Monday, April 7, 2008

DBA Book, Hyperion, 11g Alert Log, Preventing Data Leaks

New DBA Book Out

Christopher Lawson, who wrote one of the better performance books of recent years, The Art and Science of Oracle Performance Tuning, has come out with a new tome (well, it's bit small to be a tome, but that sounds so much nicer). Snappy Interviews, 100 Questions to Ask Oracle DBAs is a set of questions and answers arranged by skill level for interviewers to use when conducting technical interviews with Oracle DBAs. The questions are all on the core RDBMS, not EBS or other Oracle products.

This could be a very handy book to have in your IT shop. Often the person giving a technical interview isn't the Oracle DBA, but a sys admin, programming manager or other position. This book will let you generate some good questions and get a pretty good idea if you are hearing 'review blather' or experience.

Of course there is a certain amount of flexibility one has to use in these interviews. In working with DBAs (and as a DBA) over the years I've found there are several different basic personality types. Only some of those personality types know the names of things directly at all times. The others are really fast at looking things up that they worked with before or really good at finding out what they don't know. Most of the questions in this book, however, cover ground that every experienced core DBA is likely to know, so it's a good investment. There is also a class of DBAs who don't know, don't really care, and hope for the best. Hopefully this book will help you keep those DBAs working in other companies, preferably your competitors' shops.

Of course a lot of DBAs wanting to interview for jobs are going to buy this book to 'cram for the tech interview', so make sure you get a few questions that aren't in the book to throw at them as well, such as: 'What is the air speed velocity of an unburdened swallow?' or 'What is your favorite color?' You'd be surprised how many people get thrown by that last one.

Hopefully, since Chris works in the realm of financial applicitions, he will produce a companion volume to this on questions to ask an Apps DBA.

Hyperion on DB2

Have Hyperion? On DB2? Tim Tow's Hyperion blog has an article for you on Hibernate Dialect for DB2.

11G Alert Log

The I'm Just a Simple has an article on some of the ups and downs of the XML-formatted alert log in 11i (and a note in the comments on where to find the old fashioned format).


A good article just out by way of Oracle's Database Insider newsletter on preventing data leaks at the source (PDF file).

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