Kamran Agayev’s Oracle Blog

Kamran Agayev’s Oracle Blog

Archive for the ‘Expert Interviews’ Category

Exclusive Interview with Rob van Wijk

Posted by Kamran Agayev A. on September 23, 2011

Rob has worked with Oracle databases and related products since 1995. First as a developer and analyst using Oracle Forms, Reports and Designer. Currently he works as a technical architect, QA-consultant and/or performance consultant. His main areas of expertise are the database, SQL, PL/SQL and performance. He’s an Oracle ACE

 

Could u please provide answer to the following questions as follows:

  • Brief information about yourself and your family

I live in Utrecht in the Netherlands with my wife and three sons of 5, 4 and 0 years old. I work at CIBER as a principal Oracle consultant.

  • Your education

I studied “Technische Informatica” at the Technical University of Eindhoven from 1991 to 1995.

 

  • Your experience with Oracle. When you started first? Has it been interest of your side or just a coincidence?

For the last part of my study I worked six months at Shell, building a query generator using Oracle6. When applying for jobs at the end of 1995, I noticed several HR departments had put a red circle around the word Oracle, because it was in demand. So it was coincidence.

  • What was the motive behind to prefer Oracle? Who you have been influenced by?

I had some bad experiences using other (M$) technologies at Shell and the front end tools of Oracle, especially Forms and Designer were very good at that time. I still believe you cannot top the productivity we got from using those tools. Nowadays I have only seen APEX coming close.

From 2003 to 2006 I read a few threads each day on AskTom, so Tom Kyte has had a big influence on me. From then on I started participating in forums and reading Oracle related blogs. Currently I have more than 100 blogs in my reader, who all influence me in one way or the other.

 

  • What would your preference of profession if not Oracle?

I would probably still work in IT, maybe as a web developer or for Google.

  • What motivates you in your job?

Getting better at what I do and learning new things.

 

  • Do you give lectures on Oracle?

Yes. At CIBER I have give (and attend) knowledge sessions for (by) colleagues. I have presented at several conferences like UKOUG and Oracle OpenWorld. And I just started to give a seminar for Oracle University called SQL Masterclass in their celebrity series.

  • Have you authored any book in Oracle?

No.

  • Do you manage with your time as to read books on Oracle? What is the name of the book that you read recently?

Yes, but not very much. One or two per year at most. The last one was Oracle Insights – Tales from the Oak Table.

  • What do you think on OTN forums?

It’s where I started to answer questions in 2006. Besides trying to help, I quickly found that it’s a great way to learn as well. There are lots of very knowledgeable people there that you can learn a lot from. My participation has dropped significantly the last two years because I don’t like the forum software. These days I answer more at Stack Overflow. Their forum engine is absolute fabulous compared to OTN.

  • Do you refer to the documentation? And how often does it happen?

I always do. A lot.

  • What is the biggest mistake you have ever made during your DBA career?

I’m not a DBA, but I have made a lot of mistakes of course. I once completely refactored a very important and complex batch job to run in 2 hours instead of 5-6 hours using bulk processing. This went good, but a half year later, I implemented a change, where I screwed up the relation between accounts and bill lines in the bulk collections. The result was tens of thousands of people would get charged energy bills for someone else’s products. The end users had already accepted the change in UAT and it was ready for production. Because of some dependencies, my change stayed in UAT for two months. And by coincidence, a colleague implementing another change at the same module noticed my mistake, just in time. I’m still thankful to him. Thanks Riné!

 

  • What was your greatest achivement as an Oracle DBA?

As a developer, I introduced instrumentation at a customer site. Experiencing how solving production issues was hard or even impossible and became a piece of cake, is very rewarding. The return on investment is just phenomenal.

 

  • What are your best skills which make you differ from others?

In the world it’s not unique by far, but in my job I think it’s rare to find the combination of being able to retrieve or manipulate data in any way you want combined with understanding what you’re asking the database to do for you.

 

  • What’s your major weakness?

Spending too much time behind my laptop.

 

  • How do you balance your daily life with your career?

That’s a struggle with only 24 hours in each day.

 

  • Please describe your one day summary of activities?

There is no such thing as a typical day, so this question is almost impossible to answer.

 

  • How many hours do you work and sleep in a day?

I work 8 hours a day and I try to sleep 8 hours a day.

  • Where and how do you spend your daily, weekly and annual holidays?

Different locations, but we love to go to Turkey one week each year.

  • Do you think about Oracle during vacations?

I usually bring one Oracle book with me, but a vacation is mostly offline for me.

  • Do you have time or motivation to go in for any sports? If yes, which kind of sport do you go in for?

Once a week I play tennis with friends. At amateur level, but with great enthusiasm.

 

  • What’s your favorite meal and non-alcoholic drink?

Sandwich with ragout made by my mom, and cola.

  • What foreign languages do you know?

English and a little bit of French. Dutch is my mother language.

  • What’s your average typing speed?

I don’t know exactly, but I type with 10 fingers and quite fast, so probably around 200 strokes per minute. Unfortunately I write code much slower 🙂

  • Have you ever get involved in politics?

No.

  • What are your hobbies?

Oracle of course. And listening to music, working on my APEX application for Tour de France poules, playing Civilization and playing tennis.

 

  • How do you spend your free time?

With my family and exercising the above mentioned hobbies.

  • What’s your biggest ambition?

To raise my children well.

  • What would be your advice to the beginners in Oracle?

Read and try to understand the Concepts Manual and participate in a forum.

  • Would you like your children to follow in your footsteps or take a different path in life?

I hope they will do what they like best, whatever that may be.

  • Do you have any followers of you?

According to Google Reader, 247 readers have currently subscribed to the RSS feed of my blog. I seriously doubt they all consider them “followers of me”, though.

  • What is your vision on the future of Oracle?

I don’t have a vision on Oracle’s future. They’ll probably do fine and expand some more. And their database will remain the best one.

 

  • Could you please take a photo in your office near to your desktop?

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Exclusive Interview with Alex Nuijten

Posted by Kamran Agayev A. on September 8, 2010

  Alex Nuijten started of as an Oracle Developer mainly with Oracle Forms, Reports and Designer but fell in love with SQL and PL/SQL. Next to his consultancy work he also writes articles for an Oracle related magazine, blogs on the AMIS Technology Blog and his own blog, conducts training classes and is a regular presentor at National and International conferences. Alex is a frequent contributor at the Oracle Technology Network forum for SQL and PL/SQL.

Could u please provide answer to the following questions as follows:

  • Brief information about yourself and your family

I’m a database developer and expertise lead database development with AMIS in The Netherlands.
Married with Rian, two children – Tim 9 and Lara 6.

  

  • Your education

I am a Physical Therapist.

 

  • Your experience with Oracle. When you started first? Has it been interest of your side or just a coincidence?

Oracle was coincidence. I worked (as a Physical Therapist) and lived in the Florida, US, for about 5 years and when we moved back to The Netherlands I decided to change careers. The company that hired me offered to train me in Oracle, and that’s what I’ve been doing ever since.

  • What was the motive behind to prefer Oracle? Who you have been influenced by?

Oracle is what I have done ever since I changed careers. There are so many people that have influenced me within the Oracle area.

 

  • What would your preference of profession if not Oracle?

Haven’t really considered changing careers again, I still love what I do.

  • What motivates you in your job?

The technology. Trying out new features. Learning new things.

 

  • Do you give lectures on Oracle?

Yes, conferences at which I am presenting are usually up on my blog ( http://nuijten.blogspot.com ).
Besides the conferences I also do training classes for AMIS and Oracle University.

  

  • Have you authored any book in Oracle?

No, I haven’t. However I am a regular writer for Optimize, a Dutch magazine for Oracle professionals.
I have been a technical reviewer of Steven Feuerstein’s Oracle PL/SQL Programming (5th edition) book though. Funny to mention that in the acknowledgement section, he misspelled my last name…  🙂

  

  • Do you manage with your time as to read books on Oracle? What is the name of the book that you read recently?

 Before I go to sleep I always read. The last book I reread was “Pro Oracle Application Express” by John Scott and Scott Spendolini.

  

  • What do you think on OTN forums?

I think the OTN forums is a great resource. A lot of knowledgeable people there, and a lot of fun.  

  • Do you refer to the documentation? And how often does it happen?

Very often. Tahiti.oracle.com is one of my bookmarked websites. Before answering questions on OTN, I tend to look it up in the documentation first.

 

  • What is the biggest mistake you have ever made during your DBA career?

I’m not a DBA 😉
But as a developer I deleted a table on a production database, right after the “COMMIT” the phone started ringing… “What happened to this data?” Flashback is a great feature
J

 

  • What was your greatest achievement as an Oracle DBA?

I’m still not a DBA… J I guess my greatest achievement is that I still enjoy my work a lot. I always go to my work with a big smile on my face.

  • What is your priority to manage the challenges you face?

I tend to take one step at a time and take things as they come along.

 

  • How would you describe the essence of your success? According to your definition of success, how successful have you been so far?

“the essence of your success”…. Wow… I don’t know, I just do what I love to do and apparently that is appreciated by some.

 

  • What are your best skills which make you differ from others?

I guess I always want to try out new things, be involved.

  • What’s your major weakness?

Procrastination. You can procrastinate almost anything, except procrastination.

  • Have you ever lost your spirit? If so, what has been the reason and how have you overcome it?

If you ever lose the spirit, it’s time to find something else to do… something that you do enjoy and get energy from that.

 

  • What is the next success you would like to attain and your efforts to this end?

 I am still very happy with being awarded Ace Director.

 

  • How do you balance your daily life with your career?

Things seem to work out. I don’t doing anything special to balance things out.

 

  • Please describe your one day summary of activities?

At the moment I’m busy preparing my presentation for Oracle Open World, which I will do with my colleague Lucas Jellema.
Most of the time I am consulting at a client side just like everybody else and sometimes I might be teaching, visiting a conference and check out the OTN forums.

 

  • How many hours do you work and sleep in a day?

About 7 hours of sleep.

  • Where and how do you spend your daily, weekly and annual holidays?

I enjoy going camping. Preferably if the weather is nice, as long as it’s not raining it’s alright.

  • Do you think about Oracle during vacations?

Yes, I always take an Oracle book with me as well as my laptop.

  

  • Do you have time or motivation to go in for any sports? If yes, which kind of sport do you go in for?

I try to go for a run once or twice a week. When the weather is nice I enjoy inline skating.

  • What’s your favorite meal and non-alcoholic drink?

There are so many delicious things. I love a good barbecue, smoked ribs (most restaurants boil them,… yuck). Sushi is also something you can wake me up for. It depends on the meal what I will have to drink. Non-alcoholic: water.

  • What foreign languages do you know?

English, little bit of German, very little French, little Spanish. My mother tongue is Dutch.

  • What’s your average typing speed?

Don’t know. Fast enough I guess.

  • Have you ever get involved in politics?

No.

  • What are your hobbies? 

Reading, watching TV, playing with Oracle

 

  • How do you spend your free time?

Reading, watching TV, playing with Oracle, going to the soccer matches with my son’s team. Going to the Track and Field games with the kids.

 

  • What’s your biggest ambition?

Never really think about that sort of thing.

  • What would be your advice to the beginners in Oracle?

Always check what people are saying to you. Things change over time. Learn how to use the Oracle documentation.

  • Would you like your children to follow in your footsteps or take a different path in life?

My son wants to be either a Professional Soccer player or a Track and Field Athlete. My daughter wants to be a teacher.

  • Do you have any followers of you?

According to my blog (http://nuijten.blogspot.com) I have 9 followers… 🙂

When someone leaves a comment, good or bad, I always enjoy it.

  • What is your vision on the future of Oracle?

Oracle will keep expanding and will stay the best Database in the world.

  

  • Could you please take a photo in your office near to your desktop?

 

Posted in Expert Interviews | 1 Comment »

Exclusive Interview with Syed Sabdar Hussain

Posted by Kamran Agayev A. on May 31, 2010

  Sabdar Syed is an Oracle ACE, Oracle Certified Professional (8i, 9i & 10g), Oracle Certified Expert (10g RAC), and Oracle 11i E-Business Certified Professional with over 8 years of experience in Oracle Database and Oracle Applications Administration with strong Unix/Linux administration skills. He’s currently working as an Oracle Database Administrator for a first bank, Saudi Hollandi Bank, in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, (Riyadh). He has extensive experience with Oracle Database 11g, 10g, 9i, & 8i , Oracle 10g RAC, and Oracle E-Business Suite 11i, Specializing in Installing, Configuring, Administering, Cloning, Patching, Upgrading and Migrating, and troubleshooting of Oracle Database 11g, 10g, 9i, & 8i , Oracle 10g RAC, and Oracle E-Business Suite 11i on different UNIX and Linux OS including Solaris, HP-Unix, IBM AIX and Red Hat. Good exposure in implementing backup & recovery strategies and implementing high-availability solutions (Real Application Clusters (RAC), Data Guard (Standby)).He has written and published a couple of articles on Oracle Metalink Customer Knowledge Exchange.

He owns his blog ( http://sabdarsyed.blogspot.com ) where he discusses the issues that he faced and resolved, and also the topics he tested or implemented. 

Could u please provide answer to the following questions as follows:

  • Brief information about yourself and your family

 I am Syed Sabdar Hussain, an Indian national currently working for Saudi Hollandi Bank, K.S.A.  I have 3 brothers and a sister and I am married person and have one son. My wife is Rozina and my son is Rayyan (2 years old).

  • Your education

I have done my graduation in Bachelor of Computer Sciences i.e B.Sc (Computers)

 

  • Your experience with Oracle. When you started first? Has it been interest of your side or just a coincidence?

 I started using and practicing Oracle SQL & PL/SQL from my graduation in the year 1999-2000. When I completed my graduation, I got trained in Oracle 8i DBA Administration in the year 2001. Then, I started working as Oracle DBA since 2002.

  • What was the motive behind to prefer Oracle? Who you have been influenced by?

My elder brother, Mr. Syed Jaffar Hussain, who was already interviewed in your blog, is my motivator and mentor. He preferred me to choose my career in Oracle Technologies, and also he taught me many core techniques in Oracle DBA. I always follow his footsteps. He is not only a motivator to me but also he is a motivator for many other DBAs too.

 

  • What would your preference of profession if not Oracle?

If not an Oracle DBA, then I would have been a programmer or developer

  • What motivates you in your job?

My ability to work hard and deliver results, and reorganization and appreciation at the work motivates me.  My past experience motivates me to become DBA from Junior to Senior Level.

 

  • Do you give lectures on Oracle?

 No, but I do give internal technical presentations in the company and do train Junior DBAs. I’m sure that I will be prepared for open lectures on Oracle in near future when the opportunity comes.

  • Have you authored any book in Oracle?

 I’m currently reviewing the book “Oracle Backup & Recovery: Expert secrets for using RMAN and Data Pump” for Rampant Techpress. And, I helped my elder brother by reviewing the chapters and testing the scenarios he prepared for his upcoming book “Oracle 11g R1 / R2 Real Application Clusters Handbook”. And looking forward to review other Oracle books and write a book on my own in Oracle Technologies in near future.

  

  • Do you manage with your time as to read books on Oracle? What is the name of the book that you read recently?

 Whenever possible I do read Online Oracle Documentations, Oracle ILT (Instructor Led Training) materials, and Oracle Books. Following are the few books which I’m currently referring:

“Oracle Database 10g Performance Tuning Tips & Techniques”

“Oracle Automatic Storage Management: Under-the-Hood & Practical Deployment Guide”

“Pro Oracle Database 10g RAC on Linux: Installation, Administration, and Performance”

“Oracle Data Guard 11g Handbook”

  • What do you think on OTN forums?

OTN Forum is a great and wonderful technical forum and one and only place for every DBA to join and get the answers for their questions and clear their doubts from the top experts in Oracle. I’m also a member of OTN and myself asked many questions and answered to the other DBA questions in OTN forums. I would strongly recommend every novice and junior DBAs to keep follow the OTN forums to gain the great real knowledge shared by the experts.

  • Do you refer to the documentation? And how often does it happen?

Of course and I regularly refer the Oracle Documentations, my first and foremost source would be Oracle Documentation to get the concepts clear, and definitely documentation is a key for every Oracle Professional. I would prefer to read ILT materials as well, as these ILT chapters and concepts are refined and prepared from the vast Oracle Decimations.

  • What is the biggest mistake you have ever made during your DBA career?

As long as I remember, I have never done such mistake in my DBA career which causes bigger problem.  Sometimes, I do commit silly mistakes which can be negligible; well after all we are human beings 🙂 

 

  • What was your greatest achievement as an Oracle DBA?

 Implanted Oracle 10g R2 RAC on Two Nodes, Upgraded and migrated critical banking database (2TB) from 9i to 10g, Converted single-instance to RAC Database using RCONFIG in with nominal downtime, Converted large Data Warehouse Databases from non-ASM to  ASM, Performed Cross Platform Database Migration, Implemented Physical Standby Database, etc.

  • What is your priority to manage the challenges you face?

 First understanding the issue or challenge, and prepare myself to resolve the issue with all the possibilities I know, or discussing with the team members or contacting with Oracle Support  to get their ideas to approach the solution, i.e. no question of giving up the challenges to face.

 

  • How would you describe the essence of your success? According to your definition of success, how successful have you been so far?

Confidence, dedication and hard work are few essences of my success; these helped me a lot to be in this position today.

 

  • What are your best skills which make you differ from others?

Sharing the knowledge and help others in resolving the problems

 

  • What’s your major weakness?

Being transparent and being calm sometimes

 

  • Have you ever lost your spirit? If so, what has been the reason and how have you overcome it?

Have no such known. But sometimes discourage and criticism make us feel loosing spirit. But no issue, after all we are humans, we need to think positive and need to know what we are, and get going. Never feel happy when someone appreciate your work and never feel bad or loose your spirit when someone discourage or criticize. So, believe in always of what you do.

 

  • What is the next success you would like to attain and your efforts to this end?

My next goal or success is to become an Oracle Certified Master; I’m gearing up for it, and will appear for this exam by the end of this year or the beginning of the next year. But, I have to undergo two Oracle Training courses to eligible for writing this exam.

 

  • How do you balance your daily life with your career?

Not so easy to balance the personal life with professional life. All the time I’m on demand and should available for weekend activities in the bank. Due to this, sometimes, I don’t find enough time to spend with family, but I will surely fulfill the promises right after my busy schedules.

 

  • Please describe your one day summary of activities?

Wake up by 7 am and get ready, take breakfast and go to the office by 8 am, 1 hr for lunch in the after noon, return to home by 6 pm from the office, rest of the time spent at home by playing with my son, watching TV news channels for sometime, working on laptop and using internet for sometime, having dinner with family members together, and usually will go to bed by 12 in the night. It’s like machinery life throughout the week.

 

  • How many hours do you work and sleep in a day?

I work for 9-10 hours and sleep for 6 hours a day.

  • Where and how do you spend your daily, weekly and annual holidays?

During weekends with friends and colleagues, and definitely annual holidays with parents back in India.

  • Do you think about Oracle during vacations?

No

  • Do you have time or motivation to go in for any sports? If yes, which kind of sport do you go in for?

 Now a days NO, but I used to play cricket during my college days.

  • What’s your favorite meal and non-alcoholic drink?

 Chicken and Mutton biriyani (rice with spice) prepared in Hyderabadi style with Pepsi or Coke

  • What foreign languages do you know?

 A little bit of Arabic language, and Indian languages – Telugu & Hindi and little bit of Kannada.

  • What’s your average typing speed?

 Not too fast and not too slow, just average 🙂

  • Have you ever get involved in politics?

 Never but like to read and know about politics.

  • What are your hobbies? 

 Watching comedy movies, reading news papers, playing video games etc

 

  • How do you spend your free time?

Watching movies, TV and sparing sometime with friends and chit chat with them

  • What’s your biggest ambition?

 My ambition is to acquire the most elite position and to attain senior level in Oracle field. And, of course, to join and extend my support to my elder brother in his future establishing company

  • What would be your advice to the beginners in Oracle?

 I would suggest and advice the beginners in Oracle to join OTN Forums and other Oracle Forums, do practice all the DBA scenarios on different OS including Unix/Linux, prepare for Oracle Certifications, make a habit of referring Oracle Documentations/books/blogs., etc.

  • Would you like your children to follow in your footsteps or take a different path in life?

 I will wish them to choose their own path which would definitely better for them.

  • Do you have any followers of you?

 Yes, my followers are from my family, friends, and my blog viewers.

  • What is your vision on the future of Oracle?

 Oracle has already come up with consolidate, compress and control in the latest version 11g R2 in the market.  But still I would like to see Oracle is to be more integrated technology and complete solution for all the worlds business needs. i.e. All-in-One/one place for everything.

  • Could you please take a photo in your office near to your desktop?

 

Posted in Expert Interviews | 5 Comments »

Exclusive Interview with Porus Homi Havewala

Posted by Kamran Agayev A. on April 22, 2010

  Porus Homi Havewala is a Principal Consultant with extensive experience in Oracle technology since 1994, including being a Senior Production DBA, Senior Database Consultant, Database Architect, E-Business Technical DBA, Development DBA, and Database Designer Modeller (using Oracle Designer of course). He has worked in Oracle India and is an enthusiast for Oracle technology, especially Grid Control and RMAN, on which he has conducted seminars for various large corporates and their management, and helped them to implement these powerful enterprise tools. Porus has worked for a number of years with the first production Grid Control site in the world, Telstra in Australia. He has published a number of articles on Grid Control and RMAN on OTN, and created the first blog in the world fully dedicated to Grid Control, showcasing podcasts exclusively based on this technology.

Could you please provide answer to the following questions as follows:

  • Brief information about yourself and your family

I am a Parsi Zoroastrian, proudly born in India.  My ancestors migrated from Iran to tolerant India about 1200 years ago after the Arabic conquest of Pre-Islamic Zoroastrian Iran, in order to preserve our ancient religion of Zoroastrianism. We are a small and highly respected minority in India, in which we have been given full freedom of worship for the last 1200 years.  I am a happily married man, married to a fine lady of my own Parsi community.

  • Your education

Bachelor of Science, Post-Graduate Diplomas in Computer languages, Two Oracle Education Masters (Designer and Developer) from Oracle Education Australia, 10g/11g OCP, RAC certified expert, Performance certified expert.

 

  • Your experience with Oracle. When you started first? Has it been interest of your side or just a coincidence?

I started my computing career as a Turbo C (Borland) developer, then moved to dBASE the PC database as a way to fast develop applications. In the early 1990s, the invoicing, profit/loss, export documentation dBASE applications I had wriiten for a Japanese beef export company in Australia were straining under an increasing volume of data and users. I started to investigate the client-server RDBMS world, where I was very impressed with Oracle’s Multi-version Read Consistency and multi-platform support at the database level, and Oracle CASE (Computer Aided Software Engineering) 5.1 at the development and design level – CASE 5.1 was the forefather of Oracle Designer. No other database vendor had anything like Oracle CASE at that time, which was years ahead of its time. I was hooked and convinced my boss to go for Oracle. This was in 1993-1994.

 

  • What was the motive behind to prefer Oracle? Who you have been influenced by?

Oracle’s leading edge technology, even then, even now. Oracle’s enthusiasm for technology.

 

  • What would your preference of profession if not Oracle?

 A biomedical researcher into old age geriatics. But I didnt want to sacrifice animal lives in research.  So I entered the computer field.

  • What motivates you in your job?

Oracle technology, and the desire to further it’s use in the world. For example, not many people know how Oracle Audit Vault can help them in their auditing requirements. Not many people know how powerful Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control is, and how useful it can be.

  

  • Do you give lectures on Oracle?

 Yes, I have conducted a number of successful Oracle technical seminars in Singapore.

 In late 2008 as part of business development activities, I conceptualized and conducted an extremely popular Oracle workshop series based on Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control:  http://www.si-asia.com/marketing/gridcontrol/

 From July 2009 onwards, I conducted another series of extremely successful Oracle workshops every month jointly with Oracle. The first was on Oracle RAC with Enterprise Manager Grid Control, the second on Active Dataguard and other options such as Streams and Oracle Data Integrator, the third on Patch management using Grid Control, and the fourth on the Diagnostic and Tuning Packs:

http://www.si-asia.com/marketing/oracleworkshops2009/

From February 2010 onwards, I started to conduct another monthly series of Oracle workshops jointly with Oracle. The first was on Oracle Active Data Guard 11g with Enterprise Manager Grid Control and Oracle GoldenGate. Details of the latest workshops are on :

http://www.si-asia.com/marketing/oracleworkshops2010/  

  • Have you authored any book in Oracle?

I am pleased to announce that my new book “Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control: Advanced OEM Techniques for the Real World” is getting ready to be published soon (Fall 2010) by Rampant Techpress.  Please do recommend to all your friends and colleagues, it is a great handy book if you really want to make best use of Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control.

I have based it on a lot of practical experience and I am sure it will be useful to a lot of you.

These are my Published Articles on The Oracle Technology Network (OTN): 

 Using Grid Control with Filer Snapshotting

Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control Architecture for Very Large Sites

Oracle RMAN Backups: Pushing the “Easy” Button

Patch a Thousand Databases, Using Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control

Easy Disaster Proof Production with Grid Control

Using Oracle GoldenGate for Real-Time Data Integration

 

In December 2009, the Oracle Technology Network (OTN) published the list of Most Popular OTN articles in 2009 and two of my articles on Enterprise Manager are in the list:

http://blogs.oracle.com/otn/2009/11/the_most_popular_articles_and.html

The OTN is the world’s largest online community of Developers, DBAs and Architects.

The two articles of mine in the top 10 are:

Oracle RMAN Backups: Pushing the “Easy” Button

Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control Architecture for Very Large Sites

  • Do you manage with your time as to read books on Oracle? What is the name of the book that you read recently?

 I read Oracle books ocassionally. I recently reviewed “Oracle SQL Developer 2.1″ by Oracle’s product manager, Sue Harper.

 

  • What do you think on OTN forums?

 I try to help and advise, based on my knowledge and experience. Of course there are many other experts who know more than me.

  • Do you refer to the documentation? And how often does it happen?

 Oracle 10g/11g Documentation is my bible. I refer to documentation whenever I want to verify a technical point.

  • What is the biggest mistake you have ever made during your DBA career?

I stopped a production listener by mistake from another server. We password protected it after that after we realized the vulnerability.

 

  • What was your greatest achivement as an Oracle DBA?

 In 2008 I was awarded the “Oracle ACE” title followed by the prestigious “Oracle ACE Director” title by Oracle Corporation USA. These titles are the FIRST such awarded in Singapore.

  • What is you priority to manage the challenges you face?

Humanity first and foremost. A human being is the greatest thing on earth. There is a verse in in the Taittiriya Upanishad (Indian scripture) that says “Matru devo bhava, Pitru devo bhava, Acharya devo bhava, Atithi devo bhava” = One should treat their Mother, Father, Teacher and Guests as God.

  • How would you describe the essence of your success? According to your definition of success, how successful have you been so far?

Moderately successful – by God’s Grace.

 

  • What are your best skills which make you differ from others?

Enthusiasm for technology and an interest in writing.

 

  • What’s your major weakness?

At times, a lack of patience.

 

  • Have you ever lost your spirit? If so, what has been the reason and how have you overcome it?

Everyone has that phase. Just think positive – tomorrow is a new day.

 

  • What is the next success you would like to attain and your efforts to this end?

 Make the world a better place to live in.

 

  • How do you balance your daily life with your career?

Life is life and career is career, draw a clear line.

 

  • Please describe your one day summary of activities?

Work. Do something good. Help someone.

Learn. Learn something nice. Teach someone.

Eat simple. Think of God. Sleep.

 

  • How many hours do you work and sleep in a day?

 I try to sleep at least 6 hours.

  • Where and how do you spend your daily, weekly and annual holidays?

At home or shopping.

  • Do you think about Oracle during vacations?  

Vacations are for thinking of my family.

  • Do you have time or motivation to go in for any sports? If yes, which kind of sport do you go in for?  

Only walking, which was Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite exercise.

 

  • What’s your favorite meal and non-alcoholic drink?

 Parsi dishes made from the fresh food in India is delicious.

Sugarcane and Mango juice – the sweetest is in India.

  • What foreign languages do you know?

 English, Hindi, Gujarati (my mother tongue).

  • What’s your average typing speed?

 I am a one-finger typist.

  • Have you ever get involved in politics?

 No.

  • What are your hobbies? 

 Blogging. Writing. Technical as well as spiritual topics.

The popular blog I maintain is http://enterprise-manager.blogspot.com with Oracle Press credentials, and has received more than 8,000 visits since 2008 from all over the world.

I am also the author of a Zoroastrian book, “Saga of the Aryans” (http://saga.zoroastrianism.com)

  • How do you spend your free time?

Watch movies, Indian and English, also documentaries. Read Wikipedia.

  • What’s your biggest ambition?  

To help humanity.

  • What would be your advice to the beginners in Oracle?

 Have patience. You become a DBA only after years of experience.

  • Would you like your children to follow in your footsteps or take a different path in life?

 First and foremost, they should never forget humanity.

  • Do you have any followers of you?

 I have friends not followers.

  • What is your vision on the future of Oracle?

 Oracle has an awesome future.

  • Could you please take a photo in your office near to your desktop?

This is me conducting the most recent “Oracle Database Security” Seminar for Oracle and S&I Systems (Platinum  Partner) at the Sun Solution centre auditorium in Singapore.

Posted in Expert Interviews | 2 Comments »

Exclusive Interview with Ittichai Chammavanijakul

Posted by Kamran Agayev A. on April 14, 2010

Ittichai  Chammavanijakul has started working with Oracle database since 2000, he has been involved in about all aspects of Oracle database technologies including RAC, ASM, Data Guard and Streams. He has designed and implemented many different varieties of high available database environments using RAC on ASM and Veritas Cluster File System. He enjoys database and SQL tuning. Recently he has also been interested in web development using Oracle APEX.

In his current role as data warehouse architect with Motorola, he has architected and implemented many business-driven solutions using Oracle and other vendor products to meet critical business needs especially in warehousing area.

He is Oracle Certified Master, OCP (8i,9i,10g), CCNA, SCSA and MCP

Could u please provide answer to the following questions as follows:

  • Brief information about yourself and your family

 I’m married to the most beautiful, charming, funny and talented woman on earth (who is also watching my screen as I’m typing this). We live in Chicago, Illinois with our daughter and a dog who thinks he’s a cat. 

  • Your education

 I did my Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering with the emphasis on Telecommunications. My Master Degree is also in the same field with the same emphasis. 

  • Your experience with Oracle. When you started first? Has it been interest of your side or just a coincidence? 

I started my career as a wireless engineer, but later switched into IT as a system administrator. Then one thing led to another and I got into Oracle. I’ve been working with Oracle since version 8.0. 

  • What was the motive behind to prefer Oracle? Who you have been influenced by?

Whatever I say here will bore you to tears. I was interested in Oracle because it has the largest market share in RDBMS, and I found its technology to be very challenging. So I motivated myself to learn and become better at it. I’ve had fun along the way.  

  • What would your preference of profession if not Oracle? 

  In the alternate universe, I would be a professional golf player. 

  • What motivates you in your job?

I’m a troubleshooter by nature. I like to solve problems the way I do puzzles or riddles. And in this field, problem is something you never run out of. 

  • Do you give lectures on Oracle?  

  I do internal workshops and trainings all the time.  

  • Have you authored any book in Oracle?

  No, but I’d love to someday. 

  • Do you manage with your time as to read books on Oracle? What is the name of the book that you read recently?  

Yes, definitely. Currently I’m reading the “Oracle PL/SQL Programming” by Steven Feuerstein. There are many tips and tricks I’ve never known before.  

  • What do you think on OTN forums?  

It is interesting place where you can interact directly with Oracle experts. I believe what makes Oracle great is its community and contributions, especially in the OTN forums, from all Oracle technologists worldwide. 

  • Do you refer to the documentation? And how often does it happen?  

All the time. I always go to tahiti.oracle.com for Oracle documentation if I would like to research for any topics. 

  • What was your greatest achievement as an Oracle DBA?  

Besides the OCM certification, the fact that I’m still able to balance my technical and management roles at work is my personal achievement. 

  • What is you priority to manage the challenges you face?  

Plan ahead as much as you can, but expect the unexpected. 

  • How would you describe the essence of your success? According to your definition of success, how successful have you been so far?

In addition to dedication and hard working, I love what I’m doing. That will drive you to accomplish anything. 

  • What are your best skills which make you differ from others?

Seeing the big picture to connect the dots.  

  • What’s your major weakness?

  I can’t say no to ice cream. 🙂 

  • Have you ever lost your spirit? If so, what has been the reason and how have you overcome it?

Have I lost my spirit? I would say no. Occasional discouragement, perhaps. But doesn’t that happen to everybody? 

  • What is the next success you would like to attain and your efforts to this end?

I’d like to find more time to blog more consistently. Ideas abound, but time is scarce. 

  • How do you balance your daily life with your career?

It hasn’t been a challenge, really. I love my job and I enjoy goofing off with my family. I’ve been blessed to have a good balance between the two while making time for myself as well. 

  • Please describe your one day summary of activities?

I work 8-10 hours a day with occasional breaks in between and lots of phone calls and (back-to-back) meetings. In the evening, I walk the dog, play with my daughter, and cook up something with my wife in the kitchen. We love to cook. 

  • How many hours do you work and sleep in a day?

It is varied. Usually I work about 8-10 hours a day. I also sleep 8-10 hours a day. 🙂 

  • Where and how do you spend your daily, weekly and annual holidays?  

At home, we relax in the kitchen a lot, cooking up new dishes. On weekends, my family and I like to visit a new restaurant to try their food. Each year, we make a point to travel to a new overseas destination. 

  • Do you think about Oracle during vacations?

  Uh, heck, no.  

  • Do you have time or motivation to go in for any sports? If yes, which kind of sport do you go in for?  

  I play golf. It relaxes me and helps increase my ability to focus at the same time. Golf is about figuring out creative solutions to problems. You practice a lot disciplines in this game. You compete with yourself because, unlike other sports, it has no referee or umpire. 

  • What’s your favorite meal and non-alcoholic drink?  

I love Thai street foods: Khao Man Gai, Pad Thai, etc. I’m a fan of foie gras torchon, artisan cheeses and all those things, but the truth remains — the best foods in the world are made street-side and sold on carts. 

  • What foreign languages do you know? 

English (foreign to me as my mother tongue is Thai). I also speak some Mandarin and read Attic Greek and Classical Hebrew. 

  • What’s your average typing speed?  

 63 WPM last time I checked when playing SpongeBob SquarePants Typing game at Apple Store. 

  • Have you ever get involved in politics? 

No. Never. 

  • What are your hobbies?   

Golf, photography and reading.

  • How do you spend your free time?

We’re a family of foodies, so we’re always going out to eat different types of food at different places. 

  • What’s your biggest ambition?  

I’d like to start a nonprofit organization that deals with education for the underprivileged. 

  • What would be your advice to the beginners in Oracle?

Read a lot especially Oracle documentations and/or blogs. Ask questions on forums or blogs. Test everything you read or you are told. Understanding basic concepts is the key. It is tempting to jump into more advanced concepts like RAC, ASM, etc. But without a solid foundation, it may be difficult to grasp the whole. 

  • Would you like your children to follow in your footsteps or take a different path in life? 

I just want my daughter to be a happy person. That’s all I ever want for her in life. If happiness means she follows my footsteps, then so be it. 

  • Do you have any followers of you?  

You mean stalkers? 🙂 

  • What is your vision on the future of Oracle? 

Oracle will continue to expand its product portfolios by acquiring more companies. Oracle solutions will be more complete covering more aspects of technologies. 

  • Could you please take a photo in your office near to your desktop?  

Unfortunately, this is against the company’s policy to take picture in the office.

Posted in Expert Interviews | 5 Comments »

Exclusive Interview with Hemant K Chitale

Posted by Kamran Agayev A. on February 2, 2010

Hemant K Chitale has 17 years of experience as an Oracle DBA. He has been a DBA on a wide variety of Unix platforms (some of them extinct now), Linux and Windows, from V6 to 10g. His career has spanned organisations from the Financial Services Industry to Manufacturing to Consulting. He has been a guide to junior DBAs and is in the habit of writing notes and case studies on technical issues in Oracle Database Administration. Portions of his spare time are spent on Oracle forums and on testing features of the Database. Database Performance and Backup and Recovery are his areas of interest. However, he does also have other interests in Non Fiction books and Serious Movies. “To learn and share knowledge” is a constant driver..

Could u please provide answer to the following questions as follows:

  • Brief information about yourself and your family

I have a wife and a 14 year old son in Secondary School.

  • Your education

My formal degree is in Finance.  However, I have done a Post  Graduate Diploma in Software Technology after I began working in I.T.

  • Your experience with Oracle. When you started first? Has it been interest of your side or just a coincidence?

I began with Oracle5 on DOS and Xenix.   When I joined Stock Holding Corporation of India Ltd, I began in Securities Trading Market Operations.  However, the systems we were using intrigued me.  The architecture was ahead of it’s time : Distributed Databases with Oracle5 on DOS sharing data with a “central” Oracle5 database on a Xenix server.

I moved to the I.T. department after my first year and soon started working on the Database sometime in 1991.

  • What was the motive behind to prefer Oracle? Who you have been influenced by?

Other than Oracle, the only “Database” I had seen was dBASE-III+  !  I liked Oracle for it’s multi-user support in V5.  V6 and V7 introduced Rollback Segments, Redo Logs, Row Locking (the “Transaction Processing Option”), PLSQL and I was hooked.

Years ago, before Oracle books came out, I read Steve Adam’s postings on newsgroups.   Then, later, Cary Millsap’s book “Optimizing Oracle Performance” Jonathan Lewis’s book “The Cost Based Optimizer”.

  • What would your preference of profession if not Oracle?

Teaching.  I like sharing knowledge.

  • What motivates you in your job?

The opportunities to “discover” different facets of databases and application design.  Some implementations really leave you with “awe” while others are “shocking”.  It’s always something new, exciting, challenging or disappointing or frustrating.  It is much more intellectual than Finance.

  • Do you give lectures on Oracle?

When I have had the occasion to.  I have conducted a 5 day DBA-I course once and a course in Advanced Replication (both in the 8i days).   Besides these, I have, on occasion, conducted 2-4 hour sessions.

  • Have you authored any book in Oracle?

Unfortunately, no.  I wish to and intend to.

  • Do you manage with your time as to read books on Oracle? What is the name of the book that you read recently?

I read non-Oracle books as well !  See my recommendations page http://web.singnet.com.sg/~hkchital/Recommendations.htm

The most recent Oracle books that I have been reading have been “Refactoring SQL Applications”  (ok, not strictly Oracle-only) by Stephane Faroult and “Advanced SQL Functions in Oracle 10g” by Richard Walsh Earp and Sikha Saha Bagui.

However, I am currently reading “The Professional” by Subroto Bagchi and “Fool’s Gold” by Gillian Tett.

  • What do you think on OTN forums?

A very useful platform, still underused.  There are many people I know that should be on OTN forums but, for whatever reasons that I cannot fathom, are averse.  I guess you have to have a certain attitude before you open up or spend time on forums.  This is an infinitely better way to spend your time than something silly as Facebook.

  • Do you refer to the documentation? And how often does it happen?

Very frequently.   Most often the SQL Reference (because I don’t  — and do not intend to – memorise syntax.  Syntax has to be understood rather than memorized). Also, the RMAN Reference (known as the “Backup and Recovery Reference”) and the Database Reference.

  • What is the biggest mistake you have ever made during your DBA career?

There was this time when I deleted an Online Redo Log when re-organising Logs. Fortunately, it wasn’t a CURRENT file but an INACTIVE one, so there was no harm done.  I could clear that quickly enough but did also bounce the database instance “to be safe”.

  • What was your greatest achivement as an Oracle DBA?

 Single-greatest ?  Actually multiple great ones.  Cross-Platform Migration from V6 to V7 in a short time-frame was one – although most DBAs would laugh at this now, back in those days it was my first Upgrade + Cross Platform + Cross Location migration.  Another one was implementing Oracle OPS in V7.   Building a Standby Database in V7 (DataGuard was a decade in the future !).  There have been a few Oracle Ebusiness Suite (10.7 and R11) upgrades that have been significant achievements.  As also storage-based D.R. implementations.

  • What is you priority to manage the challenges you face?

 Staying cool.  I can handle technology failures.  People’s unwillingness  to learn and/or share knowledge, particularly when it is needed, is something which makes me despair.  What makes me angry pushing a “never-live” project and continuing it as if it were a success.  I have seen instances of refusal to acknowledge that corrective action is required and that responsibility must be owned.

  • How would you describe the essence of your success? According to your definition of success, how successful have you been so far?

I wouldn’t say that I am successful yet !  I am trying to do a good job but am not near achieving my potential.

  • What are your best skills which make you differ from others?

Understanding the technology

  • What’s your major weakness?

Not understanding people – what motivates one person but not another, why does a person or a group of people behave in a certain manner ?  Humans just are weird !

  • Have you ever lost your spirit? If so, what has been the reason and how have you overcome it?

Yes.  Leading to depression.  The best person to talk to is your wife.  The next best person is someone outside the organization you work for.  However, fortunately, I have had good supervisors throughout my career, only that I have approached them too late.

  • What is the next success you would like to attain and your efforts to this end?

Ah!  That would be telling. 

  • How do you balance your daily life with your career?

“Work-Life balance” is an  empty phrase.  What you really need to do is to be happy – whether at work or at home or on OTN forums  (or, I wouldn’t say this about myself, playing computer games !)

  • Please describe your one day summary of activities?

Get up.   Read the newspaper.  Get ready for work.  Commute to work.  Do some work.  Return home.  Watch Television.  Spend time on the Internet (forums, lists, news etc).

Work should not be the most important part of the day – everything is equally important.

  • How many hours do you work and sleep in a day?

 4 to 6.  Sometimes I wake up in the night and can’t go back to sleep. 

  • Where and how do you spend your daily, weekly and annual holidays?

 Annual holidays in India with my parents, brothers and in-laws.  An additional visit to some other neighbouring country in the region, about once in two years.

  • Do you think about Oracle during vacations?

Only on rare occasions.

  • Do you have time or motivation to go in for any sports? If yes, which kind of sport do you go in for?

No.

  • What’s your favorite meal and non-alcoholic drink?

Indian Vegeterian  (which covers a whole gamut of different foods, believe me !).  Tea.

  • What foreign languages do you know?

Foreign to which country ?  Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati are Indian languages that are Foreign outside of India !

  • What’s your average typing speed?

I have a certified speed of 40 wpm on manual typewriters from 1981.   Computer keyboards nowadays are different from those typewriters but I have heard people say that I am “fast on the keyboard”.

  • Have you ever get involved in politics?

No.

  • What are your hobbies? 

Reading.  Non-fiction – economics, history, politics, science/technology and Oracle – besides a bit of  crime / detective fiction.

  • How do you spend your free time?

Television.  Crime Channels,  Knowledge Programs, News Programs and a few family programmes.

Reading. 

On Internet Forums and Email lists.

Internet News.

  • What’s your biggest ambition?

I am not known to be ambitious. 

  • What would be your advice to the beginners in Oracle?

Read the documentation, practice Oracle, learn, keep an open mind.

  • Would you like your children to follow in your footsteps or take a different path in life?

My son will NOT be an Oracle DBA.  That is 100% certain !  He knows what the job requires.

  • Do you have any followers of you?

Define “followers”.  I do not like any possible definition of the word.

  • What is your vision on the future of Oracle?

Cheaper licencing for the Database products.

  • Could you please take a photo in your office near to your desktop?

That’s not possible.

Posted in Expert Interviews | 12 Comments »