Re: training for new DBA's

From: Stéphane Faroult <>
Date: Sat, 01 Feb 2014 11:17:36 +0100
Message-ID: <>

On 02/01/2014 12:11 AM, Jeff C wrote:
> We are looking at training a new DBA from scratch (hiring from within)
> and I am looking for any opinions on where/how/what to train this
> person on. I was thinking of starting with just basic SQL and
> relational database design then onto some pl/sql. After that move on
> to dba stuff.
> Is there any good free or cheap places to get this kind of training?
> And how would you test a very beginner candidate to know if they would
> be a good fit for this position. Any questions or tests I good give
> them? What would you look for?
> This is new to me as I have been mainly the lone dba for years and
> also trained on the job.
> Thanks for any input.
> Jeff


    For basic SQL I have created a sandbox where people can practice -; it's free, no registration required (registration on this site is for profs only). I've been using it in class for students to whom I am teaching SQL. You have tables, data (film database) and there are even a few exercises with (sometimes) solutions. It's not perfect (support of analytical functions is a bit wobbly, I simulate them over SQLite), but you can create and drop your own tables and run all the DML you want, which is rarely the case with web-based SQL sandboxes (and if you mess everything up, just close your browser and open a new session). It doesn't support commit and rollback, as it's web based (although I have ideas about how to do it). More worrying for training a DBA, you haven't access to a data dictionary (DBA_... tables), but I'm thinking about adding this one day (just not enough time). Oh yes, and the book that goes with the site is also very good for learning SQL ;-).
  Another web-based site that is worth mentioning is Gordon Russell's, which is the best among what I see as "competition". If I really like w3schools for everything that is HTML and CSS, their SQL part is very weak (OK, my standards may not be everybody's).

For design issues, you can redirect your trainee to Steven Feuerstein's site, which, in spite of the name, isn't only PL/SQL (which you also mention). Chris Saxon has created a few design quizzes (which by the way can help you filtering candidates - another good way to do it is to check DBA forums, find a question that you find interesting and submit it to your candidates. These days, whenever I give an exam to students, half the questions come from forums. It's a good way to find out what people have trouble to get).

    For DBA stuff proper I have posted a few videos on Youtube that, I hope, will at least explain the basics of Oracle: (two hours in all). I've tried to explain concepts more than "how to". For "how to" stuff, there are any videos on Youtube.

Hope that helps,

Stéphane Faroult
RoughSea Ltd <>
Konagora <>
RoughSea Channel on Youtube <>
Author, SQL Success
The Art of SQL
Refactoring SQL Applications

Received on Sat Feb 01 2014 - 11:17:36 CET

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