Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Additional Skills to become an Oracle expert

In the last months I did some more non-Oracle certifications and trainings to broaden my knowledge.

Why should you follow non-Oracle training as an Oracle expert?

You can try to become the best Oracle developer or dba by learning a lot about the Oracle database and the (development) tools. Everybody sees added value into that, isn't it? The more you know of Oracle, the better you do your Oracle job? I think that's only partially true.

I believe having experience and soft skills are also important. Experience you can only build by doing your job and getting older (to bad ;-)). Some people have luck as they received at birth qualities that simplifies the learning of some soft skills, but even if you didn't receive it, you can still work on it. As a consultant for ex. effective communication, being creative and motivated, presentation techniques, customer oriented are skills that can be very useful.

Something else that I think will become more important are the use of methods or best practices in your job. A framework can simplify your life and also let you be more structured.

Some of the frameworks/methodologies I followed in the last months:

ITIL: IT Infrastructure Library

ITIL means IT alignment with the business. I think this could be an added-value for every DBA. I strongly believe that the role of an (Oracle) DBA will change in time. Or you become someone who will need to know the business and have an overview of the entire system for ex. with Oracle Grid Control, so you need to know a bit of everything. Or you need to become a real guru for the Oracle database as it's getting more complex. The database will do more and more things for you, but to understand what he's doing, you need to know a lot...

For the first group, ITIL can help a lot. Grid Control will be your Management Tool, but then when you suddenly get a red light! You have a problem... What will you do? How to handle it? How to do the follow-up? How to know it never happens again? And what will be the impact for the business?

How you can handle that process is described in ITIL.

I know a lot of "Service Desks" using/or being based on ITIL nowadays... I think a lot of organisations will organize some (IT) departments, so that would also impact you (as Oracle DBA).

For developers a useful method is PRINCE2.


"PRINCE2 is recognised as a world-class international product and is the standard method for project management, not least because it embodies many years of good practice in project management and provides a flexible and adaptable approach to suit all projects. It is a project management method designed to provide a framework covering the wide variety of disciplines and activities required within a project. The focus throughout PRINCE2 is on the Business Case, which describes the rationale and business justification for the project. The Business Case drives all the project management processes, from initial project set-up through to successful finish."

As a developer life would be a lot easier when you would exactly know what you had to do. A lot of projects don't have a project manager (or project board). Is it always needed? No, I didn't say that, but for every project you should have somebody who does the role of a project manager.

When going through the PRINCE2 course/certification I found the set-up really useful. A project board with a Senior User, and Executive and a Senior Supplier. On the next level the Project Manager etc. A lot of projects are doing this maybe intuitively (I had that feeling), but having it on paper, made it more structured.

In PRINCE2 I saw the different Processes, Components and Techniques. When you, as a developer, knows about all these, the team becomes more powerful and can go a lot faster, I think.


Anonymous said...

It should be nice to have a CMDB in Apex. I saw at sourceforge someone who has build something.

To support all ICT-tasks it was not sufficient, but it was a good starting point!


Dimitri Gielis said...

Hi Leo,

Ah yes, I started a CMDB two years ago too, but never finished it...

It shouldn't be that hard to build it, I only miss the time ;-)

If you're interested to help on that, we can have a look to do it as an opensource project.


Paul Alsemgeest said...

Hi Dimitri,
Did you ever finish this CMDB in Apex? I'm trying to find any such solution (very basic for storing servernames, databases, applications and such).

Thx for replying!

Dimitri Gielis said...

Hi Paul,

The CMDB I build was used in some companies yes, but I'm not sure where that piece of software now is. I would need to look in my history to find that again... but probably it's a lot faster just to build it again in APEX 4.0.