Where should my new tech path lead?

I’m a BTOODBA (Bitter Twisted Old Oracle DBA)…and a pretty darn good one if I say so myself. I’ve loved working with Oracle since version 7.0 Parallel Server (what a mess that was!) on OpenVMS (loved VMS). I’ve been responsible for small databases, large databases, very large databases. Oracle Apps (now known as e-Biz…I think), Agile (not the methodology, an actual Oracle product), RAC, Golden Gate (near zero downtime server migration!), Exadata…too many to remember.

Where to go now? AWS? CassandraDB? MySQL & PHP? Chef? Java? Oracle?

Whatever technology I learn, the bottom line is and will always be…

How can I help people?

The best projects, the best work, the best effort for me has always been when I can help others with their work lives. We spend a great deal of our workday interacting with computer systems. And when those systems are slow or poorly designed or give wrong results (OR ALL 3!), we get stressed, angry, frustrated…and unhappy & unproductive.

When I can help make the systems act consistently, achieve acceptable performance, provide right data at the right time…and help reduce stress and frustration, make people’s work lives a little happier…I am doing what I need to do.

So where to go?

to be continued…

Adventures in AWS land

I admit it…I’m a BTOARCFODBA. I learned computers on BASIC, COBOL, and  a wee bit of Pascal. Add in a smattering of DCL (Digital Control Language) and SQL.

Along the way (c. 1996), I entered the world of Oracle (7.0 to be exact) and became an Oracle DBA. Eventually specializing in diagnosis and optimization. While I have a accomplished a great deal in my career, I feel somewhat stagnated…time to explore new technology.

Amazon Web Services are definitely a skill in demand, so here I go…


“The Princess Bride” is a cult classic with many quotable lines…including Vizzini’s frequent and incorrect exclamation “Inconceivable!” Eventually, Inigo counters “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Often we are faces with websites and applications that present us with ‘data’…that is little more than bits & bytes, characters & numbers. If the data presented is not accurate, relevant or timely, it is not useful for decision making. At best, it is a bit frustrating…at worst it leads to mistakes.

“I do not think it means what you think it means.”

  • “In Stock”

A major hardware/home improvement store offers a filter for ‘In Stock Items Only’ when you have selected a local store. However, not all items returned with that filtered query are actually physically present in the store!

  • “Sunday Evening”

In searching for a date idea for a Sunday evening, a local newspaper entertainment calendar returned a nice long list of possible event for this Sunday after 6pm. Click after click was wasted as every event listed had performances only during the day…nothing after 4pm. And even a few events that had already completed their run or had yet to start.

  • “Unsubscribe”

After clicking on an email unsubscribe link, I was taken to a page that acknowledged my unsubscribe action with the words “Thank you. You will be hearing from us soon.” No…unsubscribe means I don’t want to hear from you.

If your data lacks presentation integrity, it’s not data. It’s garbage.