Is it worth joining an Oracle User Group?

>> Friday, 6 December 2013

"Yes", is the short answer, you should be part of a user group and the way I feel today is the reason why. 

I've just done one day of the UK Oracle user group UKOUG Tech 13 conference followed by an Optimizer One-Day Master Class Seminar by Tom Kyte, which was also part of the UKOUG program.

At the conference I sat through presentations on RAC connectivity, rman scripts and catalog, awr repository, 12c new features. All of them presented independent of an Oracle marketing view. Honest representations of real life implementations, warts and all. 







My thoughts went through 'oh didn't know that','yup, been there', 'pleased some one else suffered this', 'hey I knew that, maybe I'm not so dumb', 'I could do that with my warehouse' , 'Damn, I have a script that does that, note to self : fix it before it bites me', .... and so it goes on.



I also talked to many people, DBAs and Developers. I extended my social network, good for future connections, help in need, job prospects. There are so many positives from connecting but I haven't managed to come up with a single negative yet. 

The Tom Kyte seminar was totally informative. 8 hours of Tom talking CBO, explain plans, how to get them, how to read them, what to do when they aren't what you want, what changed at which version, why something you've done for years probably isn't the way to do it now.

Even if you think you know it already, and I found myself happily nodding through a lot of it, it was like putting my mind map back together. A great reminder.  So many times I went 'oh, I knew that, I knew how to do it once, why did I stop doing it?'

At work, I spend a lot of time at work trying to explain to other DBAs or Devs why I believe something to be true. Like why a particular way to collect stats isn't the way to do it now, I'm often put down and ignored.  Listening to Tom renewed my energy to press the point home. To continue to want to do the right thing, to get it right and make it work well. 

And how often do you get the opportunity to ask Tom Kyte or Jonathon Lewis for a bit of one to one help on a problem you came across?  Bonus.

That's why a company should invest in its employees and give them the opportunity to be part of the user groups. The return on cost is massive. 

It's training, it's hands on learning. it's motivation. A motivated DBA takes a problem home and works a solution. A DBA with extra experience is likely to be able to find a solution faster. To find a more efficienct way.

Invest in your employees and reap the dividends.

I think I'll be going for personal membership again next year. There is too much to lose from not being part of this community.

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