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.

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 No, I am not returning to the Nuclear industry as my skill set is nearly 20 years out of date.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.


gopi said...

hello mike i saw your comment in blog you said "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".i am from india and i have completed my oracle certified professional course(OCP,DBA).can you tell few organizations which need dbas.i will be thankful to you if u consider my request

skymaster said...

Hi Mike,

I have been layed off many times with companies off shoring work to India and China. Now I am working to broaden my horizons as I complete my first book on database technology.

Thinking outside of the box will determine the winners from the losers in the new economy. Now only if I had traded commodities I would be set especially with oil, wheat and gold prices rising.

-Ben Prusinski