How to Learn

Three peers on the knowledge gained by sharing, traveling, and letting go of linear thinking

By Blair Campbell

March/April 2015


Biju Thomas

What’s your favorite tool on the job? Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control is one tool I always go to when I have to do anything with the database—especially to review performance and historical information. Although most of the tasks performed can be done using scripts and other tools, the convenience of having everything in one place is priceless.

Peer Specs

Company: OneNeck IT Solutions, a provider of customized solutions for Oracle hosting and applications management

Job title/description: Principal solutions architect, responsible for escalated issue resolution, performance tuning, and architecture configuration
Location: Dallas, Texas
Oracle credentials: Oracle Certified Professional DBA (Oracle Database 10g through Oracle Database 12c) and Oracle Database SQL Certified Expert, with 23 years of experience using Oracle products
Oracle ACE Oracle ACE

What advice do you have about getting into database administration? If you’re just getting started or upgrading to a newer release of Oracle Database, the best resource is reading the Oracle documentation, which is free and available online. I would definitely recommend reading both Oracle Database Concepts and the Oracle Database Administrator’s Guide cover to cover.

How are you using social media in your work? I’m a big fan and user of social media. I believe the more you share, the more you learn. I publish daily Oracle tidbits on Facebook and Twitter—today I tweeted about the new Transparent Sensitive Data Protection feature in Oracle Database 12c.


Sarah Craynon Zumbrum

What’s your favorite technique on the job? I love the automation development portion of a project. I truly love figuring out how to integrate different, disparate systems and processes together as if they’re seamless. Oftentimes it means learning a new programming language in the process, but that’s the fun of it—it’s always a challenge!

Peer Specs

Company: interRel Consulting, an Oracle Platinum Partner focused exclusively on Oracle Business Analytics

Job title: Lead consultant, responsible for the technical direction and development of enterprise performance management applications and projects
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
Length of time using Oracle products: Oracle Essbase 11 Certified Implementation Specialist, with 10 years of experience using Oracle products
Oracle ACE Associate Oracle ACE Associate

Which new features in Oracle applications are you currently finding most valuable? I’ve started tinkering with running custom calculation scripts in Oracle Essbase ASO [aggregate storage option] applications. I’m also really excited about Oracle Hyperion Planning with an ASO back end.

What technology has most changed your life? OLAP [online analytical processing] technology, because it truly makes you think differently. When working with clients, I’ll often have to think about how to get to or calculate data and how to best represent the data intersections in a way that’s meaningful to the user. Instead of thinking more linearly, I now think about all possible combinations, exceptions, and uses of a tool.


Anar Godjaev

You’ve taken Oracle University [OU] classes in the past. What led you to do this? I’ve mostly taken OU classes when there have been changes in my job duties, when there have been major new releases, and when I’ve wanted to get certified or upgrade my certifications. I really believe in certification, as it has truly helped me in my career. At this point I’ve received training in several different countries—the United States, India, the United Arab Emirates, Russia, and Turkey.

Peer Specs

Company: YapiKredi Bank Azerbaijan, one of the first nationwide private banks in Turkey

Job title/description: Head of the DBA team, managing Oracle databases, UNIX/Linux servers, and Oracle Database Vault
Location: Baku, Azerbaijan
Oracle credentials: Oracle Certified Professional DBA (Oracle Database 10g, Oracle Database 11g), Oracle Database SQL Certified Expert, Oracle Database 10g Managing Oracle on Linux Certified Expert, Oracle PL/SQL Developer Certified Associate, Oracle Real Application Clusters 11g Certified Implementation Specialist, and Oracle Database 11g Security Certified Implementation Specialist, with 8 years of experience using Oracle products
Oracle ACE Associate Oracle ACE Associate

What would you like to see Oracle, as a company, do differently? Oracle is a company that always changes the standards and achieves the best. It would therefore be great to see Oracle smartphones.

What green practices do you use in your DBA work? In my opinion IT consolidation and monitoring real-time database performance, for ease and less consumption of resources, should be considered green practices—and I use both.