Mike Ault's thoughts on various topics, Oracle related and not. Note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are not contributing to the overall theme of the BLOG or are insulting or demeaning to anyone. The posts on this blog are provided “as is” with no warranties and confer no rights. The opinions expressed on this site are mine and mine alone, and do not necessarily represent those of my employer.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Opportunities Part Two

Well, I have started my new position with a flight to Houston, Texas to meet the team at Texas Memory Systems, my new employer. I accepted the position, Oracle Guru, yes, that is my real title and will be on my business card. I guess if Steve Feuerstein can be a PL/SQL Evangelist for Quest Software I can be an Oracle Guru for Texas Memory Systems.

For those not sure what Texas Memory Systems does, check out their website at http://www.texmemsys.com/. One of my duties will be to manage/monitor the StatsPack Analyzer website at http://www.statspackanalyzer.com/, if you have a statspack (or AWR) report you want analyzed, log on and upload it! Also, swing by the forums and have a go at improving our rules for statspack/AWR evaluation. We want to improve the Statspack Analyzer application and we value your feedback.

So, I was actually unemployed for 15 days (11 workdays) but I did have the offer within 36 hours a new record for me. I can’t imagine how I would feel being out of work for several weeks or months as 15 days was disturbing enough (after all, how much Oprah or Dr. Phil can one person take?) To all of those job hunting right now, stick with it, good luck and I hope you have as good a luck as I did in my search.

I am really looking forward to getting in the new equipment down in the dungeon where I can torture it to my hearts content with various tests, benchmarks and other procedures my devious mind can come up, I am looking forward to also publishing the results so everyone can see how really amazing is this SSD technology. Imagine a 146 times improvement in query performance. How about virtually no latency for redo log operations? Take a look at some of the client histories and white papers on the http://www.texmemsys.com/ to see real data.

Anyway, it is great to be part of the working masses once again, unemployment is hard work!

Sunday, May 18, 2008


It has been said that with each problem or trouble comes opportunity. In recent times we have all seen or been subject to the whims of the marketplace. In 1990 I was laid off from the TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) from the Sequoyah Nuclear Plant Training Facility, I used that as an indicator to me that perhaps it was time to leave the Nuclear industry and looked to change career paths into the computer industry. Needless to say that my switch to being an Oracle DBA (Database Administrator) proved a good choice and I have been gainfully employed working with Oracle databases as both in-house and consultant.

During my 10 years as a Nuclear Chemist I watched the Nuclear industry grow from a growth industry, to a stable, to a declining one. Now of course with oil prices rising and CO/CO2 emissions on everyone’s mind the Nuclear industry is making a come back. No, I am not returning to the Nuclear industry as my skill set is nearly 20 years out of date. However, for the first time in 18 years I have been noticing certain indicators in the Oracle DBA marketplace that show it may be time for a change.

The indicators of course deal with the increased automation of the Oracle DBA job by Oracle coupled with the large supply of (at least on the low end) DBA services as outsource resources. It is difficult to compete with DBA resources that are happy to receive a small fraction of the salary you need to live on in the USA. I predict that the DBA job for Oracle will cease to exist as we know it within 3-5 years. Perhaps rather than being part of the large out flux of skilled but overpriced Oracle talent at this future date it is time to evaluate where you want to be in 3-5 years.

You may know (or you may not as they are keeping things rather under raps) Quest just went through a large round of layoffs in their Oracle and database areas. Yes, I was caught in the lay off and was officially put in the ranks of the unemployed on May 15, 2008. Perhaps it is a signal that it is time to move to another area of expertise. Don’t worry, I am landing on my feet and already have an excellent opportunity I am considering and unless something else shows up that is absolutely stellar, I will probably take it. The opportunity provides a path to stop feeding from the Oracle trough and move into an area that is more future-proof. I’ll keep you posted as I move forward with this new prospect.

Of course this is a record for me, in 35 years of working it is the longest I have gone without a job (so far 2 full work days) however, I did have the offer within 36 hours of being laid off. So, I plan to use this as an opportunity to step back and really consider where the computer industry is going and look to a position that will enable me to make full use of the skills I have acquired while moving forward into new and exciting areas. Opportunity is knocking, I think I’ll answer.