Flexing Mental Muscles

Peers praise flexible database technologies and stay limber in the face of challenges.

By Blair Campbell

November/December 2014


Heli Helskyaho

How did you get started in IT? I was studying mathematics at Helsinki University and took some IT courses, which made no sense to me. One thing I can’t stand is giving up, so I had to study more—and finally I changed my major to computer science, driven by that need to understand. During my studies I finally got the hang of it, and everything suddenly made sense. I graduated with a master’s degree in computer science and completed my thesis on optimizing nested SQL queries.

Peer Specs

Company: Miracle Finland Oy, an IT consulting company

Job title/description: CEO
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Length of time using Oracle products: 21 years
Oracle ACE Director Oracle ACE Director

What’s your favorite technique on the job? Being systematic, standardizing, and documenting. And, finding a tool that supports this work. For database design, I believe that tool is Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler.

What green practices do you use in your DBA work? I’ve been a “green person” since childhood. I recycle everything possible, only print when necessary, and always try to highlight the environmental benefits of certain technology solutions when helping customers make decisions. I’ve been a judge for the Oracle Eco-Enterprise Innovation Awards for many years and have enjoyed that very much; it’s fantastic to see what companies are doing to make our planet greener.


Deiby Gómez

What’s your favorite tool on the job? I like to use EXCHANGE PARTITION and silent-mode installation and configuration. EXCHANGE PARTITION reduces the time to manage data, while silent mode reduces the time for installation and configuration.

Peer Specs

Company: Pythian, a firm specializing in data consulting and managed services

Job title: Database consultant, responsible for handling incidents, user requests, patching, installations, configurations, and performance tuning
Location: Guatemala City, Guatemala
Oracle credentials: Oracle Certified Specialist (Linux Implementation), Oracle Certified Professional (Oracle Database 11g, Oracle Database 12c), Oracle Exadata Database Machine X3 Administrator, Oracle Real Application Clusters 11g and Grid Infrastructure Administrator, and Oracle Certified Expert, with five years of experience using Oracle products
Oracle ACE Oracle ACE

Which new features in Oracle Database are you currently finding most valuable? Flex Cluster and Oracle Flex Automatic Storage Management (ASM). With the Flex Cluster feature, you can increase the nodes for an Oracle Real Application Clusters configuration without impacting performance at the interconnect network, and with Oracle Flex ASM you can manage ASM instances as services.

What would you like to see Oracle, as a company, do more of? I’d love to see Oracle support its user groups with recreational activities as well as technology events. I think recreational events would help keep each group connected and feeling like a family.


Martin Bach

Which new features in Oracle Database are you currently finding most valuable? Oracle’s ASM [automatic storage management] technology has seen a significant number of value-adding enhancements, from Oracle Flex ASM to proactive disk scrubbing. Pluggable databases are a great enabler for databases as a service.

Peer Specs

Company: Accenture, a global management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing company

Job title/description: Principal consultant, educating customers about Oracle technologies, working on proof-of-value projects, and supporting Oracle Exadata implementations
Location: Trier, Germany
Oracle credentials: Oracle Certified Master (Oracle Database 10g), with 13 years of experience using Oracle products
Oracle ACE Director Oracle ACE Director

What technology has most changed your life? Linux, together with the internet. As a Mac user I was a little bit outside the mainstream, and when I eventually switched to Intel hardware running another operating system, I didn’t like the user interface. I’d seen articles about Linux, and the fact that it looked difficult made it a challenge I wanted to master. When Oracle was later ported to Linux, I used that as my primary operating system.

How are you using social media in your work? I started blogging in 2004. The platform I used was basically just a notebook, so in 2009 I switched to a hosted WordPress site to reach more readers. I use Twitter, LinkedIn, and XING as well.