Becoming an Oracle Expert

The term "expert" is used with abandon in the database industry and many people complain that there cannot possible be so many "experts" in Oracle technology.  I disagree.

Oracle is the world's most robust and flexible database, yet the complexity of Oracle is not rocket science and anyone with a decade of real-word Oracle experience is likely to be an Oracle expert.  Let's examine what it takes to rightfully call yourself an Oracle expert.

The criteria for the title of "Oracle Expert"

In my humble opinion, it's difficult not to become an Oracle expert after a decade of full-time experience.  However, it's the nature of the experience that matters most:

- Real-world experience - The path to true Oracle expertise is paved with working on real-world, mission-critical Oracle databases.  No amount of at-home experimentation can compare with the learning from working on a real production database.  Many aspiring Oracle experts will work for free for non-profit charities in order to get this experience.

- Quality experience - There is a wide variation in the quality of experience in the Oracle workplace.  Not all experience is created equal, and a challenging high-performance database job will provide far more expertise exposure than baby-sitting a stable database.

- Broad experience - A broad base with many different types of Oracle database is essential for developing expert status.  I've been in shops with over 20 DBA's, where job duties are highly segmented and Oracle professionals are relegated to "niche" work, like security administration, or full-time patch application.  On the other hand, a single DBA is more likely to get a broader range of experience.  The best place to get experience is as an Oracle consultant where you are exposed to dozens of novel databases each year.  A well-rounded Oracle DBA will have experience in many areas including OLTP, OLAP and batch databases.


Click below for more of my notes on achieving Oracle expert status:

And click here to see how to become an Oracle guru:


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