. I am even seeing this at issue in state government in Florida. The real gurus who have established a name in teaching, presenting, writing will still have a market - especially overseas where these technologies are new. Also, you might see some of these overseas companies hiring one or two senior members to mentor and lead the largely unexperienced and cheaper data processing pools. I wrote a paper in college about multi-national corporations seeking out cheap labor, totally able to work outside any countries laws or boundaries. I am seeing some of that happening in the IT market. It reminds one of the Industrial Revolution and migration of industry to other countries with cheap labor. I see it in the quality of products (or lack of....).  

Those that have a lot invested in a particular RDBMS or skillset in all fairness will have the hardest time considering other options and perhaps they don't need to. The question is really about your ability to adapt, what skills you can leverage, your age, your level of expertise, etc. The young DBA guns in my organization and in other organizations seem to be getting into opensource a lot as a way to prove their worth even with lack of experience in saving money for the enterprise. Whether it really does is not even important - consider the audience.  

I am worried and have been implementing 9IAS and also taking the lead in implementing a SQL Server database and will probably get certified in that as well. To be perfectly honest I believe experienced Oracle DBA's will have a much easier time picking up SQL Server than the reverse. Simply because to operate Oracle properly you need to know a lot of internals. I am still looking for the knobs on SQL Server and don't think there really are any.  

I hope this wasn't too long. It has been on my mind for awhile now.  

Oracle OCP DBA

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Tuesday, May 06, 2003 9:22 AM
To: Multiple recipients of list ORACLE-L

Hello Gurus,

I've been wondering about something, at best this can be dangerous :-) Is anyone else been doing some serious career path evaluation?

I have been wondering seriously about the future of Oracle, I don't know if it is just my imagination but Oracle's market share seems to be dwindling rapidly, both on the small to medium enterprise but also in the high end enterprise scope. I think someone on this group mentioned the other day that Oracle's revenues and market share base was begin held up by existing customers, and was not experiencing any noteworthy growth in new customers.

Lets face it Oracle is pricing itself out of the market, DBs like MSSQL, MySQL and Postgresql are beginning to out price it BIG time. Many of these DBs are beginning to add features to their feature lists that equal Oracles.

Am I the only one who is wondering if re-skilling now while I can and still have a job, should be a serious consideration for this years career planning?

Please share your views. I would love to hear how some of you feel on this subject.

Denham Eva
Oracle DBA

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Author: Loughmiller, Greg

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Received on Tue May 06 2003 - 14:39:16 CDT

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