Monday, June 26, 2006

I really need a vacation

Especially when I see developers coming up with SQL like the following snippet from an autotrace. I just want to give up and go home.

Elapsed: 00:00:02.23
Execution Plan
0 SELECT STATEMENT Optimizer=CHOOSE ( Cost=60278 Card=2488086119
Bytes=25341157122015 )
1 0 HASH JOIN (OUTER) (Cost=60278 Card=2488086119 Bytes=253411
2 1 HASH JOIN (OUTER) (Cost=512 Card=435925 Bytes=4422895050
3 2 HASH JOIN (OUTER) (Cost=172 Card=1690 Bytes=17080830)
4 3 HASH JOIN (OUTER) (Cost=104 Card=13 Bytes=130884)


Only a few more days until I go on vacation. I just can not wait. I haven't had more than 3 days off in a row since July of last year. It has been a long rough year. In preparation for the planned camping trips during my holidays, I set up the tent and the fly, pulled all of the camping gear out and basically set up camp in the back yard to make sure everything is there and in good working order. My daughter is so looking forward to camping she was ready to burst with excitement and simply would not stop talking during her “helping” me with getting everything setup. I am going to do my best to completely forget about oracle, backups, servers, anything to do with work for 3 straight weeks. I am even going to leave my blackberry behind as where we are going camping the first time, there is no coverage for kilometers in any direction.

Ding Dong!

To the tune of "The wicked witch is dead" from the Wizard of Oz.


Ding Dong! The windows database server is dead. Which old windows
server? The Wicked windows server!
Ding Dong! The Wicked windows server is dead.
Wake up - sleepy head, rub your eyes, get out of bed.
Wake up, the windows server is dead. It's gone where the goblins go,
Below - below - below. Yo-ho, let's open up and sing and ring the bells
Ding Dong' the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low.
Let them know
The Wicked windows database server is dead!


As CIO of the
TechnoDepartment In the County of the Land of Oz, I welcome you most


But we've got to verify it legally, to see


To see?


If it


If it?


Is morally, ethic'lly

DBA No.1

Spiritually, physically

Sys Admin:

Positively, absolutely
Undeniably and reliably Dead

System Admin

As System Admin I must aver, I thoroughly examined it.
And it's not only merely dead, it's really most sincerely dead.


Then this is a day of
Independence For all the Technojunkies and their descendants


If any.


Yes, let the joyous news
be spread The wicked Old windows server at last is dead!

Well as you may have guessed, I am not musically inclined, but I had to do something to celebrate the end of Oracle databases on windows servers in the company! Not one production database on windows!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Been awhile

Sorry all.. well all 12 of you regular readers :) Statscounter says I have 12 readers that come back and about 130 a week on average visits. Not great, but I am not that entertaining. I don’t know if that counts RSS etc, so I have my fingers crossed there are more of you out there. It has been a busy time at work and at home, preparation for upcoming holidays and a plethora of new databases coming online has been consuming most of my time. The mass exodus from blogger by many people of late has made me wonder if I missed a memo someplace J. I have been consumed with reading all about DW databases as our big DW is about to almost quadruple in size as the user community has asked for and received approval for much more data to be loaded for reporting purposes. We will actually have to buy more disks for our brand new SAN that was supposed to last until the end of 2007 without any expansion. The DW is going to be almost 4 terabytes of data soon. I know, not big, but big enough for me. I have been using ‘off time’ at work to setup a proper oracle based training environment. This has become a pet project of mine and I am enthusiastic at how it is progressing. Thank goodness for VM! We had a VM server that we were upgrading as it was undersized, the cost to upgrade it was only a few dollars short of a new server, so we ordered a new server and the existing VM was given to me… minus a few hundred gigabytes of storage, but still a wonderful “gift” from the system admin folks. I spent a few hours configuring a VM client with suse, fully patched oracle 10g2, apex and some other tidbits of internal stuff installed, and then copied it to 4 other clients, giving me a total of 5 I can configure at will. The first one has been setup with just the example schema’s and I have written up a training doc for an introduction to SQL, a short 2 hour seminar which is almost 100% hands on. I set up an intermediate level SQL seminar also, 2 hours as well. Which I have configured so that I show the basics of things like some analytics and writing SQL for indexes instead of writing indexes for SQL and other things like that. The trainee’s each have a user account with everything they need and they have the ability to connect from their work PC’s after the seminar’s are over so they can reference what they did in the seminar and redo the training to focus on area’s they missed. This is based on the outcome of me being asked to train our already trained people with more detail and depth. So far I have only “trained” a few senior people and myself many many, many times as I write the seminars so I can target what we (the company) wants them to know and understand. I probably won’t be able to train the masses until September. No replacement for professional based training of course, but as a VP said – Hey its “free”. I had been working on a “what not to do” seminar, but I see that Tom Kyte has come up with the same idea. So I guess I will have to make sure I don’t make it seem like I am plagiarizing him.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


This has been a week for interviews. I had a head hunter give me a jingle early last week with a few positions that he felt were right up my alley. One of them is, a job in France, just outside of Paris. I am pursuing that one, a few years in France would make me very happy. I had to be on the opposite side of the table for the first time in many years. Even though it was only phone interview, it was a learning experience, I did very well and think I started to develop a good working relationship with the fellows on the other side. Other than the manager, they have all contacted me personally with information on the "village" the office is located in. I think, one of the key factors why they liked me so much, we spent about 20 minutes discussing Tom Kytes newest book and some of his blog entries, as well as David Alridge. Facts like that really impress upon you how small the world really is. I have to be on the "good" side of the table this week, interviewing for a Senior Oracle Applications DBA position, this is a new position in the company. The powers that be have decided that our oracle applications database and application deserves a lot more TLC than I am able to give it, so I pushed for a dedicated DBA. I was very surprised when they agreed, then tasked me with going through applicants to get it to a short list of 5. I did 23 phone interviews, of those, I had a list of 9 to pare down to 5. The rest... boy some of them reminded me of watching a monkey trying to get into a coconut when I was younger. Lots of noise, lots of action, lots of blood sweat and fecal matter flying everywhere, alas in the end nothing but a dent in the ground, a bad odour in the air and a hungry monkey. Some of these applicants blatantly lied on their resumes, some of these folks were easy ones to spot - they didn't know what was on their resume. Others tried to "baffle me with BS" assuming I was an HR person or an non-oracle type... even though I introduced myself as the Senior Corporate DBA, and they all received at least one email with my title on the footer. Easy way to waste few hours reading resumes. The poor unsuspecting fellow that is coming up is in for a surpise though, I have a small book of questions for him to go through and 3 brand new dry erase markers for him to write his answers out with. I even have crashed a development instance of our OA that is being retired and I will get him to diagnose and see if he can give me the answer to fix it. He is getting lunch with the department too. And a free weekend in town.