My return to the rat race…

I mentioned on Twitter recently that I’d started a new job, which was greeted with some amusement. Some of my friends in the Oracle community have spent the last 4 years ribbing me about being “unemployed”. For those that don’t know the story, I was never unemployed. I am an employee of my own company, which paid me for the last 4 years. I spent that time representing the Oracle ACE Director program at conferences around the world, doing some teaching for Oracle University, but most of the time was spent at home, on my computers playing with Oracle technology , writing about it and answering questions about it. I had no serious intention of joining the rat race again in the foreseeable future, but at the same time I would never say never…

Over the last few weeks a number of completely unrelated events occurred that all seemed to be nudging me in the same direction. I’m not going to go into them, because it starts to sound a bit like The Celestine Prophecy, but it culminated in me agreeing to go to the job interview I blogged about recently. A few days later I was offered the job. A week after that I started. Believe me, I was as surprised about the whole thing as everyone else appears to be…

So I’ve just finished week 1 and here are some thoughts:

  • Windows Desktop: Like most companies, Windows is the standard desktop. Over the last 4 years I’ve spent the majority of time with Linux as my desktop, with the occasional bit of OS X on my laptop. I always say it doesn’t bother me what I use for a desktop, but I forgot how unproductive Windows is. It took about 3 days to get to the point where I felt I had a reasonable environment. I was using PortableApps and SQL Developer off a memory stick for the first couple of days. 🙂
  • TOAD: Sorry to all the cool people I know who work for Quest, but TOAD is horrible. It’s installed on my PC, but I’m not going to use it. I have SQL*Developer, which I use a bit, but most of the time I’m on SQL*Plus in an SSH session.
  • Grid Control: What a nice surprise to have grid control already in place. Even nicer when I found out we have the Diagnostics and Tuning pack licensed on all databases. Sweet!
  • I’ve really enjoyed being in an office environment again. I was a little worried I would find it restrictive, but I slotted straight back in. Of course, it’s early days so I might not feel the same in a few weeks. 🙂
  • I’ve forgotten a lot about AS10g. I had to do a bit of configuration on an AS10g server running forms services and I was surprised how crap I was. I need to brush up on my OAS and WebLogic stuff. As a DBA it’s not a big part of my job, but on the occasion when I have to get involved I would like it to feel a bit less like a voyage of discovery. 🙂
  • I really do suck at remembering people’s names. At one point I got an email and asked the guys near me to point me in the direction of the person who sent it. He was right next to me. 🙂 I’ve now got a print out of the company organisation chart on my wall. Every time someone says a name I look at it and try and associate the name with the face.

So far so good. 🙂



Author: Tim...

DBA, Developer, Author, Trainer.

9 thoughts on “My return to the rat race…”

  1. Today, it’s fine. Tomorrow it’s OK. When the long winter nights start drawing in, I hope it doesn’t become a chore. 🙂 Working does have it’s satisfactions.

    Oh, and I’m trying to wean my lot off TOAD to SQL Developer now. And that includes me. Familiarity aids productivity – I need to become more familiar with SQL Dev than I am with a dozen years of TOAD.

  2. “TOAD: Sorry to all the cool people I know who work for Quest, but TOAD is horrible. It’s installed on my PC, but I’m not going to use it. I have SQL*Developer, which I use a bit, but most of the time I’m on SQL*Plus in an SSH session.”
    +1 over here!
    For me, TOAD (specially in bad hands) is evil. In my Oracle days I was a sql*plus fundamentalist. Now I use bteq all the time… text based tools rule!

  3. Hehehe! See, when I and others insist that the current enterprise environment bears no resemblence to the “do as I please” that a lot of consulting folks live in, we actually mean exactly what you are seeing now.
    It’s not “dba 1.0”, never was, never will be, that was demented to start with!
    It’s what we are given to work with, end of story.
    The time when dbas could influence corporate policy is long gone, and you got Oracle to thank for it with their constant disparaging of the job.
    For the last 10 years, we’ve had to use what the “corporate policy” dictates, period-end-of-story!
    Like it or not, we have to adjust and make the most of it. I’d love to have a desktop with Virtualbox, running the latest-whitest-and-brightest. And I’d be fired if I did that!
    That’s today’s corporate reality

  4. Congrats on the new job! I agree and fortunately when I started my job I was given a choice of PC or Mac. Of course I took the Macbook which is far better than crappy Windows PC. I still have to use Windows desktop for some things but most time live in UNIX, Linux and Mac OS X for the most part of work. Toad does suck and I like Oracle SQL Developer quite a bit more now that is has developed into a good product. Rhymes help to get down names. Try it like a nmemonic will help you Dr. Tim.

    Oracle AS10g? Are you kidding me? That ancient web server? I use weblogic for last few projects.

    Don’t worry I know you have been busy free lancing and I was a bit jealous seeing that you had the fortune to jetset across the world for four years to work on cool technology. Bravo!

    For me, I use my vacations to dive the world thats my dream aside from technology.


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