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April 24, 2008

Optimizing Oracle by Desing – my impressions after Jonathan Lewis’s three days seminar

Filed under: Oracle Seminars — H.Tonguç Yılmaz @ 6:29 pm

I have been working on Oracle databases for more than 10 years now. I started with version 7.3 at a local bank and with 8i I moved to the third largest Telco in Europe. If you do value, I also choosed to get certification. I have attended several educations, seminars, conferences, experienced lot of risky projects and weird problems. But my last three days experience was completely something different. Since my native language is not English and this post mostly will not be a technical one, it may get harder for me to express my feelings here.

For years I have been reading Jonathan Lewis‘s articles, books, forum posts and of course after 2007 his blog. In my opinion he is a very special Oracle database expert, the reason why I think this way is not his deep knowledge about the technology but his willingness of sharing all his years of hard work and experiences every time with a very gentle way. Also Jonathan is one of the best teachers I experienced in my whole life. Nowadays it is getting harder to find someone having all this attributes together. IMHO some are very experienced but they do not care about sharing or some “huge mr.ego” experts try to beat people all around forums.

Jonathan’s experiences for all those years produced two important books for the community. But let me talk a little on the seminar book; A4 sized ~400 pages, each page supported with at least three or four paragraphs related to Jonathan’s previous on-site consultancy experiences, which you may not learn from documentation or any google search. These are all nasty things we experience during our daily lives, but Jonathan documented them so well that this course book’s content is like a best of summary of my all time best Oracle books. Even very advanced internals were explained with perfect simple powerpoint slides and supported with example scripts which are all provided in a CD.

Normally after a seminar I share my seminar notes(highlights, topics I liked most lets call), but after this kind of a knowledge storm this time I do not have the hearth for it. Instead I will be sharing the course topics briefly, the new questions I have now after the seminar and some hints you may find useful if you want to attend this seminar in the future.

Yes I have lots of new questions now, normally I love this kind of a feeling, having questions is always good for motivation. But this time I also feel some fear(this may not be the exact word to define, anyway), because Jonathan showed me that even on fundamental topics like redo or undo I still have lots of research to do. This is so normal I guess, because I am limited with the experience that I can get from the databases around me. When operational stuff takes lots of time there is no space for new experiences usually. So for sure I may say in consultancy market you get to learn and develop a lot. I admired Jonathan very much and I felt strongly that in near future I will love to accept its risk and quit to do much more dedicated research on Oracle database.

Course table of contents
Some hints you may like
Lots of new questions I have (if you feel you know some answers please comment :)

Jonathan also uses some extreme examples on purpose from his past experiences, I believe to have and keep the interest all during his long sessions, this way of teaching is something I sympathized. Jonathan shared the SQL scripts to reproduce the outputs for our own databases which he might have tested on 9i or his laptop and shared the results.

I think Oracle community must feel very lucky to have some independent(non-Oracle employee) experts who are being honest, also mentioning the dark sides(bugs, don’t DOs) of this great software, advise to test in details, to be doubtful about so called “guru”s and each new feature for our own comfort. This is unique and precious in todays “marketing” world. For Jonathan’s efforts on developing this course I can not find the right words to explain how thankful I am. I will strongly suggest for the readers of my blog who feel them as an experienced Oracle DBA to attend his seminar at any cost.

ps1: also Graham Woods was in Istanbul, he did a very similar presentation he did on UKOUG last December which I already shared my notes before here.

ps2: UKOUG 2008 call for papers submission deadline for Oracle technology category is getting closer, 9 May 2008. This year I also want to come front, do at least one presentation, I have RMAN, APEX and of course Tuning related topics in my mind. So let’s come front, share our experiences with world’s largest independent Oracle User group community.

ps3: In my 20th month now I am very close to my 200,000th hit(wordpress’s counter). Recently my wordpress dashboard automatically evolved somehow and now I have lots of new stats. As far as I see people once loved event 10046 tracing, flashing back options after 10g and of course my initial best practices posts and no matter what I post after these three seems to be dominant and to stay on top visited list forever I guess. So anyway, thank you for reading and I really hope to have more comments in the future since sometimes I really feel I am alone here :)

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