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Re: Newbies welcome, or not?

From: Daniel Fink <Daniel.Fink_at_Sun.COM>
Date: Mon, 28 Jun 2004 12:58:07 -0600
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I, for one, welcome newbies (I find that I learn a great deal from them). To be honest, certain members are blocked because their questions are easily answered in the doc or other sites and I think a little RTFM is appropriate before asking a question. Then again (as I am finding out with dbms_metadata), the documentation is not always as clear to one person as another. The way the Oracle doc is written makes it difficult for me to solve problems by just reading it (I learn by example, not an exhaustive rail diagram).

At one time, we all (even the Goddess herself) were newbies, puzzled by the 'simplest' of problems. I am sure that the esteemed gurus on the list have their fair share of self-deprecating stories. (Now, there's a book!). Within 4 weeks of my first Oracle DBA job (as a lowly junior), I was the only DBA in a 24x7 shop and the Unix admin to boot. I had never worked on Unix and my only backup was the Windows Network Help Desk technician. We both survived until the real Admin returned from a 6 week overseas vacation (but just barely!). If someone had said, 'You solve this with cd /;rm -r', we might have done so...but we were both 'scared' enough that we did not do anything that we *absolutely* did not have to do..then we usually placed a service call to HP! During the tech boom (at least here in the states), companies needed warm bodies to fill seats. Consequently, your sys admin may have been a philosophy major at Local U. and has never taken a computer class.

Let's also consider the language issue. As Rachel can tell, comments/humor does not always translate between languages (or even cultures speaking the same language). Since most of the posts are in English, I would venture to say that a sizable number (probably a majority) of list members are reading these posts in their non-native language. Does Oracle publish documentation sets in languages other than English? If not, I can imagine how difficult RTFM can be for some.

The list is a public forum and each of us has a responsibility to contribute in an appropriate manner. I have seen some of the posts to CDOS and I am personally disgusted by them. If oracle-l begins to resemble CDOS, I will say goodbye (please keep the cheering to a dull roar). I joined this list to learn and to make a positive contribution to the oracle community. I'll admit to making negative posts in the past, but recent events have made it very clear that this and other public forums require careful thought in posting. If you want to add in a little humor, I see no problem with that. When in doubt, make it *very* clear that you are not being serious.

Daniel Fink

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Received on Mon Jun 28 2004 - 13:55:21 CDT

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