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Re: Anyone heard of this book or author?

From: Howard J. Rogers <>
Date: Wed, 9 Jun 2004 23:18:37 +1000
Message-ID: <40c70e16$0$31680$>

"Ed Stevens" <> wrote in message
> I am in the middle of a class on Oracle 9i Performance Tuning,
> conducted at a local university. Based on the promotion, both my
> manager and I thought it was the official Oracle course. However, on
> arrival, we find it being taught by an independant consultant, and not
> using Oracle education materials.

That's not actually necessarily a bad thing! The Oracle Performance Tuning course is the weakest they offer (it's not absolutely appalling or particularly awful, but it very much depends on who you get teaching it).

> (To make matters worse, the instructor had never seen the class
> materials before, and the Powerpoint presentation he was given was
> labeled as a beta version.)

Well, again: Beta doesn't necessarily mean dreadful. If I could pay to see a beta of some new Tom Kyte or Jonathan Lewis presentation, I probably would welcome the opportunity!

But an instructor that hasn't seen the course material before? I mean, we all have to teach our first course at some time, or do the first teach of new material. But one usually hopes that pre-delivery preparation time is spent in getting familiar with the material. Nevertheless, I've had 2nd releases of Oracle courseware sprung on me when I was expecting to teach from version 1. So occasionally there were 'Oh. Hang on a sec... Ah yes, I see what they're getting at...' and we're off again.

So even that is not necessarily fatal. Is he mumbling and stumbling his way through the unfamiliar? Or is he being a bit surprised at what's in the material, and then being quite confident about discussing it and its implications?

> The text for the class is a book call 'Oracle 9i Performance Tuning:
> Optimizing Database Productivity', by Hassan A. Afyouni. It is really
> more like a college text for a semester long course, not the kind of
> material one would use for a typical 5-day, 8-hour per day industry
> class. The material seems focused on v$ views and tuning by ratio.
> The author also has a web-site at

It's not a very good website, is it? No tips, no technical stuff, links back to the Oracle website, and a lot of browser errors. Still, even that doesn't mean he's a lousy trainer.

Presumably, you purchased a training course for the opportunity to see things demonstrated, or the chance to tackle the man directly on issues. I mean, you could go to any book store and purchase material that will push ratios and v$ at you (don't knock the v$ views, by the way). So what extra did you want from seeing a real live human being deliver material you could have read yourself at leisure? And then the question becomes, whatever it is that you were hoping for, are you getting it? Is he doing demos, is he justifying the use of ratios, is he answering questions with plausible-sounding answers backed up by quick demos and a bit of whiteboard work?

If not, ask for a refund (but one usually does that after half of day one, not 4/5ths of the way through.

> My question is, has anyone heard of this author? Know anything about
> his credentials?

Never heard of him, but that means absolutely nothing. Everybody's heard of, well, a certain well-known Oracle Expert, but even if he gave his tuning courses away with free $100 bills, I wouldn't let anyone I cared about attend.

What I'm saying to you is: OK, so maybe the material is ratio-based. Maybe it's not punchy 5-day stuff, and is lengthy reference material. Maybe he's a bit unfamiliar with the material. Maybe his website sucks. Maybe he isn't brilliantly familiar with this particular material. But is he confident? Is he answering questions? Is he demonstrating practical stuff? Are you enjoying the sense of learning new stuff? If he's doing those sorts of things, then I don't think his reputation or credentials or the quality of his web site's got anything to do with it. He's doing his best, and you're getting what people usually expect to get from an instructor.

If however, he's a-mumbling and a-bumbling as he takes you from one Powerpoint slide to the next, and never looks up, never takes a question, and never answers those that somehow get asked, then you've not got a very good instructor (but that can and does happen at official Oracle courses, too)... but you've left it a bit late in the week to suddenly discover that, and so I think it becomes merely caveat emptor.

How much did you pay, by the way?

HJR (Shameless plug: we'd do it better!!). Received on Wed Jun 09 2004 - 08:18:37 CDT

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