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Re: Getting Experience with Oracle

From: Niall Litchfield <>
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 2004 20:50:48 -0000
Message-ID: <41a25122$0$2867$>

"Sam Whetstron" <> wrote in message
> Hi All,
> Please accept my apologies if this is off-topic (*1).

Not at all, though you will find the same group of folks tend to read both groups.

> Basically, I am interested in gaining experience with Oracle in order
> to improve my career prospects.
> Obviously, Oracle isn't freely downloadable, and if it was, I strongly
> suspect that it would be a major PITA for someone with little
> practical experience to install and administer.

As others have pointed out Oracle (in fact all of the products except, obviously, the ERP app suite) are freely downloadable.

> Bearing this in mind, I'd be interested in hearing how contributors to
> these groups ( and
> gained experience with Oracle; in
> particular, those who came to it in the past five or so years, and
> those who work with Java/J2EE.

Rather to my surprise its closer to ten years than 5 since I started with Oracle, but I'll offer some thoughts anyway.

I got started through supporting financial apps that ran on Oracle, there are a fair few folk who got started doing support in a similar way. The other common route in is through being asked to develop stuff against Oracle, the smart people try to figure out how to use Oracle well, the not so smart people view all databases as a black box data store for application data. There are less smart people than foolish people and sadly the ratio is not improving. Either way most folks seem to fall into it via one of these 2 routes (support or development), the other thing that maybe a route in is being knowledgable about some other Enterprise class database (as of today I'd say that was DB2,MSSQL, and arguably, mySQL) and being asked to 'look after' an Oracle system as well - this corresponds to the class of Job ad that says "DB2 administrator required, Oracle an advantage" or similar.

Folk that I respect all seem to have the following traits in common (and I suggest that they are worth cultivating though obviously I would say that wouldn't I)

  1. They experiment and test themselves - they'll likely have Oracle installed on their work PC and probably at least one home PC as well, just for playing with.
  2. They may advocate Oracle, but they recognize and appreciate other technologies as well.
  3. They contribute constructively to discussions they are involved in.
  4. They show what has led them to say what they say. Someone who says Oracle runs 50% faster on Linux than Windows on the same hardware doesn't fall into this category, if they say this test ran in 60 seconds on my windows box, but just 30 on my identical linux box does.

> Any response would be appreciated (*2). Thanks!

There is a response to your question, edited for HTML by me but authored by Howard Rogers ( , about 2/3 the way down this page of mine

Niall Litchfield
Oracle DBA
Received on Mon Nov 22 2004 - 14:50:48 CST

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