As a DBA, what are you doing?

That is a question, particular interesting for Oracle University: What concrete tasks do DBAs need to perform during their day-to-day work and how important resp. critical are these tasks compared to each other? We want to find out that in order to develop courses that address the business needs of our customers, focusing on the relevant things that a todays DBA has to know. Instead of just assuming – based on our own expertise – what that might be, OU decided to develop a survey for DBAs, to send it to hundred thousands of them and just ask them.

Now what questions should this survey contain? Enter DBA Job Task Analysis: We gather a team of 20+ people across the globe from various Lines of Business (also Partners & Customers) to develop & negotiate the right questions to ask in that survey.

Oracle departments involved in that Analysis were: OU Program Management, OU Curriculum Development, OU Delivery, OU Sales, Oracle Certification, Oracle Global IT, Oracle Support, Oracle Documentation and Oracle OnDemand. From OU Delivery, four Instructors – for the clusters America, APAC, Japan and EMEA – took part. I was glad to represent the EMEA cluster. Again this event demonstrated to me what a great company Oracle corp. is to work for: Not only am I working at the leading edge of (Database-) Technology but also together with very bright and open-minded people who create the most comfortable and pleasuring atmosphere :-)

Even John Hall (SVP Oracle University) and Andrew Mendelsohn (SVP Database Server Technologies) took the time to share some insights with us!

During this three-days Event, we teamed up in different department combinations and developed questions for the key areas

DBA Core Essentials
Database Storage
High Availability
Scalability
Networking
Security
Very Large Database Administration
Distributed Databases

I can tell you that I now have an impression about how UN resolutions are being crafted, since we sometimes took very long to negotiate about a single term inside one question :-) However, regarding the fact that 20+ people from different occupations needed to agree about each question & definition, we have been quite efficient, I think. The team members came together from all over the world; probably the longest travel was for those from Europe (like me) and for Frank from Australia especially. Here’s my distance, that took me an 11 hours flight:


The team members from abroad resided in a nice Hotel, very close to the HQ:

You can see original California Sun Rays on the picture. Unfortunately, it was not that sunny during our week, rather cloudy – but that was just to remind us of the leading IT buzz word of our times, probably, and chances are that it will be part of the name of the next Oracle Database version :-)

The hotel was so close to the HQ that we could even see the Oracle towers from there:

These towers are really impressive when actually seen, much more than only through posters & pictures:

With my dear colleagues and friends Frank (Australia) and Arnoud (The Netherlands), I went for some sight-seeing into the City of San Francisco and also took some pictures there.

One of the famous Cable Cars:

I thought this one below is the famous Golden Gate, but it is actually the Bay Bridge, as Frank just told me – although the picture was taken from the ‘Golden Gate Ferry Terminal’ :-)

We entered an Organic Restaurant, where I took a plant burger and an Organic Beer – if you are from Germany, that sounds funny: What else could a beer be but organic? At least in our country, this is a must. We have even a special law to guarantee it, the “Reinheitsgebot”.

We strolled around until dusk, when I took this one that reminds me to the famous TV series with Karl Malden & Michael Douglas. Do you recall it? Well probably not if you are young :-)

All in all, it was a great trip and a very productive business event too, I think.

Let me close this posting with a little appeal to you:

It is not unlikely that you may receive the DBA Job Task survey from OU some when later this year, because plans are to send it out to about 300 thousand people. Please consider the effort we took to craft this survey in order to come up with the best possible course material for the new Database curriculum, based on your answers! Please take the time to answer it; it will help us to continue to deliver the premium quality that you expect from Oracle University.

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