Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Oracle DBA Training Options Are Changing

Oracle DBA Training Options Are Changing


Training options for Oracle Database DBAs are changing. Generally, I don't think they are for the better. Companies don't value Oracle Database Administrators like they used to. And, it shows in the lack of their professional development investment.

When I travel a long way from home, I tend to get very reflective about life, death and beyond. On my way home from teaching an onsite two-day Oracle performance tuning seminar coupled with a one-day predictive analysis (forecasting) class in Ghana (yes, Ghana as in AFRICA) I started thinking about how fortunate the Ghana DBAs I taught are. Clearly their management is willing to invest in their DBAs' future. This is very, very rare.

Today most Oracle DBAs receive what I call, "Training By Google." You know, blog posts, YouTube videos and various syntax websites. While these are all valuable (I am a content creator myself with my blog posts and videos), they are no substitute for instructor led training. Not even close! So what is happening that is forcing Oracle DBAs to change their training habits?

So Why The Change? Three Reasons


1. Training Budget. Over the past five years I have been disappointed (more like disturbed) that most companies do not provide the training DBAs need. They just won't do it. IT managers (not typically DBA managers) believe their staff can get by with "Training By Google." It's stupid and foolish. It tells DBAs they are worthless and leaves them unprepared to perform at their best. And, of course, that ends up hurting the company they work for. Stupid and foolish.

Are we then surprised with the results from poor performing systems, down production systems, massive security breaches, and DBAs hopping from one company to another?

2. Travel Budget. A nasty tactic many companies use is to provide a minimal training budget but without a travel budget. If you want specialized and advanced training, you'll probably have to travel to get to it. Maybe not hundreds or thousands of miles, but probably more than you want to commute each day.

Essentially the company is splitting the training cost with the DBA and ensuring the DBA really, really wants the training. OK, I can respect that. But, I think a company that does not truly provide training for its employees (human beings that spend a significant portion of their lives doing whatever it takes to get the job done) is cruel and frankly immoral.

3. More Training Options. The good news for Oracle DBAs is there is more information and training options available today than ever before. When the orapub.com website began in 1995, doing a "tail -f" on the web log was a lesson in world geography. It was amazing watching line after line stream by as DBAs from all over the world were looking for Oracle performance materials through the web. Now there is much more available. Training options for Oracle DBAs now include traditional instructor led training (ILT), web sites from content aggregators (people who pull together content for us), content creators (like myself), and online training. I'm very excited about online training and have made a significant investment in OraPub's Online Institute.

Summary


So there you have it. Because of economics, the devaluation of DBAs as human beings and the increase in training options, the Oracle DBA training landscape is changing. If you believe this, the next question is, "What is good content?" That will be the subject of my next posting!

Enjoy your work and thanks for reading!

Craig.
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