Oracle Database Insider checked in with Oracle database guru Tom Kyte, of AskTom fame, on his New Year’s resolutions. “For 2012, I have some evergreen resolutions, and some that reflect the changing DBA world today,” says Kyte. I hope they inspire other DBAs to make some resolutions of their own.”
I started by looking back at my previous annual resolutions to see what should migrate to the new year. For example, practicing a restore is one of the simplest ways to make your own life easier by reducing the risk of recovery mistakes—I always have that on my to-do list. The same goes for ideas around learning, such as participating in a user group, the OTN Database forum, or to mentor and be mentored. Assume there is always more to be learned, and that your knowledge doesn’t constitute the latest and best thinking. The more you stay engaged with your profession, the more you’ll bring to the table as a DBA professional.
Add Skills to Your Toolbox
Develop a new skill, whatever way you learn best. I learn best by playing with the technology, reading documentation, and then asking questions. Others prefer instructor-led training, and others like to Google around and figure stuff out. It doesn’t really matter how you do it, just that you realize that everybody can use another means in their skills toolbox. My personal goals this year are skill improvements for big data and the model clause in SQL.
No More “I Can’t”
Starting today, remove the word “can’t” from your vocabulary, because there really isn’t any such thing. Instead, for whatever reason—fear, doubt, lack of confidence—realize you’ve purposely decided not to do what’s been asked. If you start saying “let’s figure out a way to accomplish this,” you’ll quickly start finding out that you can. You’ll be surprised to learn from now on, there’s nothing you can’t do.
Software Is Not the New Hardware
Don’t fall into the “software is the new hardware” trap. (Kudos to my colleague Andrew Holdsworth, Oracle senior director, Real World Performance, for that catchphrase.) Back in the day, computers were huge and required lots of metal and other “hard” objects. We called it computer hardware because it was unchangeable, as opposed to the changeability of software. These days, the opposite seems true. People are willing to change the hardware at the drop of a hat, but try suggesting a software change and chances are you’ll run into a multitude of “we can’t.” If you want an order of magnitude or more change in performance, changing the software is going to be mandatory.