Learn to search the Oracle Docs…

Question: What is the most important skill any Oracle DBA/Developer needs?

Answer: Knowing how to search the Oracle documentation.

The Oracle database is a massive product. There are sections of it I’ve never ventured near. Do I spend my time trying to remember syntax and procedures for every possible occurence? No. I try to understand the principles of what is going on and regularly refer back to the docs to fill in the gaps. I search the docs constantly. There are some very basic tasks that I would probably fail to complete without reference to the manual (or one of my articles). Whenever I see an error message I search the docs for that error message to see what the action against it is. I can’t imagine anyone being able to function as a DBA or developer without constant reference to the docs.

I am frequently asked questions that are very easily answered by searching the docs for the relevant keywords in the question. So the original poster has wasted the time taken to type the question, plus the time it takes for me to come online and answer it. Since most of my readers live in a different timezone to me, it can be several hours between the post arriving and me answering it.

So if you want to get good at Oracle, learn to search the docs. Every time you want to know something:

  1. Go to the online documentation for your DB version.
  2. Type in some relevant keywords. Stick to keywords, not whole sentances.
  3. Click the “Search” button.
  4. Refine your search if you don’t get the answer.

Over time you will become an Oracle Certified Professional Documentation Searcher… 🙂