I just finished a session today with some delegates who are going to start their long joruney to become good, knowledgeable dbas. Besides the technical topics that we discussed in the entire week like how oracle works, what’s a database and so on, I tried to tell them or can say , tried to encourage them to be a part of the global oracle community. I have got a lot from this community, I am learning every day thanks to those questions that come on the forums, those blogs that I read almost daily and tons of things like this. I strongly believe that when wants to be good in any kind of career track, its not just that one always has to “take” from the community but also has to “give” . I believe that its not possible that one can say that just because he/she is working from N number of years, he/she is really knowledgeable about the track. Imagine a guy who is working in a team which does takes care of installing and patching of databases. Now this guy is working in that team from last N years, what you think he would have got from all these years? He surely can call himself an experienced guy but is his experience really worth to be called “knowledgeable” ? No I don’t think so. He knows about one part good but just installing/patching is not being a good oracle dba/technolgist. There is a lot that one can know about Oracle. And for doing all this, two things can be really helpful. One , participate as much as you can over the different forums/conferences which are happening around you and you can attend. There is always something which is happening in some part of the oracle community which you may have never even thought about too and the best way to learn about it is to attend/be a part of these forums/conferences. Some seminars do happen over the web also and are conducted without charging anything from the audience. Oracle RACSIG( http:/www.oracleracsig.org ) comes on the top of the mind when I think about the “free” yet “the best ” seminars. But even if you have to pay some thing to attend these seminars, each penny spent would be worth of its value.
The other thing that can really help someone to grow and know not just what he/she is doing on daily basis , is getting Oracle Certifcation. Trust me when I say this, I have met so many “experienced dbas” who believe that putting a file into hot backup ceases oracle to write over it. This and many more doubts like these can be cleared once and for all, if you read the oracle manuals which would help you to know about all these kind of matters , additionaly would make you elgible to get certified. There are many in the world who believe that certifications doesn’t mean anything. But if achieved by sheer hard work and preparation, its really is a credential on which you can be proud of. And just in case you are thinking that employers don’t bother about certified people, you are wrong as I just only got an email regarding a job option where having certification was one of the mandatory requirements. Being certified and also walking on the road to it would bring so many things in front of you which otherwise you may never read. And these things only I shared with the delegates and it was good to see some already mentioned that they would be visiting Oracle forums almost daily to seek knowledge and also to help others over it.
And just in case you are thinking that with all this automation happening in the oracle database, there would be a crunch in the dba jobs, you may want to read this post from the Paul Soresen, Director Oracle Certification where he has quoted an article from CNN which has quoted top 10 jobs that one can do and it does include Oracle DBA as one of them! Wow! So get your gear set and jump into the ocean of Oracle .