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RE: Non Oracle knowledge to be a good Oracle DBA/expert

From: Kerber, Andrew W. <>
Date: Mon, 9 Apr 2007 08:17:21 -0500
Message-ID: <>

I'll second what was said here, especially about the Java. I came up in database programming, I never really became more than familiar with C, but I can still get along with C programs just fine. A DBA doesn't really have to be a programmer, but he needs to be able to follow what a program is doing. In my experience, DBA's generally come up in either programming or systems, I would be very leery of hiring someone fresh out of college as a DBA.

I really need to take a java course also, but finding the time is always the problem.

-----Original Message-----

[] On Behalf Of Bobak, Mark Sent: Monday, April 09, 2007 8:00 AM
To:; Subject: RE: Non Oracle knowledge to be a good Oracle DBA/expert

Hi Orlando,  

First, I don't think I'm a "Guru", but I'll give this a shot.  

This is a difficult question to answer, because noone can know everything, and picking and choosing specific topics is really impossible.  

In general, I think a DBA who "came up through the ranks", so to speak, starting out as a developer, has an advantage over someone who came out of school and went straight to DBA work. (But I'm probably biased on that point, cause that's how I did it.)  

I think you need a strong understanding of the O/S your database runs on. Oracle relies on the O/S to interface with the hardware, so, understanding how it works, particularly under stress, can be important. For example, if you're involved in a performance tuning problem, and you have a database server that also services non-database load, the first thing you have to determine is, is the bottleneck inside or outside of Oracle? Without at least some knowledge of the O/S and how to monitor it, what to look for, this is going to be difficult to answer.  

As far as languages go, well, I was a C programmer before I was a DBA. Does it help? Sure. Is it critical to my work as a DBA? Not usually. Again, it depends on the situation. If your shop does a lot of C coding, and as a DBA, you're involved in lots of code reviews, then knowing some knowledge of C is going to help. Same thing with Java, or any other language. One area that I've been feeling a gap in knowledge is Java. I never learned it. We are getting more and more Java introduced. I feel like I need to at least take a basic Java class, to get a better understanding. Sigh, maybe someday......  

Hope that helps,  


From: on behalf of Orlando L Sent: Mon 4/9/2007 12:14 AM
Subject: Non Oracle knowledge to be a good Oracle DBA/expert


We all hear about Oracle books and manuals that we should read. What about non Oracle things we need to know to be a DBA? For eg couple of days ago David Litchfield posted a link to an Oracle paper on log buffer internals. The paper had lots of C code in it. Do I have to learn C to become a good DBA? What is the best place to start?     



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-- Received on Mon Apr 09 2007 - 08:17:21 CDT

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