Discussion:
dba mentor
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Jeff Chirco
2018-08-21 19:51:17 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Did any of you have a mentor to help you along your DBA career path?
Someone to coach you on what is right/wrong, offer advice for various
projects, etc
 I was the first DBA for my company and never had someone to
go to for advice and such. I learned completely on the job besides going
to some classes at the beginning and a couple conferences recently. And
then some consultants over the years. I’ve always reported to a
Programming manager, and they understand some of the job but not everything
that needs to be done. Although I have been a DBA for over 10 years I feel
there is still a ton for me to learn and be better at. I was alone for many
years and did a lot of database development in addition to DBA duties. Kind
of a jack of all trades expert at none. I am a lead now, we have one other
DBA and maybe a third in the near future, but I know I can be a better
leader and hope to advance that further.

Did any of you have some kind of mentor during your career? For most of
you it probably was someone inside the company but what about outside? How
did you find this person and was it helpful? What did they do for you?

Another other details or advice?


Thanks,
Kellyn Pot'Vin-Gorman
2018-08-21 20:12:31 UTC
Reply
Permalink
I believe the amount of mentors I was offered in my career and the
difference it made is the reason I reach out so often to those around me in
the communities to mentor now. I started out as a jr. DBA with no
experience and after the first 9 months was quite frustrated with the
lacking leadership and training. As a consultant was having similar
difficulties, Tim Gorman was brought in to try to smooth things over.
After observing him the first day, I thought- "This is how a DBA should
act and INTERACT." I was incredibly impressed and this verified the way I
was approaching users and other technologists was inline with those who
were successful in the database industry. Tim mentioned to my manager that
I was naturally far beyond the other DBAs in learning RMAN and that it was
a shame I was considering leaving for project management. My manager took
the hint and brought me back into the DBA group, which was great for me and
years later, great for Tim, as almost a decade later, we were both divorced
and he moved from mentor to partner in life.

Alex Gorbachev, Cary Millsap, Mary Melgaard, Karen Morton, Gwen Shapira and
so many others have made a difference in my career. I think the biggest
myth about mentoring is that its a formal relationship with some type of
agreement. Mentors are those that not only help you find your path, and
especially for women in tech, sponsor them in opportunities to grow in the
industry. Locating mentors requires reaching out into the community- go
to local conferences, networking, become part of forums just like Oracle-l
and connect on various platforms. Ask and ye shall receive.


[image: Kellyn Pot'Vin on about.me]

*Kellyn Pot'Vin-Gorman*
DBAKevlar Blog <http://dbakevlar.com>
President Denver SQL Server User Group <http://denversql.org/>
about.me/dbakevlar
Post by Jeff Chirco
Did any of you have a mentor to help you along your DBA career path?
Someone to coach you on what is right/wrong, offer advice for various
projects, etc
 I was the first DBA for my company and never had someone to
go to for advice and such. I learned completely on the job besides going
to some classes at the beginning and a couple conferences recently. And
then some consultants over the years. I’ve always reported to a
Programming manager, and they understand some of the job but not everything
that needs to be done. Although I have been a DBA for over 10 years I feel
there is still a ton for me to learn and be better at. I was alone for many
years and did a lot of database development in addition to DBA duties. Kind
of a jack of all trades expert at none. I am a lead now, we have one other
DBA and maybe a third in the near future, but I know I can be a better
leader and hope to advance that further.
Did any of you have some kind of mentor during your career? For most of
you it probably was someone inside the company but what about outside? How
did you find this person and was it helpful? What did they do for you?
Another other details or advice?
Thanks,
Sheehan, Jeremy
2018-08-22 13:33:05 UTC
Reply
Permalink
I went from Super PC Technician to Junior DBA at my previous company. I had a mentor for about 6 months then he jumped ship at the first sign of trouble in the company. That left me to fend for myself for about 2 years. I learned a little from him, but most of what I learned I had to learn myself. Fortunately, I moved companies and was placed on a team where I had a number of people that I could ask questions, but never got any real kind of mentoring. I’ve got 10+ years of experience now, but still feel kind of shaky on certain topics.

Thanks,

Jeremy


From: oracle-l-***@freelists.org <oracle-l-***@freelists.org> On Behalf Of Jeff Chirco
Sent: Tuesday, August 21, 2018 3:51 PM
To: oracle-l-freelist <oracle-***@freelists.org>
Subject: dba mentor

CAUTION - EXTERNAL EMAIL


Did any of you have a mentor to help you along your DBA career path? Someone to coach you on what is right/wrong, offer advice for various projects, etc
 I was the first DBA for my company and never had someone to go to for advice and such. I learned completely on the job besides going to some classes at the beginning and a couple conferences recently. And then some consultants over the years. I’ve always reported to a Programming manager, and they understand some of the job but not everything that needs to be done. Although I have been a DBA for over 10 years I feel there is still a ton for me to learn and be better at. I was alone for many years and did a lot of database development in addition to DBA duties. Kind of a jack of all trades expert at none. I am a lead now, we have one other DBA and maybe a third in the near future, but I know I can be a better leader and hope to advance that further.
Did any of you have some kind of mentor during your career? For most of you it probably was someone inside the company but what about outside? How did you find this person and was it helpful? What did they do for you?
Another other details or advice?

Thanks,
Tim Gorman
2018-08-22 14:33:42 UTC
Reply
Permalink
I was a PRO*C/OCI, PL/SQL, and SQL developer (i.e. SQL*Forms, etc)
working for Oracle consulting when my customer fired their entire IT
department in one day.  This all happened immediately after the events
chronicled in my chapter in "Tales Of The Oak Table:  Oracle Insights
<https://www.amazon.com/Oracle-Insights-Tales-Oak-Table/dp/1590593871>",
which is reprinted (with permission from Apress) online HERE
<https://www.red-gate.com/simple-talk/opinion/opinion-pieces/bad-carma/>.

I was moved into the role of DBA, and that very first day, the
production database started crashing, and I brought it back up twice. 
The third time it crashed, it stayed down because of media failure.  I
had to call Iron Mountain to retrieve the backup tapes, and when they
returned the lockboxes, nobody could find the key, so I had to jimmy the
boxes open with a hammer and screwdriver.  We restored production, but
were unable to roll forward to the point-in-time of failure due to a
missing archived log file.  After production was back up and running, we
ran out of space and I discovered that we were almost completely out of
disk, so I unmirrored all of the raw logical volumes underlying the
index tablespaces in order to create new logical volumes, mirrored to
table tablespaces and unmirrored for index tablespaces.  Then I went
home to sleep.  I was the DBA for 10 months until the company completed
the process of migrating their mission-critical application from the
custom-built Oracle-based application (i.e. VISION from the book
chapter) to a much-older RMS-based VT100 application on VMS.  At one
point, the previous DBA returned to visit colleagues, and when he heard
that I had brought the database back online 3 times my first day, ending
with an incomplete recovery, he called me an idiot because "he should
have left it down after the first crash and gotten those disks fixed",
an assessment with which I cannot argue.  As an Oracle employee, I had
the resources of my colleagues and the company, including an internal
email list called HELPKERN.  I met people on HELPKERN with whom I am
still in contact today, and it was because of HELPKERN that I joined
ORACLE-L when I left Oracle in 1998.

The collective expertise on HELPKERN and then ORACLE-L has been my mentor.
Post by Sheehan, Jeremy
I went from Super PC Technician to Junior DBA at my previous company.
I had a mentor for about 6 months then he jumped ship at the first
sign of trouble in the company. That left me to fend for myself for
about 2 years. I learned a little from him, but most of what I learned
I had to learn myself. Fortunately, I moved companies and was placed
on a team where I had a number of people that I could ask questions,
but never got any real kind of mentoring. I’ve got 10+ years of
experience now, but still feel kind of shaky on certain topics.
Thanks,
Jeremy
*On Behalf Of *Jeff Chirco
*Sent:* Tuesday, August 21, 2018 3:51 PM
*Subject:* dba mentor
CAUTION - EXTERNAL EMAIL
Did any of you have a mentor to help you along your DBA career path?
Someone to coach you on what is right/wrong, offer advice for various
projects, etc
  I was the first DBA for my company and never had
someone to go to for advice and such.  I learned completely on the job
besides going to some classes at the beginning and a couple
conferences recently.  And then some consultants over the years.  I’ve
always reported to a Programming manager, and they understand some of
the job but not everything that needs to be done.  Although I have
been a DBA for over 10 years I feel there is still a ton for me to
learn and be better at. I was alone for many years and did a lot of
database development in addition to DBA duties. Kind of a jack of all
trades expert at none. I am a lead now, we have one other DBA and
maybe a third in the near future, but I know I can be a better leader
and hope to advance that further.
Did any of you have some kind of mentor during your career? For most
of you it probably was someone inside the company but what about
outside?  How did you find this person and was it helpful?  What did
they do for you?
Another other details or advice?
Thanks,
Chris Taylor
2018-08-22 15:47:17 UTC
Reply
Permalink
I'll chime in here as well.

Ask TONS of questions. Always be asking questions. Oracle-L is a god-send
in some ways because it's fairly tight-knit and respectful of others - even
if the questions seem "simple". If you have a question ask it. Or send
someone an email off list asking follow-up questions about something you're
interested in being discussed if you don't feel comfortable replying to the
whole list.

I think the fact you're on Oracle-L shows an immense level of capability by
just being involved here. Below are some recommendations and places where
I go for 'mentoring' today:

- Oracle-L
- Reddit
- Twitter (individuals and then read subjects they write about if they blog)
- Youtube (to some degree - hit or miss)
- Oracle Communities (RARELY use because it can be toxic)
- GOOGLE (lots of Google)
- DBI Blogs (Franck Pachot though he recently left DBI I believe)
- Community DBAs (if you're near a local user group: check here:
https://community.oracle.com/community/usergroups and
http://www.ioug.org/rugs)
- Goto Conferences (specifically IOUG, RMOUG and other USER group
conferences in place of OpenWorld etc)

Chris
I was a PRO*C/OCI, PL/SQL, and SQL developer (i.e. SQL*Forms, etc) working
for Oracle consulting when my customer fired their entire IT department in
one day. This all happened immediately after the events chronicled in my
chapter in "Tales Of The Oak Table: Oracle Insights
<https://www.amazon.com/Oracle-Insights-Tales-Oak-Table/dp/1590593871>",
which is reprinted (with permission from Apress) online HERE
<https://www.red-gate.com/simple-talk/opinion/opinion-pieces/bad-carma/>.
I was moved into the role of DBA, and that very first day, the production
database started crashing, and I brought it back up twice. The third time
it crashed, it stayed down because of media failure. I had to call Iron
Mountain to retrieve the backup tapes, and when they returned the
lockboxes, nobody could find the key, so I had to jimmy the boxes open with
a hammer and screwdriver. We restored production, but were unable to roll
forward to the point-in-time of failure due to a missing archived log
file. After production was back up and running, we ran out of space and I
discovered that we were almost completely out of disk, so I unmirrored all
of the raw logical volumes underlying the index tablespaces in order to
create new logical volumes, mirrored to table tablespaces and unmirrored
for index tablespaces. Then I went home to sleep. I was the DBA for 10
months until the company completed the process of migrating their
mission-critical application from the custom-built Oracle-based application
(i.e. VISION from the book chapter) to a much-older RMS-based VT100
application on VMS. At one point, the previous DBA returned to visit
colleagues, and when he heard that I had brought the database back online 3
times my first day, ending with an incomplete recovery, he called me an
idiot because "he should have left it down after the first crash and gotten
those disks fixed", an assessment with which I cannot argue. As an Oracle
employee, I had the resources of my colleagues and the company, including
an internal email list called HELPKERN. I met people on HELPKERN with whom
I am still in contact today, and it was because of HELPKERN that I joined
ORACLE-L when I left Oracle in 1998.
The collective expertise on HELPKERN and then ORACLE-L has been my mentor.
I went from Super PC Technician to Junior DBA at my previous company. I
had a mentor for about 6 months then he jumped ship at the first sign of
trouble in the company. That left me to fend for myself for about 2 years.
I learned a little from him, but most of what I learned I had to learn
myself. Fortunately, I moved companies and was placed on a team where I had
a number of people that I could ask questions, but never got any real kind
of mentoring. I’ve got 10+ years of experience now, but still feel kind of
shaky on certain topics.
Thanks,
Jeremy
*Sent:* Tuesday, August 21, 2018 3:51 PM
*Subject:* dba mentor
CAUTION - EXTERNAL EMAIL
Did any of you have a mentor to help you along your DBA career path?
Someone to coach you on what is right/wrong, offer advice for various
projects, etc
 I was the first DBA for my company and never had someone to
go to for advice and such. I learned completely on the job besides going
to some classes at the beginning and a couple conferences recently. And
then some consultants over the years. I’ve always reported to a
Programming manager, and they understand some of the job but not everything
that needs to be done. Although I have been a DBA for over 10 years I feel
there is still a ton for me to learn and be better at. I was alone for many
years and did a lot of database development in addition to DBA duties. Kind
of a jack of all trades expert at none. I am a lead now, we have one other
DBA and maybe a third in the near future, but I know I can be a better
leader and hope to advance that further.
Did any of you have some kind of mentor during your career? For most of
you it probably was someone inside the company but what about outside? How
did you find this person and was it helpful? What did they do for you?
Another other details or advice?
Thanks,
Jeff Chirco
2018-08-22 16:07:36 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Thanks everyone for their responses. Oracle-L has been valuable, I read a
lot on here and post only occasionally. I will try to post more. Chris I
agree with your list. Twitter has been great to follow certain people in
the community and finding their blogs or others that they retweet about.
I've been to Collaborate a few times but sometimes that is just too big.
Local conferences and Oracle users groups have disappeared in Southern
California unfortunately.
Seems like it might be common for DBA's to be thrown in with no one to look
up to for help. Sounds like I just need to more of what I am doing and ask
more questions.

On Wed, Aug 22, 2018 at 8:49 AM Chris Taylor <
Post by Chris Taylor
I'll chime in here as well.
Ask TONS of questions. Always be asking questions. Oracle-L is a
god-send in some ways because it's fairly tight-knit and respectful of
others - even if the questions seem "simple". If you have a question ask
it. Or send someone an email off list asking follow-up questions about
something you're interested in being discussed if you don't feel
comfortable replying to the whole list.
I think the fact you're on Oracle-L shows an immense level of capability
by just being involved here. Below are some recommendations and places
- Oracle-L
- Reddit
- Twitter (individuals and then read subjects they write about if they blog)
- Youtube (to some degree - hit or miss)
- Oracle Communities (RARELY use because it can be toxic)
- GOOGLE (lots of Google)
- DBI Blogs (Franck Pachot though he recently left DBI I believe)
https://community.oracle.com/community/usergroups and
http://www.ioug.org/rugs)
- Goto Conferences (specifically IOUG, RMOUG and other USER group
conferences in place of OpenWorld etc)
Chris
Post by Tim Gorman
I was a PRO*C/OCI, PL/SQL, and SQL developer (i.e. SQL*Forms, etc)
working for Oracle consulting when my customer fired their entire IT
department in one day. This all happened immediately after the events
chronicled in my chapter in "Tales Of The Oak Table: Oracle Insights
<https://www.amazon.com/Oracle-Insights-Tales-Oak-Table/dp/1590593871>",
which is reprinted (with permission from Apress) online HERE
<https://www.red-gate.com/simple-talk/opinion/opinion-pieces/bad-carma/>.
I was moved into the role of DBA, and that very first day, the production
database started crashing, and I brought it back up twice. The third time
it crashed, it stayed down because of media failure. I had to call Iron
Mountain to retrieve the backup tapes, and when they returned the
lockboxes, nobody could find the key, so I had to jimmy the boxes open with
a hammer and screwdriver. We restored production, but were unable to roll
forward to the point-in-time of failure due to a missing archived log
file. After production was back up and running, we ran out of space and I
discovered that we were almost completely out of disk, so I unmirrored all
of the raw logical volumes underlying the index tablespaces in order to
create new logical volumes, mirrored to table tablespaces and unmirrored
for index tablespaces. Then I went home to sleep. I was the DBA for 10
months until the company completed the process of migrating their
mission-critical application from the custom-built Oracle-based application
(i.e. VISION from the book chapter) to a much-older RMS-based VT100
application on VMS. At one point, the previous DBA returned to visit
colleagues, and when he heard that I had brought the database back online 3
times my first day, ending with an incomplete recovery, he called me an
idiot because "he should have left it down after the first crash and gotten
those disks fixed", an assessment with which I cannot argue. As an Oracle
employee, I had the resources of my colleagues and the company, including
an internal email list called HELPKERN. I met people on HELPKERN with whom
I am still in contact today, and it was because of HELPKERN that I joined
ORACLE-L when I left Oracle in 1998.
The collective expertise on HELPKERN and then ORACLE-L has been my mentor.
I went from Super PC Technician to Junior DBA at my previous company. I
had a mentor for about 6 months then he jumped ship at the first sign of
trouble in the company. That left me to fend for myself for about 2 years.
I learned a little from him, but most of what I learned I had to learn
myself. Fortunately, I moved companies and was placed on a team where I had
a number of people that I could ask questions, but never got any real kind
of mentoring. I’ve got 10+ years of experience now, but still feel kind of
shaky on certain topics.
Thanks,
Jeremy
*Sent:* Tuesday, August 21, 2018 3:51 PM
*Subject:* dba mentor
CAUTION - EXTERNAL EMAIL
Did any of you have a mentor to help you along your DBA career path?
Someone to coach you on what is right/wrong, offer advice for various
projects, etc
 I was the first DBA for my company and never had someone to
go to for advice and such. I learned completely on the job besides going
to some classes at the beginning and a couple conferences recently. And
then some consultants over the years. I’ve always reported to a
Programming manager, and they understand some of the job but not everything
that needs to be done. Although I have been a DBA for over 10 years I feel
there is still a ton for me to learn and be better at. I was alone for many
years and did a lot of database development in addition to DBA duties. Kind
of a jack of all trades expert at none. I am a lead now, we have one other
DBA and maybe a third in the near future, but I know I can be a better
leader and hope to advance that further.
Did any of you have some kind of mentor during your career? For most of
you it probably was someone inside the company but what about outside? How
did you find this person and was it helpful? What did they do for you?
Another other details or advice?
Thanks,
Chris Taylor
2018-08-22 16:39:41 UTC
Reply
Permalink
I will say this:

If you goal is something along the lines of: "I want to be an expert in
the Oracle database world" (where expert means knowing more than 90% of
most DBAS)

Then don't stay in company "too long". That is, if your company isn't
constantly running new versions of Oracle, doing new things with Oracle,
then find a new job, a new gig with a new company. My longest stint has
been 6 years with a company and it was almost a mistake as I had gotten
behind/stale.

Since then these are the things I've learned by moving around (newest
experience first):

- Exadata Cloud at Customer (newbie)
- Oracle GoldenGate (intermediate - was 0 before this company)
- 12c (12c RAC, multi-tenant,other new features/capabilities - was 0 before
this company)
- Dataguard interface cli (was 0)
- OEM 13C
- OEM 12c (and emcli - fantastic tool)
- 11g RAC
- 11g new features/capabilities
- 10g RAC
- 10g new features/capabilities
etc

If you're not "married" to your current company and skills matter, then
seriously consider changing companies regularly. Of course, if upward
mobility is more important, then you stay. All depends on your vision for
your future and whether you want to be highly technical focused, or more
managerial/lead.

Chris
Post by Jeff Chirco
Thanks everyone for their responses. Oracle-L has been valuable, I read a
lot on here and post only occasionally. I will try to post more. Chris I
agree with your list. Twitter has been great to follow certain people in
the community and finding their blogs or others that they retweet about.
I've been to Collaborate a few times but sometimes that is just too big.
Local conferences and Oracle users groups have disappeared in Southern
California unfortunately.
Seems like it might be common for DBA's to be thrown in with no one to
look up to for help. Sounds like I just need to more of what I am doing and
ask more questions.
On Wed, Aug 22, 2018 at 8:49 AM Chris Taylor <
Post by Chris Taylor
I'll chime in here as well.
Ask TONS of questions. Always be asking questions. Oracle-L is a
god-send in some ways because it's fairly tight-knit and respectful of
others - even if the questions seem "simple". If you have a question ask
it. Or send someone an email off list asking follow-up questions about
something you're interested in being discussed if you don't feel
comfortable replying to the whole list.
I think the fact you're on Oracle-L shows an immense level of capability
by just being involved here. Below are some recommendations and places
- Oracle-L
- Reddit
- Twitter (individuals and then read subjects they write about if they blog)
- Youtube (to some degree - hit or miss)
- Oracle Communities (RARELY use because it can be toxic)
- GOOGLE (lots of Google)
- DBI Blogs (Franck Pachot though he recently left DBI I believe)
https://community.oracle.com/community/usergroups and
http://www.ioug.org/rugs)
- Goto Conferences (specifically IOUG, RMOUG and other USER group
conferences in place of OpenWorld etc)
Chris
Post by Tim Gorman
I was a PRO*C/OCI, PL/SQL, and SQL developer (i.e. SQL*Forms, etc)
working for Oracle consulting when my customer fired their entire IT
department in one day. This all happened immediately after the events
chronicled in my chapter in "Tales Of The Oak Table: Oracle Insights
<https://www.amazon.com/Oracle-Insights-Tales-Oak-Table/dp/1590593871>",
which is reprinted (with permission from Apress) online HERE
<https://www.red-gate.com/simple-talk/opinion/opinion-pieces/bad-carma/>
.
I was moved into the role of DBA, and that very first day, the
production database started crashing, and I brought it back up twice. The
third time it crashed, it stayed down because of media failure. I had to
call Iron Mountain to retrieve the backup tapes, and when they returned the
lockboxes, nobody could find the key, so I had to jimmy the boxes open with
a hammer and screwdriver. We restored production, but were unable to roll
forward to the point-in-time of failure due to a missing archived log
file. After production was back up and running, we ran out of space and I
discovered that we were almost completely out of disk, so I unmirrored all
of the raw logical volumes underlying the index tablespaces in order to
create new logical volumes, mirrored to table tablespaces and unmirrored
for index tablespaces. Then I went home to sleep. I was the DBA for 10
months until the company completed the process of migrating their
mission-critical application from the custom-built Oracle-based application
(i.e. VISION from the book chapter) to a much-older RMS-based VT100
application on VMS. At one point, the previous DBA returned to visit
colleagues, and when he heard that I had brought the database back online 3
times my first day, ending with an incomplete recovery, he called me an
idiot because "he should have left it down after the first crash and gotten
those disks fixed", an assessment with which I cannot argue. As an Oracle
employee, I had the resources of my colleagues and the company, including
an internal email list called HELPKERN. I met people on HELPKERN with whom
I am still in contact today, and it was because of HELPKERN that I joined
ORACLE-L when I left Oracle in 1998.
The collective expertise on HELPKERN and then ORACLE-L has been my mentor.
I went from Super PC Technician to Junior DBA at my previous company. I
had a mentor for about 6 months then he jumped ship at the first sign of
trouble in the company. That left me to fend for myself for about 2 years.
I learned a little from him, but most of what I learned I had to learn
myself. Fortunately, I moved companies and was placed on a team where I had
a number of people that I could ask questions, but never got any real kind
of mentoring. I’ve got 10+ years of experience now, but still feel kind of
shaky on certain topics.
Thanks,
Jeremy
*Sent:* Tuesday, August 21, 2018 3:51 PM
*Subject:* dba mentor
CAUTION - EXTERNAL EMAIL
Did any of you have a mentor to help you along your DBA career path?
Someone to coach you on what is right/wrong, offer advice for various
projects, etc
 I was the first DBA for my company and never had someone to
go to for advice and such. I learned completely on the job besides going
to some classes at the beginning and a couple conferences recently. And
then some consultants over the years. I’ve always reported to a
Programming manager, and they understand some of the job but not everything
that needs to be done. Although I have been a DBA for over 10 years I feel
there is still a ton for me to learn and be better at. I was alone for many
years and did a lot of database development in addition to DBA duties. Kind
of a jack of all trades expert at none. I am a lead now, we have one other
DBA and maybe a third in the near future, but I know I can be a better
leader and hope to advance that further.
Did any of you have some kind of mentor during your career? For most of
you it probably was someone inside the company but what about outside? How
did you find this person and was it helpful? What did they do for you?
Another other details or advice?
Thanks,
Jeff Chirco
2018-08-24 04:34:58 UTC
Reply
Permalink
HI Chris, I do agree with you. I have seen a lot of people outside my
company move to gain experience. I know I will probably never learn RAC, or
use an Exadata machine, or cloud, but I work for an amazing company that
treats us very well. And they allow me to advance the technology forward as
much as makes sense and I can prove is worth while. I've been able to take
the database from 9i on AIX to 10g on Windows (against my recommendation)
to 11g, and now 12c on Oracle Linux. Familar with Tuining implemneted OEM
11g to 13c, ASO, GoldenGate, Dataguard, Database Vault and a lot of pl/sql
programming experince. All with very little consultant help. So I guess I
can't complain to much, at least with the tech side.


On Wed, Aug 22, 2018 at 9:41 AM Chris Taylor <
Post by Chris Taylor
If you goal is something along the lines of: "I want to be an expert in
the Oracle database world" (where expert means knowing more than 90% of
most DBAS)
Then don't stay in company "too long". That is, if your company isn't
constantly running new versions of Oracle, doing new things with Oracle,
then find a new job, a new gig with a new company. My longest stint has
been 6 years with a company and it was almost a mistake as I had gotten
behind/stale.
Since then these are the things I've learned by moving around (newest
- Exadata Cloud at Customer (newbie)
- Oracle GoldenGate (intermediate - was 0 before this company)
- 12c (12c RAC, multi-tenant,other new features/capabilities - was 0
before this company)
- Dataguard interface cli (was 0)
- OEM 13C
- OEM 12c (and emcli - fantastic tool)
- 11g RAC
- 11g new features/capabilities
- 10g RAC
- 10g new features/capabilities
etc
If you're not "married" to your current company and skills matter, then
seriously consider changing companies regularly. Of course, if upward
mobility is more important, then you stay. All depends on your vision for
your future and whether you want to be highly technical focused, or more
managerial/lead.
Chris
Post by Jeff Chirco
Thanks everyone for their responses. Oracle-L has been valuable, I read a
lot on here and post only occasionally. I will try to post more. Chris I
agree with your list. Twitter has been great to follow certain people in
the community and finding their blogs or others that they retweet about.
I've been to Collaborate a few times but sometimes that is just too big.
Local conferences and Oracle users groups have disappeared in Southern
California unfortunately.
Seems like it might be common for DBA's to be thrown in with no one to
look up to for help. Sounds like I just need to more of what I am doing and
ask more questions.
On Wed, Aug 22, 2018 at 8:49 AM Chris Taylor <
Post by Chris Taylor
I'll chime in here as well.
Ask TONS of questions. Always be asking questions. Oracle-L is a
god-send in some ways because it's fairly tight-knit and respectful of
others - even if the questions seem "simple". If you have a question ask
it. Or send someone an email off list asking follow-up questions about
something you're interested in being discussed if you don't feel
comfortable replying to the whole list.
I think the fact you're on Oracle-L shows an immense level of capability
by just being involved here. Below are some recommendations and places
- Oracle-L
- Reddit
- Twitter (individuals and then read subjects they write about if they blog)
- Youtube (to some degree - hit or miss)
- Oracle Communities (RARELY use because it can be toxic)
- GOOGLE (lots of Google)
- DBI Blogs (Franck Pachot though he recently left DBI I believe)
https://community.oracle.com/community/usergroups and
http://www.ioug.org/rugs)
- Goto Conferences (specifically IOUG, RMOUG and other USER group
conferences in place of OpenWorld etc)
Chris
Post by Tim Gorman
I was a PRO*C/OCI, PL/SQL, and SQL developer (i.e. SQL*Forms, etc)
working for Oracle consulting when my customer fired their entire IT
department in one day. This all happened immediately after the events
chronicled in my chapter in "Tales Of The Oak Table: Oracle Insights
<https://www.amazon.com/Oracle-Insights-Tales-Oak-Table/dp/1590593871>",
which is reprinted (with permission from Apress) online HERE
<https://www.red-gate.com/simple-talk/opinion/opinion-pieces/bad-carma/>
.
I was moved into the role of DBA, and that very first day, the
production database started crashing, and I brought it back up twice. The
third time it crashed, it stayed down because of media failure. I had to
call Iron Mountain to retrieve the backup tapes, and when they returned the
lockboxes, nobody could find the key, so I had to jimmy the boxes open with
a hammer and screwdriver. We restored production, but were unable to roll
forward to the point-in-time of failure due to a missing archived log
file. After production was back up and running, we ran out of space and I
discovered that we were almost completely out of disk, so I unmirrored all
of the raw logical volumes underlying the index tablespaces in order to
create new logical volumes, mirrored to table tablespaces and unmirrored
for index tablespaces. Then I went home to sleep. I was the DBA for 10
months until the company completed the process of migrating their
mission-critical application from the custom-built Oracle-based application
(i.e. VISION from the book chapter) to a much-older RMS-based VT100
application on VMS. At one point, the previous DBA returned to visit
colleagues, and when he heard that I had brought the database back online 3
times my first day, ending with an incomplete recovery, he called me an
idiot because "he should have left it down after the first crash and gotten
those disks fixed", an assessment with which I cannot argue. As an Oracle
employee, I had the resources of my colleagues and the company, including
an internal email list called HELPKERN. I met people on HELPKERN with whom
I am still in contact today, and it was because of HELPKERN that I joined
ORACLE-L when I left Oracle in 1998.
The collective expertise on HELPKERN and then ORACLE-L has been my mentor.
I went from Super PC Technician to Junior DBA at my previous company. I
had a mentor for about 6 months then he jumped ship at the first sign of
trouble in the company. That left me to fend for myself for about 2 years.
I learned a little from him, but most of what I learned I had to learn
myself. Fortunately, I moved companies and was placed on a team where I had
a number of people that I could ask questions, but never got any real kind
of mentoring. I’ve got 10+ years of experience now, but still feel kind of
shaky on certain topics.
Thanks,
Jeremy
*Sent:* Tuesday, August 21, 2018 3:51 PM
*Subject:* dba mentor
CAUTION - EXTERNAL EMAIL
Did any of you have a mentor to help you along your DBA career path?
Someone to coach you on what is right/wrong, offer advice for various
projects, etc
 I was the first DBA for my company and never had someone to
go to for advice and such. I learned completely on the job besides going
to some classes at the beginning and a couple conferences recently. And
then some consultants over the years. I’ve always reported to a
Programming manager, and they understand some of the job but not everything
that needs to be done. Although I have been a DBA for over 10 years I feel
there is still a ton for me to learn and be better at. I was alone for many
years and did a lot of database development in addition to DBA duties. Kind
of a jack of all trades expert at none. I am a lead now, we have one other
DBA and maybe a third in the near future, but I know I can be a better
leader and hope to advance that further.
Did any of you have some kind of mentor during your career? For most
of you it probably was someone inside the company but what about outside?
How did you find this person and was it helpful? What did they do for you?
Another other details or advice?
Thanks,
Gus Spier
2018-08-22 17:36:14 UTC
Reply
Permalink
My informal mentor was a women named Joan Arsenault. The most important
thing she showed me was, "If you can't see it, keep looking."

I came across Oracle-L because Tom Kyte recommended it. I check it
everyday. The gems of pure brilliance I find (stumble over) here are
priceless to me.

Thanks to you all.

Gus
Post by Jeff Chirco
Thanks everyone for their responses. Oracle-L has been valuable, I read a
lot on here and post only occasionally. I will try to post more. Chris I
agree with your list. Twitter has been great to follow certain people in
the community and finding their blogs or others that they retweet about.
I've been to Collaborate a few times but sometimes that is just too big.
Local conferences and Oracle users groups have disappeared in Southern
California unfortunately.
Seems like it might be common for DBA's to be thrown in with no one to
look up to for help. Sounds like I just need to more of what I am doing and
ask more questions.
On Wed, Aug 22, 2018 at 8:49 AM Chris Taylor <
Post by Chris Taylor
I'll chime in here as well.
Ask TONS of questions. Always be asking questions. Oracle-L is a
god-send in some ways because it's fairly tight-knit and respectful of
others - even if the questions seem "simple". If you have a question ask
it. Or send someone an email off list asking follow-up questions about
something you're interested in being discussed if you don't feel
comfortable replying to the whole list.
I think the fact you're on Oracle-L shows an immense level of capability
by just being involved here. Below are some recommendations and places
- Oracle-L
- Reddit
- Twitter (individuals and then read subjects they write about if they blog)
- Youtube (to some degree - hit or miss)
- Oracle Communities (RARELY use because it can be toxic)
- GOOGLE (lots of Google)
- DBI Blogs (Franck Pachot though he recently left DBI I believe)
https://community.oracle.com/community/usergroups and
http://www.ioug.org/rugs)
- Goto Conferences (specifically IOUG, RMOUG and other USER group
conferences in place of OpenWorld etc)
Chris
Post by Tim Gorman
I was a PRO*C/OCI, PL/SQL, and SQL developer (i.e. SQL*Forms, etc)
working for Oracle consulting when my customer fired their entire IT
department in one day. This all happened immediately after the events
chronicled in my chapter in "Tales Of The Oak Table: Oracle Insights
<https://www.amazon.com/Oracle-Insights-Tales-Oak-Table/dp/1590593871>",
which is reprinted (with permission from Apress) online HERE
<https://www.red-gate.com/simple-talk/opinion/opinion-pieces/bad-carma/>
.
I was moved into the role of DBA, and that very first day, the
production database started crashing, and I brought it back up twice. The
third time it crashed, it stayed down because of media failure. I had to
call Iron Mountain to retrieve the backup tapes, and when they returned the
lockboxes, nobody could find the key, so I had to jimmy the boxes open with
a hammer and screwdriver. We restored production, but were unable to roll
forward to the point-in-time of failure due to a missing archived log
file. After production was back up and running, we ran out of space and I
discovered that we were almost completely out of disk, so I unmirrored all
of the raw logical volumes underlying the index tablespaces in order to
create new logical volumes, mirrored to table tablespaces and unmirrored
for index tablespaces. Then I went home to sleep. I was the DBA for 10
months until the company completed the process of migrating their
mission-critical application from the custom-built Oracle-based application
(i.e. VISION from the book chapter) to a much-older RMS-based VT100
application on VMS. At one point, the previous DBA returned to visit
colleagues, and when he heard that I had brought the database back online 3
times my first day, ending with an incomplete recovery, he called me an
idiot because "he should have left it down after the first crash and gotten
those disks fixed", an assessment with which I cannot argue. As an Oracle
employee, I had the resources of my colleagues and the company, including
an internal email list called HELPKERN. I met people on HELPKERN with whom
I am still in contact today, and it was because of HELPKERN that I joined
ORACLE-L when I left Oracle in 1998.
The collective expertise on HELPKERN and then ORACLE-L has been my mentor.
I went from Super PC Technician to Junior DBA at my previous company. I
had a mentor for about 6 months then he jumped ship at the first sign of
trouble in the company. That left me to fend for myself for about 2 years.
I learned a little from him, but most of what I learned I had to learn
myself. Fortunately, I moved companies and was placed on a team where I had
a number of people that I could ask questions, but never got any real kind
of mentoring. I’ve got 10+ years of experience now, but still feel kind of
shaky on certain topics.
Thanks,
Jeremy
*Sent:* Tuesday, August 21, 2018 3:51 PM
*Subject:* dba mentor
CAUTION - EXTERNAL EMAIL
Did any of you have a mentor to help you along your DBA career path?
Someone to coach you on what is right/wrong, offer advice for various
projects, etc
 I was the first DBA for my company and never had someone to
go to for advice and such. I learned completely on the job besides going
to some classes at the beginning and a couple conferences recently. And
then some consultants over the years. I’ve always reported to a
Programming manager, and they understand some of the job but not everything
that needs to be done. Although I have been a DBA for over 10 years I feel
there is still a ton for me to learn and be better at. I was alone for many
years and did a lot of database development in addition to DBA duties. Kind
of a jack of all trades expert at none. I am a lead now, we have one other
DBA and maybe a third in the near future, but I know I can be a better
leader and hope to advance that further.
Did any of you have some kind of mentor during your career? For most of
you it probably was someone inside the company but what about outside? How
did you find this person and was it helpful? What did they do for you?
Another other details or advice?
Thanks,
Neil Chandler
2018-08-22 15:12:43 UTC
Reply
Permalink
I've been doing Oracle for over 25 years and I'm really shaky on loads of it. It's a massive subject and nobody can be an expert on all of it. I mean, I have just spent an hour looking at some TIMESTAMP WITH TIME ZONE stuff before working out why the implicit conversion was just a little wrong when compared to the explicit fix I was coding. At least it wasn't WITH LOCAL TIME ZONE.

I don't recall any individual mentors, but I do recall the revelation of going to user groups, special interest groups, meetups and conferences, seeing rules of thumb and now well known myths** being destroyed and excellent knowledge and methodology being imparted. Much better than any one individual teaching you their biases and limitations.

The few last times I mentored someone, I gave them a copy of Practical Oracle8i by Jonathan Lewis (it's cheap 2nd hand and still very good) and asked them to ignore the "8i" and read it. The successful ones did, came at me with questions from it every day (which were surprisingly rarely answered with "that's not relevant any more"). It helps separate the keen to learn and progress from the keen to simply to get a better salary by being a Google DBA.

Neil Chandler
Database Guy.

**some are only dormant and are hard to kill, with an unfortunately large number of examples out there in the wild after injudicious googling and implementation-without-thought.
________________________________
From: oracle-l-***@freelists.org <oracle-l-***@freelists.org> on behalf of Sheehan, Jeremy <***@fpl.com>
Sent: 22 August 2018 14:33
To: ***@gmail.com; oracle-l-freelist
Subject: RE: dba mentor


I went from Super PC Technician to Junior DBA at my previous company. I had a mentor for about 6 months then he jumped ship at the first sign of trouble in the company. That left me to fend for myself for about 2 years. I learned a little from him, but most of what I learned I had to learn myself. Fortunately, I moved companies and was placed on a team where I had a number of people that I could ask questions, but never got any real kind of mentoring. I’ve got 10+ years of experience now, but still feel kind of shaky on certain topics.



Thanks,



Jeremy





From: oracle-l-***@freelists.org <oracle-l-***@freelists.org> On Behalf Of Jeff Chirco
Sent: Tuesday, August 21, 2018 3:51 PM
To: oracle-l-freelist <oracle-***@freelists.org>
Subject: dba mentor



CAUTION - EXTERNAL EMAIL




Did any of you have a mentor to help you along your DBA career path? Someone to coach you on what is right/wrong, offer advice for various projects, etc… I was the first DBA for my company and never had someone to go to for advice and such. I learned completely on the job besides going to some classes at the beginning and a couple conferences recently. And then some consultants over the years. I’ve always reported to a Programming manager, and they understand some of the job but not everything that needs to be done. Although I have been a DBA for over 10 years I feel there is still a ton for me to learn and be better at. I was alone for many years and did a lot of database development in addition to DBA duties. Kind of a jack of all trades expert at none. I am a lead now, we have one other DBA and maybe a third in the near future, but I know I can be a better leader and hope to advance that further.

Did any of you have some kind of mentor during your career? For most of you it probably was someone inside the company but what about outside? How did you find this person and was it helpful? What did they do for you?

Another other details or advice?



Thanks,
l***@bluewin.ch
2018-08-22 15:40:39 UTC
Reply
Permalink
When I was starting to work for Oracle Consulting we were 17 people in our Group. Some years later we were down to 3.
I realized that those that were left were the one who were asking questions on "how to do things".
Lothar
----UrsprÃŒngliche Nachricht----
Von : ***@hotmail.com
Datum : 22/08/2018 - 17:12 (GMT)
An : ***@gmail.com, oracle-***@freelists.org, ***@fpl.com
Betreff : Re: dba mentor
P {margin-top:0;margin-bottom:0;}
I've been doing Oracle for over 25 years and I'm really shaky on loads of it. It's a massive subject and nobody can be an expert on all of it. I mean, I
have just spent an hour looking at some TIMESTAMP WITH TIME ZONE stuff before working out why the implicit conversion was just a little wrong when compared to the
explicit fix I was coding. At least it wasn't WITH LOCAL TIME ZONE.
I don't recall any individual mentors, but I do recall the revelation of going to user groups, special interest groups, meetups and conferences, seeing rules of thumb and now well known myths** being destroyed and excellent knowledge and methodology being imparted.
Much better than any one individual teaching you their biases and limitations.
The few last times I mentored someone, I gave them a copy of Practical Oracle8i by Jonathan Lewis (it's cheap 2nd hand and still very good) and asked them to ignore the "8i" and read it. The successful ones did, came at me with questions from it every day (which
were surprisingly rarely answered with "that's not relevant any more"). It helps separate the keen to learn and progress from the keen to simply to get a better salary by being a Google DBA.
Neil Chandler
Database Guy.
**some are only dormant and are hard to kill, with an unfortunately large number of examples out there in the wild after injudicious googling and implementation-without-thought.
From: oracle-l-***@freelists.org <oracle-l-***@freelists.org> on behalf of Sheehan, Jeremy <***@fpl.com>
Sent: 22 August 2018 14:33
To: ***@gmail.com; oracle-l-freelist
Subject: RE: dba mentor
I went from Super PC Technician to Junior DBA at my previous company. I had a mentor for about 6 months then he jumped ship at the first sign of trouble in the company.
That left me to fend for myself for about 2 years. I learned a little from him, but most of what I learned I had to learn myself. Fortunately, I moved companies and was placed on a team where I had a number of people that I could ask questions, but never got
any real kind of mentoring. I’ve got 10+ years of experience now, but still feel kind of shaky on certain topics.

Thanks,

Jeremy


From: oracle-l-***@freelists.org <oracle-l-***@freelists.org>
On Behalf Of Jeff Chirco
Sent: Tuesday, August 21, 2018 3:51 PM
To: oracle-l-freelist <oracle-***@freelists.org>
Subject: dba mentor

CAUTION - EXTERNAL EMAIL

Did any of you have a mentor to help you along your DBA career path? Someone to coach you on what is right/wrong,
offer advice for various projects, etc
 I was the first DBA for my company and never had someone to go to for advice and such. I learned completely on the job besides going to some classes at the beginning and a couple conferences recently. And then some
consultants over the years. I’ve always reported to a Programming manager, and they understand some of the job but not everything that needs to be done. Although I have been a DBA for over 10 years I feel there is still a ton for me to learn and be better
at. I was alone for many years and did a lot of database development in addition to DBA duties. Kind of a jack of all trades expert at none. I am a lead now, we have one other DBA and maybe a third in the near future, but I know I can be a better leader and
hope to advance that further.
Did any of you have some kind of mentor during your career? For most of you it probably was someone inside the
company but what about outside? How did you find this person and was it helpful? What did they do for you?
Another other details or advice?

Thanks,
"Reen, Elizabeth " (Redacted sender "elizabeth.reen" for DMARC)
2018-08-22 15:47:04 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Did they leave for better jobs? Was there limited chance for promotion? This is one of my issues. There is nowhere for me to go, so everyone below me is stuck. We have a revolving door with the junior staff.



Liz

Elizabeth Reen
CPB Database Group Manager
718.248.9930 (Office)
Service Now Group: CPB-ORACLE-DB-SUPPORT


From: oracle-l-***@freelists.org [mailto:oracle-l-***@freelists.org] On Behalf Of ***@bluewin.ch
Sent: Wednesday, August 22, 2018 11:41 AM
To: ***@hotmail.com
Cc: oracle-***@freelists.org
Subject: Re: Re: dba mentor

When I was starting to work for Oracle Consulting we were 17 people in our Group. Some years later we were down to 3.
I realized that those that were left were the one who were asking questions on "how to do things".

Lothar
----UrsprÃŒngliche Nachricht----
Von : ***@hotmail.com
Datum : 22/08/2018 - 17:12 (GMT)
An : ***@gmail.com, oracle-***@freelists.org, ***@fpl.com
Betreff : Re: dba mentor
I've been doing Oracle for over 25 years and I'm really shaky on loads of it. It's a massive subject and nobody can be an expert on all of it. I mean, I have just spent an hour looking at some TIMESTAMP WITH TIME ZONE stuff before working out why the implicit conversion was just a little wrong when compared to the explicit fix I was coding. At least it wasn't WITH LOCAL TIME ZONE.

I don't recall any individual mentors, but I do recall the revelation of going to user groups, special interest groups, meetups and conferences, seeing rules of thumb and now well known myths** being destroyed and excellent knowledge and methodology being imparted. Much better than any one individual teaching you their biases and limitations.

The few last times I mentored someone, I gave them a copy of Practical Oracle8i by Jonathan Lewis (it's cheap 2nd hand and still very good) and asked them to ignore the "8i" and read it. The successful ones did, came at me with questions from it every day (which were surprisingly rarely answered with "that's not relevant any more"). It helps separate the keen to learn and progress from the keen to simply to get a better salary by being a Google DBA.

Neil Chandler
Database Guy.

**some are only dormant and are hard to kill, with an unfortunately large number of examples out there in the wild after injudicious googling and implementation-without-thought.
________________________________
From: oracle-l-***@freelists.org <oracle-l-***@freelists.org> on behalf of Sheehan, Jeremy <***@fpl.com>
Sent: 22 August 2018 14:33
To: ***@gmail.com; oracle-l-freelist
Subject: RE: dba mentor


I went from Super PC Technician to Junior DBA at my previous company. I had a mentor for about 6 months then he jumped ship at the first sign of trouble in the company. That left me to fend for myself for about 2 years. I learned a little from him, but most of what I learned I had to learn myself. Fortunately, I moved companies and was placed on a team where I had a number of people that I could ask questions, but never got any real kind of mentoring. I’ve got 10+ years of experience now, but still feel kind of shaky on certain topics.



Thanks,



Jeremy





From: oracle-l-***@freelists.org <oracle-l-***@freelists.org> On Behalf Of Jeff Chirco
Sent: Tuesday, August 21, 2018 3:51 PM
To: oracle-l-freelist <oracle-***@freelists.org>
Subject: dba mentor



CAUTION - EXTERNAL EMAIL




Did any of you have a mentor to help you along your DBA career path? Someone to coach you on what is right/wrong, offer advice for various projects, etc
 I was the first DBA for my company and never had someone to go to for advice and such. I learned completely on the job besides going to some classes at the beginning and a couple conferences recently. And then some consultants over the years. I’ve always reported to a Programming manager, and they understand some of the job but not everything that needs to be done. Although I have been a DBA for over 10 years I feel there is still a ton for me to learn and be better at. I was alone for many years and did a lot of database development in addition to DBA duties. Kind of a jack of all trades expert at none. I am a lead now, we have one other DBA and maybe a third in the near future, but I know I can be a better leader and hope to advance that further.

Did any of you have some kind of mentor during your career? For most of you it probably was someone inside the company but what about outside? How did you find this person and was it helpful? What did they do for you?

Another other details or advice?



Thanks,
"Reen, Elizabeth " (Redacted sender "elizabeth.reen" for DMARC)
2018-08-22 15:43:57 UTC
Reply
Permalink
I was an SA. After the third DBA jumped ship, my boss asked me if I would like to become a DBA. I said yes and he sent me off for training. They hired a consultant for three months after that I was on my own. My mentors were groups like this. Granted I had plenty of experience in troubleshooting when I started. I look at Oracle as another operating system. I took this job so I could begin to understand Oracle from the application view. The group I lead are application DBAs. We take care of the data not the container. I find this to be more challenging. Mine is the only such group in the company, so again I had to figure it out myself.

I do mentor my DBAs. I’m not sure they are better for it. They don’t develop troubleshooting skills as fast as I did. They know they can always come to me for the answer. I’m not sure how to remove the crutch.

Liz

Elizabeth Reen
CPB Database Group Manager
Service Now Group: CPB-ORACLE-DB-SUPPORT


From: oracle-l-***@freelists.org [mailto:oracle-l-***@freelists.org] On Behalf Of Jeff Chirco
Sent: Tuesday, August 21, 2018 3:51 PM
To: oracle-l-freelist
Subject: dba mentor

Did any of you have a mentor to help you along your DBA career path? Someone to coach you on what is right/wrong, offer advice for various projects, etc
 I was the first DBA for my company and never had someone to go to for advice and such. I learned completely on the job besides going to some classes at the beginning and a couple conferences recently. And then some consultants over the years. I’ve always reported to a Programming manager, and they understand some of the job but not everything that needs to be done. Although I have been a DBA for over 10 years I feel there is still a ton for me to learn and be better at. I was alone for many years and did a lot of database development in addition to DBA duties. Kind of a jack of all trades expert at none. I am a lead now, we have one other DBA and maybe a third in the near future, but I know I can be a better leader and hope to advance that further.
Did any of you have some kind of mentor during your career? For most of you it probably was someone inside the company but what about outside? How did you find this person and was it helpful? What did they do for you?
Another other details or advice?

Thanks,
n***@gmail.com
2018-08-22 16:02:12 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Hi Jeff

Like many of the other respondents, I never had a mentor (and the closest I
had was, er, not very good). I have however seen mentoring take place and
it's definitely a highly useful approach for a short while (say 9-18
months). Probably the key skills a mentor can help with are the soft ones.

- dealing with customers
- knowing when and how to say no (and yes)
- knowing how other departments/silos work and who the key contacts are
- knowing how to judge the reliability of a source (no-one seems to
teach that these days)
- a healthy scepticism that new software releases work as intended
- a healthy scepticism in one's own ability. (the easiest person to fool
is yourself)


Technical skills *can* be taught and/or picked up from good online
resources. Like the others here online communities (this list, Usenet,
Oracle forums, serverfault, twitter) have proven invaluable to me for this
purpose. The quality of the answers you get back definitely increases as
you contribute yourself - which can be a catch-22. If you have a good local
usergroup (i.e not one that's all Oracle speakers or vendors) or meetup
then those are pretty valuable as well.

It's also very valuable to have a lab/laptop environment of your own to
break, I mean experiment in.
Post by Jeff Chirco
Did any of you have a mentor to help you along your DBA career path?
Someone to coach you on what is right/wrong, offer advice for various
projects, etc
 I was the first DBA for my company and never had someone to
go to for advice and such. I learned completely on the job besides going
to some classes at the beginning and a couple conferences recently. And
then some consultants over the years. I’ve always reported to a
Programming manager, and they understand some of the job but not everything
that needs to be done. Although I have been a DBA for over 10 years I feel
there is still a ton for me to learn and be better at. I was alone for many
years and did a lot of database development in addition to DBA duties. Kind
of a jack of all trades expert at none. I am a lead now, we have one other
DBA and maybe a third in the near future, but I know I can be a better
leader and hope to advance that further.
Did any of you have some kind of mentor during your career? For most of
you it probably was someone inside the company but what about outside? How
did you find this person and was it helpful? What did they do for you?
Another other details or advice?
Thanks,
--
Niall Litchfield
Oracle DBA
http://www.orawin.info
Martin Klier - Performing Databases GmbH
2018-09-11 08:56:33 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Niall,

briliant :) Did coaching for three "generations" of new DBAs in my career, and you hit 180.

One thing I'd like to add (or clarify) is teaching self-organization under pressure. Often new guys enjoy the blessing of having no ancient burdens, but stabilizing our own personal performance under various pressures is a very useful skill from the beginning.
Just to mention: system down, manager pressing, half-true facts rolling in. How to keep your head above the waves?

Stay safe
--
Martin Klier | Performing Databases GmbH
Managing Partner | Senior DB Consultant
Oracle ACE Director
Gesendet: Mittwoch, 22. August 2018 18:02:12
Betreff: Re: dba mentor
Hi Jeff
Like many of the other respondents, I never had a mentor (and the closest I had
was, er, not very good). I have however seen mentoring take place and it's
definitely a highly useful approach for a short while (say 9-18 months).
Probably the key skills a mentor can help with are the soft ones.
* dealing with customers
* knowing when and how to say no (and yes)
* knowing how other departments/silos work and who the key contacts are
* knowing how to judge the reliability of a source (no-one seems to teach that
these days)
* a healthy scepticism that new software releases work as intended
* a healthy scepticism in one's own ability. (the easiest person to fool is
yourself)
Technical skills *can* be taught and/or picked up from good online resources.
Like the others here online communities (this list, Usenet, Oracle forums,
serverfault, twitter) have proven invaluable to me for this purpose. The
quality of the answers you get back definitely increases as you contribute
yourself - which can be a catch-22. If you have a good local usergroup (i.e not
one that's all Oracle speakers or vendors) or meetup then those are pretty
valuable as well.
It's also very valuable to have a lab/laptop environment of your own to break, I
mean experiment in.
Post by Sheehan, Jeremy
Did any of you have a mentor to help you along your DBA career path? Someone to
coach you on what is right/wrong, offer advice for various projects, etc
 I was
the first DBA for my company and never had someone to go to for advice and
such. I learned completely on the job besides going to some classes at the
beginning and a couple conferences recently. And then some consultants over the
years. I’ve always reported to a Programming manager, and they understand some
of the job but not everything that needs to be done. Although I have been a DBA
for over 10 years I feel there is still a ton for me to learn and be better at.
I was alone for many years and did a lot of database development in addition to
DBA duties. Kind of a jack of all trades expert at none. I am a lead now, we
have one other DBA and maybe a third in the near future, but I know I can be a
better leader and hope to advance that further.
Did any of you have some kind of mentor during your career? For most of you it
probably was someone inside the company but what about outside? How did you
find this person and was it helpful? What did they do for you?
Another other details or advice?
Thanks,
--
Niall Litchfield
Oracle DBA
[ http://www.orawin.info/ | http://www.orawin.info ]
Mladen Gogala
2018-09-13 03:35:50 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Apropos mentoring people, it's also important how many of them did
become successful in later life. Most of the formal mentoring programs
that I have encountered have produced results like this:
http://dilbert.com/strip/2018-08-28

My personal philosophy is what the person who mentored me told me: DBA's
are grown like mushrooms. You keep them in the dark, feed them garbage
and let them grow. In reality, it's survival of the fittest. My mentor
was a gentleman named Rade Pobulic who used to work for Oracle Slovenia
in the late 80's and who taught me everything I knew about Oracle 5. I
have also received some mentoring from the gentleman named Wolfgang
Schluessel, who used to work for Oracle Austria in Vienna, in the early
90's. The most important lesson I received that I have to keep learning
and that I can only expect minimal help from my mentors. I used to work
with things like rpt/rpf, SQL*Forms 2.3 and 3.0, SQL*ReportWriter 1.0
and 1.1, SQL*Net 1.0 and 1.1, Lotus 1-2-3 connector, connector for DDE
and many other arcane products that probably nobody in this group except
Mark Farnham, Niall Litchfield, Tim Gorman and Jonathan Lewis even
remembers. The final lesson I discovered myself: when to stop being a DBA.

Oracle DBA is not a samurai or a jedi master. Oracle DBA is someone who
knows the main product of the Oracle Corporation really well. However,
there are many other corporations and many other products. General
knowledge acquired by years of studying Oracle, DCL, source code of
VAX/VMS 4.7, AT&T Unix, Irix, Wyse Unix, SCO Unix and HP-UX 9, reading
McKusick's BSD books, Magic Garden Explained and A. Tannenbaum's "Modern
Operating Systems", learning Perl, PHP and Python can be well applied to
learn SAP Hana, DB2, virtualization and many other products. It is not
particularly wise to tie yourself to a single corporation, especially
when that corporation doesn't really want DBAs. Now, we have "Oracle
18c, the database that will manage itself". The subtle message of this
marketing slogan is that there is no need to hire expensive DBA
personnel because "the database will manage itself".  Long story short,
mentoring people to become DBAs is disservice to the people who haven't
done any harm to me or wronged me in any way and will inevitably lead to
results from the aforementioned Dilbert comic. Oracle 18c has been
promoted into a PHB. God save the DBA!

Regards
Post by Martin Klier - Performing Databases GmbH
Niall,
briliant :) Did coaching for three "generations" of new DBAs in my
career, and you hit 180.
One thing I'd like to add (or clarify) is teaching self-organization
under pressure. Often new guys enjoy the blessing of having no ancient
burdens, but stabilizing our own personal performance under various
pressures is a very useful skill from the beginning.
Just to mention: system down, manager pressing, half-true facts
rolling in. How to keep your head above the waves?
Stay safe
--
Martin Klier | Performing Databases GmbH
Managing Partner | Senior DB Consultant
Oracle ACE Director
------------------------------------------------------------------------
*Gesendet: *Mittwoch, 22. August 2018 18:02:12
*Betreff: *Re: dba mentor
Hi Jeff
Like many of the other respondents, I never had a mentor (and the
closest I had was, er, not very good). I have however seen
mentoring take place and it's definitely a highly useful approach
for a short while (say 9-18 months). Probably the key skills a
mentor can help with are the soft ones.
* dealing with customers
* knowing when and how to say no (and yes)
* knowing how other departments/silos work and who the key contacts are
* knowing how to judge the reliability of a source (no-one seems
to teach that these days)
* a healthy scepticism that new software releases work as intended
* a healthy scepticism in one's own ability. (the easiest person
to fool is yourself)
Technical skills *can* be taught and/or picked up from good online
resources. Like the others here online communities (this list,
Usenet, Oracle forums, serverfault, twitter) have proven
invaluable to me for this purpose. The quality of the answers you
get back definitely increases as you contribute yourself - which
can be a catch-22. If you have a good local usergroup (i.e not one
that's all Oracle speakers or vendors) or meetup then those are
pretty valuable as well.
It's also very valuable to have a lab/laptop environment of your
own to break, I mean experiment in.
Did any of you have a mentor to help you along your DBA career
path? Someone to coach you on what is right/wrong, offer
advice for various projects, etc
  I was the first DBA for my
company and never had someone to go to for advice and such.  I
learned completely on the job besides going to some classes at
the beginning and a couple conferences recently.  And then
some consultants over the years.  I’ve always reported to a
Programming manager, and they understand some of the job but
not everything that needs to be done. Although I have been a
DBA for over 10 years I feel there is still a ton for me to
learn and be better at. I was alone for many years and did a
lot of database development in addition to DBA duties. Kind of
a jack of all trades expert at none. I am a lead now, we have
one other DBA and maybe a third in the near future, but I know
I can be a better leader and hope to advance that further.
Did any of you have some kind of mentor during your career? 
For most of you it probably was someone inside the company but
what about outside?  How did you find this person and was it
helpful?  What did they do for you?
Another other details or advice?
Thanks,
--
Niall Litchfield
Oracle DBA
http://www.orawin.info
--
Mladen Gogala
Database Consultant
Tel: (347) 321-1217
Norman Dunbar
2018-09-13 21:12:41 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Evening Mladen,

Regarding "the database will manage itself". I remember back in college in 1983ish, the tale then was "programmers won't be needed as programs will be written by computers". I'm still waiting.

And if the database does manage itself, we DBAs will have more time to sort out the cr4p code causing all the performance problems!

I for one, won't hold my breath.


Cheers,
Norm.
--
Sent from my Android device with K-9 Mail. Please excuse my brevity.
"" (Redacted sender "Jay.Miller" for DMARC)
2018-10-05 13:00:34 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Larry Ellison said the same thing about Oracle 8.

I remember an Oracle sales rep saying at a user group meeting that with Oracle 8 there is no more need for SQL Tuning, the optimizer will handle everything. The entire room burst out laughing.

I also remember the Gartner group claiming that programmers would be obsolete by the end of the 1990s.

As the environment and applications become more complex we seem to have more DBA work, not less.


Jay Miller
Sr. Oracle DBA
201.369.8355

From: oracle-l-***@freelists.org [mailto:oracle-l-***@freelists.org] On Behalf Of Norman Dunbar
Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2018 5:13 PM
To: oracle-***@freelists.org
Subject: Re: dba mentor

Evening Mladen,

Regarding "the database will manage itself". I remember back in college in 1983ish, the tale then was "programmers won't be needed as programs will be written by computers". I'm still waiting.

And if the database does manage itself, we DBAs will have more time to sort out the cr4p code causing all the performance problems!

I for one, won't hold my breath.


Cheers,
Norm.
--
Sent from my Android device with K-9 Mail. Please excuse my brevity.
Lothar Flatz
2018-10-05 13:28:47 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Well, and it is true, is it not? I mean almost. I mean practically
almost. I mean kind of close. I mean not at all. ;-)
Post by "" (Redacted sender "Jay.Miller" for DMARC)
Larry Ellison said the same thing about Oracle 8.
I remember an Oracle sales rep saying at a user group meeting that
with Oracle 8 there is no more need for SQL Tuning, the optimizer will
handle everything. The entire room burst out laughing.
I also remember the Gartner group claiming that programmers would be
obsolete by the end of the 1990s.
As the environment and applications become more complex we seem to
have more DBA work, not less.
Jay Miller
Sr. Oracle DBA
201.369.8355
*Sent:* Thursday, September 13, 2018 5:13 PM
*Subject:* Re: dba mentor
Evening Mladen,
Regarding "the database will manage itself". I remember back in
college in 1983ish, the tale then was "programmers won't be needed as
programs will be written by computers". I'm still waiting.
And if the database does manage itself, we DBAs will have more time to
sort out the cr4p code causing all the performance problems!
I for one, won't hold my breath.
Cheers,
Norm.
--
Sent from my Android device with K-9 Mail. Please excuse my brevity.
--
n***@gmail.com
2018-10-05 16:40:21 UTC
Reply
Permalink
I think there's was an element of truth. Lots of common design patterns
work well our of the box in a way they didn't. I fear however that so many
of those trying to automate everything haven't read their Pratchett. It's
certainly true of automatically tuning human written sql against human
written schemas.

A common mistake that people make when trying to design something
completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools
Well, and it is true, is it not? I mean almost. I mean practically almost.
I mean kind of close. I mean not at all. ;-)
Larry Ellison said the same thing about Oracle 8.
I remember an Oracle sales rep saying at a user group meeting that with
Oracle 8 there is no more need for SQL Tuning, the optimizer will handle
everything. The entire room burst out laughing.
I also remember the Gartner group claiming that programmers would be
obsolete by the end of the 1990s.
As the environment and applications become more complex we seem to have
more DBA work, not less.
Jay Miller
Sr. Oracle DBA
201.369.8355
Behalf Of *Norman Dunbar
*Sent:* Thursday, September 13, 2018 5:13 PM
*Subject:* Re: dba mentor
Evening Mladen,
Regarding "the database will manage itself". I remember back in college in
1983ish, the tale then was "programmers won't be needed as programs will be
written by computers". I'm still waiting.
And if the database does manage itself, we DBAs will have more time to
sort out the cr4p code causing all the performance problems!
I for one, won't hold my breath.
Cheers,
Norm.
--
Sent from my Android device with K-9 Mail. Please excuse my brevity.
--
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