By Blair Campbell
São Paulo, Brazil
Company/URL: GAVB IT Solutions
Job title: Data scientist
Oracle credentials: Oracle Business Intelligence 11g Certified Implementation Specialist
Length of time using Oracle products: Eight years
What are your favorite tools on the job? I love working with the data, and I often say that SQL and Oracle Data Visualization are my best friends. With SQL, I can select, aggregate, and work with the data exactly the way I need to. With Oracle Data Visualization, I make the information intelligently available so our customers have new insights about their data.
Which new features in Oracle Cloud Platform services are you currently finding most valuable? Traditional BI techniques are no longer sufficient. So at my company, we’re adapting our methodologies through the new modeling and machine learning functionalities in Oracle Analytics Cloud. Now we can see the future, because Oracle Analytics Cloud allows you to create predictive data models where, from the trend of standard behavior in the data, it’s possible to estimate what event will occur and when.
How about new features in other Oracle business analytics services? The latest data preparation features in Oracle Data Visualization Cloud Service make it much easier to work with different datasources. And in the mobile version of Oracle Day by Day, the ability to do a voice search for indicators is a great differentiator.
Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Job title: Database expert
Oracle credentials: Oracle Certified Master (Oracle Database 11g), Oracle Exadata Database Machine Certified Implementation Specialist
Length of time using Oracle products: 11 years
How did you get started in IT? By the time I finished university, there was already a boom in the Indian IT sector. I decided to pursue a career in computer science, and by then I had a sense of which branch of IT had the best job prospects. This led to an initial focus on software development, but I later realized that planning, coordinating, and analyzing data is an area of specialization that makes me happy. So, I decided to become a database administrator.
What’s your go-to Oracle reference book? I always turn to docs.oracle.com first, but in the course of my career the two best books I’ve read are Expert Oracle Database Architecture by Thomas Kyte [Apress, 2014] and Troubleshooting Oracle Performance by Christian Antognini [Apress, 2008]. Apart from these, I often consult the My Oracle Support knowledgebase and various blogs.
What green practices do you use in your DBA work? I think that my company is taking good steps toward reducing our environmental impact, including our use of virtual servers, utilizing cloud infrastructure instead of having on-premises physical machines, consolidating database and application servers, consolidating networks, and ensuring proper disposal of electronic waste.
What advice do you have about getting into application development? When you’re first starting out, it’s OK to try out several different tools, but later on—say, five years down the road—it’s best to focus on one or two. When you don’t specialize, your knowledge can be pretty limited, and you’re not going to feel confident about the decisions you have to make. Your knowledge should be deep enough so that you can answer a customer’s questions, define a development architecture, and find the best solution to a problem. Those things are very important in gaining the customer’s trust. Of course in my view, the best tool on the market right now is Oracle Application Express—so one good option is to begin specializing in that tool right away.
What’s the most common cause you see when IT projects go wrong? I believe that it’s when IT just does what the customer asks for, without further inquiry. Oftentimes if you ask in-depth questions about their needs, you’ll discover that they don’t need what they’re asking for or that there are better solutions to implement than the one they may have selected.
What would you like to see Oracle, as a company, do more of? I would like for Oracle to get more involved with communities in Latin America, in order to encourage new generations to pursue IT careers. If you become acquainted with Oracle technologies at an early age, you’re far more likely to develop a love of technology and follow a path to success.