Immersion Learning

Peers delve into social media, virtualization, and “extreme BI” to gain insight.

By Blair Campbell

July/August 2012

Johannes Ahrends

What’s your favorite tool or technique on the job? The whole concept of managing storage in a grid infrastructure with Oracle Automatic Storage Management. With that very reliable infrastructure, it’s much easier to maintain an Oracle database, migrate it to Oracle Real Application Clusters, or move it on the fly to a new SAN [storage-area network] box or other disk structures.

Peer Specs

Company: CarajanDB, a tech consulting firm specializing in Oracle solutions

Job title/description: Manager, focusing on the development of private cloud infrastructures, especially for Oracle databases

Location: Erftstadt (near Cologne), Germany

Length of time using Oracle products: 20 years

Oracle ACE Oracle ACE

What technology has most changed your life? I’d say first computers, next the internet, and finally virtualization. I’ve been working with virtualization solutions for about four years now, and these solutions have allowed me to easily set up Oracle Real Application Clusters with Oracle Database 10g and Oracle Database 11g, and to create test databases with Oracle Data Guard and Oracle GoldenGate. Virtualization is also helping us help our clients to save energy.

How are you using social media in your work life? I blog and use Twitter and Facebook, but Xing [, a professional business network]—which in Germany is more popular than LinkedIn—is my main platform for connections to peers, looking for contacts, and exchanging basic knowledge through the site’s Oracle group.

Wissem Elkhlifi

What advice do you have for those just getting into database development? I see a lot of programmers who, after taking on a project, start programming immediately after reading a specification. In my opinion, it’s better to lean back and think about the task and the best way to approach it. Also, take time to understand the concepts and best-practice examples. You’ll benefit in the long run by avoiding performance problems, bad programming, and extensive bug-fixing.

Peer Specs

Company: Motorola Mobility, a communications corporation

Job title/description: Senior DBA, responsible for Oracle Database installation, upgrades, configuration, tuning, and PL/SQL development

Location: Barcelona, Spain

Oracle credentials: Oracle Certified Professional (Oracle Database 10g) with 12 years experience using Oracle products

Oracle ACE Oracle ACE

How are you using social media in your work life? Lately I’ve become addicted to social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook to connect with Oracle experts around the globe. I’m now connected with many experts, including Hans Forbrich, Eddie Awad, Syed Jaffar Hussain, Kai Yu, Ben Prusinski, and Tanel Poder.

What would you like to see Oracle, as a company, do more of? Provide more Oracle documentation in Spanish, French, and German. Certainly English is the number one IT language, but there are a lot of DBAs—especially here in Spain—who face difficulties understanding Oracle concepts due to the language barrier.

Stewart Bryson

How did you get started in IT? After receiving my master’s degree in philosophy, I realized that I needed to go out and make a living—that I wouldn’t be able to generate a job through a syllogism. After working at a marketing job, I decided my best bet was to get into technology. So I pounded the bricks and convinced a company to give me a break in the application support group.

Peer Specs

Company: Rittman Mead, a technology firm focused on Oracle business intelligence solutions

Job title/description: U.S. managing director, overseeing projects, staff, and sales while doing consulting and training

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Length of time using Oracle products: 15 years

Oracle ACE Oracle ACE

Which Oracle technologies are you currently finding most valuable? I’ve been working with the combination of Oracle Exadata Database Machine and Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition 11g, delivered with an agile methodology. I like to call this setup “extreme BI.” These two technologies are a natural fit in terms of performance and functionality.

What advice do you have for those just getting into business intelligence development? Most developers get their feet wet with Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition doing front-end development: delivering analytic reports and dashboards. I’d recommend getting started with Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition metadata development first. This type of development provides a deeper respect for what the product can really deliver.