RE: Slightly OT: SQL Server conference vs. Oracle conferences...

  • From: "Goulet, Richard" <Richard.Goulet@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <kjped1313@xxxxxxxxx>, <oracle-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <robertgfreeman@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 5 Nov 2009 12:49:33 -0500

    I guess I'd have to agree with you.  A database is a database no
matter the RDBMS that it runs under, I just happen to prefer Oracle.
But that does not mean that I only work on Oracle.  Sql*Server, MySql,
and Oracle are prevalent around here.  But it is getting way too easy
for a non DBA type to run setup and install whatever they like, wherever
they want and make it mission critical.
    Lets take a short walk back in time, say 10 years or thereabouts,
when a young software developer put MySql on his desktop, created a
spaghetti like VB program with lots of unlicensed DLL's that he got off
of the internet into place that feed a part of the manufacturing line.
Now no one, save for himself knew anything about this database or
application for several months till a badly placed cup of coffee spilled
causing a lot of smoke & a small amount of fire inside the case.  No
backups, no data exports, not even a backup copy of the VB source.  Yes
the onsite DBA (me) got called in to clean up the mess, more of a failed
salvage mission.  The young developer and his manager (who also did not
like the IT department or the DBA) resigned the next morning.  The
assembly line was idle for 2 weeks thereafter.  Bother!!

Dick Goulet 
Senior Oracle DBA/NA Team Lead 
PAREXEL International 



From: oracle-l-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:oracle-l-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Kellyn Pedersen
Sent: Wednesday, November 04, 2009 6:32 PM
To: oracle-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxx; robertgfreeman@xxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: Slightly OT: SQL Server conference vs. Oracle

OK, I'm going to pipe in on this one and hopefully will be seen as
shedding light and not as a DBA who likes to play on the darkside.  :D 
I have multi-platform DBA in my title for a reason-  I like databases,
I've never been a strong developer, (although I will code if starvation
is the only other option...:)), but I have just as many years in SQL
Server as I do in Oracle, both hitting two digits this last year.  I
also find many positives in MySQL, Informix, Sybase, Postgres and DB2
and have managed systems in each.  When I first started, my ADHD was
more than happy to take on any platform they threw at me and excelled.
I was informed that I was going to kill my career if I didn't specialize
in a database platform and the first couple of years, I wondered if a
few folks weren't right.
With the economy the way it is, I've been teased about how fast of a
turn around I had after being laid off, (was without a permanent
position for all of one week...) so I'm pretty happy I stuck to what was
right for my career, (and ADHD... :))  I now manage Oracle, SQL Server
and MySQL, letting my brain go from one challenge to the next,
investigating the newest feature in each anytime I get a chance.
As for the lack of maturity at SQL Pass, I think you are probably right.
I don't know how often I've been hired as an Oracle DBA, only to have
SQL Server brought to me on a silver platter or in a crushing blow when
they realize how operations impacting the system was they built on it
with the idea that "SQL Server is soooo easy to manage that the System
Admin/Application Admin/User can support it just fine."  How many of
those folks at SQL Pass are not *true* DBA's?  As many SQL Server events
I've been to in the last 10 years, I'd guess close to 80%.  How many of
those have DBA in their title and are actually developers or Sys Admins?
Trust me, we are getting to less than 10% are actual DBA's...
Can SQL Server work without a DBA?  For an enterprise level system,
about two years till it comes crashing down around their ears.  I then
have to be a DBA-  just like I have to be for an Oracle database and
take care of what needs to be cared for.  Set up the backups, verify
recovery, set up monitoring, notifications, error handling, performance
tuning, etc., etc...
I don't know how many SQL Server "DBA's" I've interviewed and had to
break it to them- "Nope, you aren't a DBA, you are a System
Admin/Application Admin/User with some skills-  thanks for coming in

I'm going through the same thing at my new job.  They have a very vital
system that was easy to set up and install on SQL Server, but no SQL
Server skill set on staff.  No backups, no recovery verification, no
alert checking or notification of failures and no patching which is a
real no-no in SQL Server.  The management is always shocked when they
become aware how vulnerable the system is without a "real DBA" on
Kellyn Pedersen
Multi-Platform DBA
I-Behavior Inc.
"Go away before I replace you with a very small and efficient shell

--- On Wed, 11/4/09, Robert Freeman <robertgfreeman@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

        From: Robert Freeman <robertgfreeman@xxxxxxxxx>
        Subject: Slightly OT: SQL Server conference vs. Oracle
        To: "oracle-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <oracle-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
        Date: Wednesday, November 4, 2009, 9:27 AM
        I'm in Seattle this week attending SQL Pass (anyone else in
Oracle-L here?). I'd liken SQL Pass, somewhat, to Collaborate though it
is very database specific. I'd say there are maybe 1500 to 2000
attending here (I've seen no numbers, this is only a guess). Yes, I'm a
man who is visiting a foreign country. I wear my Oracle shirt proudly
and got a few interesting looks in the process yesterday.
        One thing I've noticed (thus far) is the maturity at this
conference (and fairly I've been one day only so far) is NOTHING like
those at the bigger Oracle conferences such as Collaborate, RMOUG or
HOTSOS. The level and depth of the speaking at the Oracle conferences is
much better than what I've seen here. I've yet to see a presentation
that wows me as I have from the likes of Tom Kyte, Tim Gorman, Cary
Millsap and the like. There is a level of maturity that is missing here
I think, both in presentations, style and content. Anyway, I fully
recognize that my Oracle bigotry might be showing, but I'm not all that
impressed. Let's see how I feel at the end of the week.
        Just thought I'd share.
        Robert G. Freeman
        Oracle ACE
        Ask me about on-site Oracle Training! RMAN, DBA, Tuning, you
name it!
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