Solid Foundations

Three peers master the basics through OU classes, vinyl signs, and user groups.

By Blair Campbell

September/October 2013


Timo Raitalaakso

What technology has most changed your life? The paper A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks by Ted Codd from the early 1970s has had the most influence on my career. It was not itself a technology—but Codd’s ideas and research gave a solid theoretical foundation for relational databases. Without that, there wouldn’t be an Oracle.

Peer Specs

Company: Solita Oy, a digital business consulting firm

Job title/description: Senior database specialist, developing new custom applications that use Oracle Database
Location: Tampere, Finland
Length of time using Oracle products: 12 years
Oracle ACE Oracle ACE

You’ve taken Oracle University [OU] classes in the past. What led you to do this? After graduating from Tampere University of Technology, I began working as a Java developer. My boss suggested that I gain more knowledge of Oracle technologies, so I got to take the DBA I, DBA II, and Performance Tuning classes. They gave me a good basis from which to understand how Oracle technologies work, and my interest in Oracle Database kept increasing. Since getting an overview of Oracle database architecture, it’s been easier to absorb information from Oracle documentation, and other presentations are more understandable.

What green practices do you use in your DBA work? Consolidation, for ease and less consumption of resources. I’m working on consolidating several small database environments into Oracle Database Appliance.


John Booth

How did you get started in IT? My first exposure to IT was building and supporting vinyl-sign-cutting systems in 1992. Picture a computer plotter that uses a knife to cut vinyl; the vinyl is then applied to a surface such as a car, tractor trailer, or billboard. It was a Windows 3.1 and DOS world back then, and our internal server used Novell NetWare 2.2.

Peer Specs

Company: Blue Stone International, an enterprise performance management, business intelligence, and information management professional services provider

Job title/description: Infrastructure and integration practice leader, serving as a technical leader across project portfolios and managing a team of consultants
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Oracle credentials: Oracle Hyperion Planning 11 Certified Implementation Specialist, Hyperion Essbase 7.1.2 Consultant Certified Expert, and Hyperion Planning 4.1 Consultant Certified Expert, with 15 years of experience using Oracle products
Oracle ACE Oracle ACE

Which new features in Oracle products are you currently finding most valuable? The Oracle Essbase release has a ton of performance features. The parallel restructure capability and the ability to use up to 128 threads both allow for less downtime and faster aggregations. These types of features, coupled with high-performance systems such as Oracle Exalytics, move Oracle Essbase into a new performance category.

How are you using mobile computing? Mainly for e-mail and browsing; however, Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition for mobile is looking quite nice now.


Ulrich Gerkmann-Bartels

What’s your favorite tool on the job? I’m a big fan of Pomodoro, Trello, Dropbox, Evernote, and GoodReader. For development, most of the time Oracle JDeveloper is my tool of choice.

Peer Specs

Company: Enpit Consulting OHG, a consulting firm specializing in Oracle Application Development Framework (Oracle ADF) and Oracle Fusion Middleware technologies

Job title/description: CEO and senior consultant, responsible for running the business and working as lead architect for large projects based on Oracle Fusion Middleware technologies
Location: Paderborn, Germany
Oracle credentials: Oracle Application Development Framework 11g Certified Implementation Specialist, with 12 years of experience using Oracle products
Oracle ACE Oracle ACE

What advice do you have about getting into application development or software architecture? You have to do the following things: read, try, meet people, and discuss. If you live in Germany, join the German ADF Community. Consider participating in one of the group’s Hackers Events or ADF Project Sessions, or attend one of its regular web conferences.

What technology has most changed your life? The combination of mobile computing, the cloud, and high-speed trains. These technologies make it possible for me to move around to different projects and be in touch with my family—and I always have everything I need for my job along the way. I also use my mobile device to stay in touch with my personal and professional communities, getting updates and important information. For business, I prefer Twitter and XING.