Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I'm in a much-anticipated Oracle Database Administrator training course this week. For those of you lucky enough to maintain a comfortable distance from the world of information technology, this probably doesn't mean much. I've discovered, however, that I am still enough of a computer geek to be loving it. The mysterious data-storing black box that I've interacted with for years as a software developer is suddenly revealing its secrets.

It is making me seriously consider changing career tracks to position myself as an intermediary between database expert and software architect. Developers rarely master the database side of things, which leads all too often to illogical designs, rotten performance, and security holes. I'd be half plumber and half Sherpa. And finally useful.

Anyway. My first goal is to pass the OCA certification, mostly to prove to my management that I'm serious about this. Bets are now open on whether I'll be Oracle certified before I'm licensed to drive in France.

[And here ends a random and relatively uninteresting brain dump, with my apologies.]


Cloud said...

Database design is my technical area of expertise! I'm more of a manager these days, though. You're right that developers often create ridiculous database designs. It is even worse when the developers are scientists who don't actually have any training in software or database design....

I was an Oracle DBA for awhile at my first company. It was fun learning all the stuff, but I didn't actually like the day to day of database administration. Design is much more fun. Of course, now I don't do either. When I get to do actual project work, I am the person translating between scientists and computer geeks.

Mom in France said...

Hi PmP:

you obviously are not alone. My first job was at Oracle (on the marketing and sales side) and then I moved into product management for web products. I think the role you suggest for yourself would be great - I remember getting into the nuts and bolts of things and trying to broker discussions between the DB guys and the developers and it definitely wasn't easy! Good luck & enjoy.

caramama said...

I didn't know you were a software developer! I'm also in IT--a Requirements Manager. Like Cloud, I translate but between the computer geeks and general users.

I think with that training and your background, the position you describe would be great! Also, you could be a software architect and set things up correctly. There are all sorts of possibilities, I'm sure.

Yeah for us computer geeks!

Parisienne Mais Presque said...

I didn't know so many of you were computer geeks (or at least often associate with computer geeks...). Cool!

@Cloud, I've worked on a database where tables were created to map one-to-one to Java classes. It was horrific. The Java code behind it was beautiful, but the whole system was ultimately scrapped because the performance was so terrible. Moral of the story: get a DB designer on board at the beginning...