Re: Tom Kyte a false idol?

From: joel garry <>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 09:06:59 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <>

On Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at 8:33:49 AM UTC-8, wrote:
> I just found this thread while trawling around looking for something and actually Geomancer, I agree with you.
> I find it extremely irritating how the self appointed select few come across as being better than the rest of us, but are they really? It may seem that way because they have a public platform from which to demonstrate their alleged superiority. However, there's nothing wrong with being a capable, smart, hard working Oracle pro, just going about your business quietly and efficiently without shouting from the mountain tops every 5 minutes about how brilliant you think you are. The sheeple who buy into this are even worse IMO. Some people just continue to gorge on the Oracle Kool-Aid and some don't. Personally, I don't and I don't think TK is some kind of Oracle messiah either. 3 reasons:
> 1. I've been to some of his so called presentations and he came across as having the personality of a rock. I was unimpressed. This is also true of some of the high profile authors who the sheeple also admire and adore.
> 2. A couple of years ago he agreed to participate in a 'performance tuning US tour' where the participants were billed as "performance rock stars". Seriously? I've been an Oracle DBA for 20+ years, do not consider myself an "expert" in any way and just try to do my best and be the best DBA I can be in my daily work. If I'd been approached with this gig, my response would have been, "No. That's extremely embarrassing and comes across as being unbelievably arrogant. Bad idea. Try again". TK and two of his buddies signed up and off they went on their jolly around the US. I didn't attend.
> 3. From time to time I have scanned TK's AskTom thing and I find many of his answers to be quite rude and condescending. That said, much of what I've seen is posted by people who very obviously have not read the documentation or even tried to figure it out for themselves. I'm sure TK gets frustrated with this and some of his replies reflect that. However, the sheeple's lazy incompetence is what fuels the ego and status of people like TK.
> I reserve an ounce of respect for TK on the basis I read somewhere that although he comes across as all knowing in his AskTom blog thing, he never makes any mention of how long it took him (or others) to arrive at a complete, correct and definitive answer. Fair enough.
> Bottom line, the Oracle world just like many walks of life, will always attract some who will seek to raise their profile because they want to be seen as leaders, the cream-of-the-crop, the A-Listers, whatever you want to call them. Equally there will be a section of the peasant class who'll hang on their every word and defend them to the death (ala the replies to Geomancer's 'heretical' post). I have little time for either group and prefer to be my own 'expert' (for want of a better word).
> Just don't get me started on the elitist Oak Table crowd of the annual 'love-in' known as Open World. ;-)
> Peace out,
> Steve.

You do realize this thread is a dozen years old?

I would add, before this thread I had seen him sitting on a hallway floor at a conference, cranking out answers to asktom.

I've also met him personally in the distant past, again at conferences, and he is direct and personable. I think what people perceive as rudeness is simply the old-skool hardcore programmer ethic, where your worth is judged on your technical prowess. Also, he has said (again, this is long ago) he enjoys going into meetings with skeptical devs (imagine a pre-sales government group with a bias towards MS) and explaining all their technical objections. You really, really have to know your stuff to do that, people will rip you to shreds if you don't.

Now, maybe things have changed, it's been a while since I've gone to a big conference. After one too many top-ten lists, they all started to sound the same. But that's just me, I still encourage most anyone to go to these large conferences, meet these people, and learn lots of stuff. You don't have to drink the kool-aid, most of the top people appreciate a good technical deconstruction.

Look on twitter - yes, these people tend to be one big love-fest, but again, if you have a viable criticism, most will appreciate the chance to either learn something or explain it.

And that's why I've always been a big Tom fan - we doesn't just say it, he gives reproducible demos, where you can try it yourself, and mod it if you think something is wrong, so we can all learn. Same with Richard Foote and plenty of others.

That's the magic.

I'm with you on some of the Oakies, having borne the brunt of some unfair abuse, but most of them are actually worthy of the title. We're all people, with all the cliquishness and other failings that implies.

I can understand being put off by Oracle's marketeering - I feel that way myself. But then again, it can be fun to immerse in the silliness, if only for the chance to get up close to Berlin or whomever.

The "Public Platform" argument is pretty hollow these days. Anyone can blog, tweet, make themselves into the Foole if they want. Pretty much the only limitation is spending enough time working so you don't get fired.


-- is bogus.
If you want some interesting non-Kool-Aid, check out Kevin Closson's tweets.
Received on Tue Mar 03 2015 - 18:06:59 CET

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