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Don Burleson Blog 







Incompetent Oracle posers are not always dishonest

Oracle News by Burleson Consulting

March 8, 2015

I have over 25 years of full-time experience as a DBA, and I am greatly concerned that in today’s connected world, marginal technicians from all over the globe are appointing themselves as “Oracle Experts”, cluttering the Internet with dangerous and misleading Oracle information. 

Many of these posers are foreigners who use Oracle software exclusively on their PC’s without the benefit of any on the job experience.  At first blush, you might think that these people are dishonest because of the well-documented cases of dishonest posers who pretend to be distinguished scientists to get a U.S. Visa, but not all fake Oracle experts are willfully dishonest.

The old saying goes “You don’t know what you don’t know”, and many of these fake Oracle experts are not aware that they are imposters.  I have encountered self-proclaimed Oracle experts who truly believe that Oracle is a trade, that you don’t need a college degree, and that no experience is required to become an Oracle expert!

It’s just like this take-off from the popular movie “The Sixth Sense”:

This credibility problem is especially true in the Oracle world, where many foreign neophytes truly believe that they are true experts! 

It’s like the Chess analogy.  People who are not aware of the depth of the game will learn how the Chess pieces move and declare themselves Chess Masters, totally unaware of what they do not know!

In the computer industry, this phenomenon is called “The Dilbert Principle”, and there have been studies titled “Unskilled and unaware of it”:

“The more incompetent someone is in a particular area, the less qualified that person is to assess anyone’s skill in that space, including their own. When one fails to recognize that he or she has performed poorly, the individual is left assuming that they have performed well.
As a result, the incompetent will tend to grossly overestimate their skills and abilities.”

It’s usually easy to spot a poser:

  • Phony credentials:  Oracle impostors will purchase vanity accolades from the International Biographical Centre in England or the American Biographical Institute in Raleigh.

  • Obsession with Science:  Oracle impostors may pretend to be scientists in order to get a Visa.  They will sometimes come-up with ridiculous titles like “Oracle Scientist”.

  • Hidden qualifications: All real Oracle experts are proud of their accomplishments and they proudly display their resume.  In contrast, a poser will take great pains to hide their true qualifications and credentials, lest they be exposed and imprisoned.

It took me many years of publishing before I was considered an expert.  I started by publishing articles in magazines, giving presentations and publishing whitepapers at conferences, and ultimately writing books for Oracle Press.  There are no shortcuts to expertise; it takes many years of real hands-on job experience to truly master Oracle database administration. 

See here for my full notes on becoming an Oracle expert, my guidelines for evaluating the credibility of Oracle information on the web and my notes for identifying Oracle posers



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Note: This Oracle documentation was created as a support and Oracle training reference for use by our DBA performance tuning consulting professionals.  Feel free to ask questions on our Oracle forum.

Verify experience! Anyone considering using the services of an Oracle support expert should independently investigate their credentials and experience, and not rely on advertisements and self-proclaimed expertise. All legitimate Oracle experts publish their Oracle qualifications.

Errata?  Oracle technology is changing and we strive to update our BC Oracle support information.  If you find an error or have a suggestion for improving our content, we would appreciate your feedback.  Just  e-mail:  

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