Category: DBA Life

September 22nd, 2016 by dbakevlar

The Oak Table network is a closed membership of about 100 technical scientists who have a passion for technology and the world around them.  These men and women, representing some of the brightest minds from each of their companies, are individuals who have built companies and major technical innovations.

Initially, much of their research and work was presented at Oracle Open World.  Over time, Oracle Open World welcomed less and less of their participation.  They decided to create their own network and present their information at their own conference, held annually at the same time as OOW.  Over a decade later, the event now has company sponsors and a dedicated following of Oracle specialists who attend to receive the deepest and most interesting details of technical data in the industry.

There is a “cool factor” for those going to Oak Table World.  Most of the members are also part of Oracle’s famed ACE Program, (most have ACE Director associations).  Some of the members work for Oracle; most members work for companies that are Oracle partners.  All of the sessions have a tendency to leave the attendee with their mind blown after each session.

billnye_mindblown

The conference this year was sponsored by Delphix, Pythian and Amazon Web Services and was held at the Children’s Creativity Museum.  The two day schedule only allows for 13 1-hour sessions and 8 10-minute “TED” style talks.  This year the conference attracted over 400 attendees in two days. A majority of the talks were the deeper technical content that wasn’t deemed suitable for the more marketing driven Oracle Open World event.
Because Delphix is one of the major sponsors, by default, it receives quite a bit of exposure at the event.  In addition to sponsoring, Delphix does the coordination for the event.  These opportunities provide us a way to create awareness with the primary technical thought leaders in the Oracle community.

In the next couple weeks, you’ll see a post on Oak Table with links for the presenters incredible slides and to the recorded sessions. One session that wasn’t captured was Toon Koppelaars one hour session on the first day. We know this was a session that many said was a must-see, so I’ll be working with Laura Ramsey from OTN to get a webinar set up so many can take advantage of Toon’s amazing contribution.

If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to me and I’ll happily share information on what we shared today and how we will continue to support Oak Table Network and thank you to each of the sponsors who, like Delphix, know the value of these incredible technologists.

delphix-logo_w_500 Pythian_Company_Logo_2015AmazonWebservices_Logo.svg

 

Posted in Database, DBA Life Tagged with:

September 8th, 2016 by dbakevlar

With me traveling to Redwood City next week to visit HQ and then Oracle Open World the week after, I’m busy during many of my off hours preparing a new Raspberry Pi STEAM setup for a maker’s faire the beginning of October.

I’d heard that many were having challenges with installing different HATs on their new RPI 3, especially older ones like the Pibrella.

pibrella1

This is still one of my favorite accessories for my RPI due to the button, speaker and three LEDs, but also since I can hot swap jump wires without risk of shorting out the unit like when you’re using the direct GPIO on the RPI.

I have a great new setup for travel for my Raspberry Pi that has the newest 7in touchscreen and protective case, which opens on the back.  Could I install my Pibrella with the constricted opening and the GPIO wires still powering the enhanced touchscreen card?

Knowing the GPIO setup

The Pibrella requires 26 of the pins to function and installation asks you to place the unit to the 1st pin.  It has a mini USB connector for power, but can run off of the GPIO.  The challenge is that the new 7inch touchscreen ALSO is powered by the RPI GPIO, connecting to pin 2, (5V) and 6, (Ground.)

When a competing configuration is found for GPIO, its important to inspect the GPIO map and see what is available:

gpio

Now using the above map, you’ll notice that pins 1, 2 and 3 are all power.  The Pibrella ONLY needs one 5V power source, which means that installing it from the first pin may be best practice, but it’s not required.   OK, so that means we can still use Pin 2 for the touchscreen.  Now, if we move down the Pibrella one, that leaves 6 rows of pins free at the other end. The 6 pin, which is the second necessary pin for the touch screen to ground it, can be shifted to the 39 pin, which is another ground pin!

I then moved the GPIO pins for the touchscreen and installed the Pibrella to the RPI 3.  It was a tight fit, but it did install:

 

Test the Installation

The next thing was to test it all.  Each of the GPIO connected match to the GPIO attached.  These will have to all be tested to see if there are any mismatches between the board and the RPI. The Pibrella library that is installed is just functions that have been written to tell what pins correspond to what commands.

So I run a small test script:

import pibrella

import time

pibrella.light.red.on()

time.sleep(2)

pibrella.alarm.on()

pibrella.light.red.off()

 

This script is to turn on the red light for 2 seconds, ring an alarm and then shut off the red light.

What happened?  The amber light lit on and then off.  No alarm-  yep, may have my monitor working and power to the pibrella, but as suspected, the GPIO orientation is off for each of the LEDs, alarm and I expect, the GPIO connections on the board.

Now I could give up my pibrella….or the touchscreen, but what if I’m just plain stubborn and want both?

So the files I need to work with are in the distribution packages for Pibrella.  I had to go to /usr/local/lib/python2.7

Now you may be wondering why this was in the Python 2.7 instead of the 3.4 distribution…  RPI 3 still has the 2.7 python set as default.  If you don’t change this, then this is where you go.  I prefer RPI 3 and write my code per Python 3 standards, but I’m not surprised the Pibrella library installed here.

Inside this directory, under the dist-packages is the Pibrella directory and it’s just a matter of .py, (python) files.  There is one called pins.py that I had to update to reflect the changes I made to my match my installation.  Now, we can fun the red light script and it actually lights up the correct LED.

It appears the alarm and button are set up in a different set of code, so now I need to just locate the other python scripts for the alarm and such and get that corrected.

That doesn’t mean I can’t get motors and other devices working from the new setup….

Oh Joy!!

 

 

 

Posted in DBA Life, Raspberry Pi Tagged with: , ,

August 31st, 2016 by dbakevlar

Oracle Open World 2016 is almost here…where did the summer go??

damn_fall

With this upon us, there is something you attendees need and that’s to know about what awesome sessions are at Oracle Open World from the Delphix team!  I gave my options up as is the tragedy of switching companies in late spring from Oracle, but you can catch some great content on how to reach the new level in data management with Tim Gorman, (my phenomenal hubby, duh!) and Brian Bent from Delphix:

After absorbing all this great content on Sunday, you can come over to Oak Table World at the Children’s Creativity Museum on Monday and Tuesday to see the Oak Table members present their latest technical findings to the world.  The schedule and directions to the event are all available in the link above.

If you’re looking for where the cool kids will be on Thursday, check out the Delphix Sync event!  There’s still time to register if you want to join us and talk about how cool data virtualization is.

If you’re a social butterfly and want to get more involved with the community, check out some of the great activities that, and I do mean THAT Jeff Smith and the SQL Developer team have been planning for Oracle Open World, like the Open World Bridge Run.

 

Posted in DBA Life, Delphix Tagged with: , , ,

August 19th, 2016 by dbakevlar

This is a living document that I will continue to update and will add new database platforms to as I go along in my career.  I spend a lot of time translating database platforms I’ve worked in for all tiers of the technical business.  It just seems natural that we might need a location on the web where that information is kept.

alive

I’ll add some diagrams at a later date, but we’ll start with a simple spreadsheet of common terms and questions and how each of the terms or tasks in Oracle, (the current #1 RDBMS) translates in other platforms.  If there isn’t a similar term or task, I’ve marked not applicable, (N/A).  If you have any additions or suggestions on how to improve the list, please feel free to comment or email me at DBAKevlar at Gmail.

As I’m still working on the best viewable format, keep in mind, you can export the table into a number of formats or even print it!

Thanks!

The Rosetta Stone for Database Platforms

Generated by wpDataTables

Posted in DBA Life, SQLServer Tagged with: , , , , , ,

August 2nd, 2016 by dbakevlar

otw

Anyone who’s anyone knows to search out OakTable World at major events in the US and Europe, and Oracle Open World 2016 is no different!

OakTable World 2016, (#otw16) will be held at the Children’s Creativity Museum again this year during the week of Oracle Open World.  The Oak Table members will be discussing their latest technical obsessions and research on Monday and Tuesday, (September 19th-20th).  The truth is, folks-  The Oak Table experts are an AWESOME group, (if I don’t say so myself! :)) as we could have easily done another day of incredible sessions, but alas, two days is all we have available for this year’s event.

This year’s sponsors to make sure the Oakies have a place to rest their weary laptops are no slouches themselves in the technical world:

delphix-logo_w_500Pythian_Company_Logo_2015AmazonWebservices_Logo.svg

Schedule-  A Work in Progress

I’ll continue to formalize the schedule as the session titles fill in and expect a few more ten minute ted talks to be added to the schedule as well.  Each session is 50 minutes, so there will be a 10 minute break between each session in this packed schedule!

The Great Dane

Mogens Norgaard will be opening Oak Table World on Monday, at 8:30am.  Be prepared to be awe-inspired by all he has to share with you, (which may go hand-in-hand with the amount of coffee we can provide to him…)

screen-shot-2016-09-19-at-8-08-00-am

screen-shot-2016-09-19-at-8-09-06-am

 

Location, Location, Location

If you’re unsure of how to get to Oak Table World, I’ve included a map below of San Francisco’s Moscone Center, where Oracle Open World will be.  OTW will be held in the Creativity Theater, which is in the museum behind the carousel, around the Southeast side of the building.

Moscone_ctr

Oak Table World is FREE to the PUBLIC!  We don’t require an Oracle Open World badge to attend, so bring a friend and they’ll owe you big time!

Food + Beer, Yes, I SAID BEER

So currently, instead of the formal breakfast and lunch that’s been previously offered, we’re going to try something more…”Oakie” and crowd friendly.  As the Executive Goth Girl, (my own designation) I am going for good coffee and awesome donuts in the mornings to fuel the attendees.  As lunch is offered with registration to OOW for 90%, (or more) of our participants, I’m spending money that would go to lunch and following the requirements for an event per the ABC, (Alcohol and Beverage Control of California) we’ll be having beer tasting from some of the local breweries.  We’ll have some fantastic munchies if you get hungry, but as we all know, beer is really a carb.  You can thank me later… 🙂

Video Streaming

For those of you wondering if we’ll be doing any recordings of the sessions-  OTN and Laura Ramsey have agreed to do the live streaming for the event, (because they ROCK!!) so be prepared for some seriously impressive content streaming your way from their channel after the event if you’re unable to attend.

I’ll keep this page updated with new information as Oak Table World 16 gets closer and thank you to everyone for their support!  Have questions or ideas?  Email Kellyn at dbakevlar at Gmail.

 

Posted in DBA Life, Oracle, Social Media Tagged with: , ,

July 14th, 2016 by dbakevlar

So some unknowing fool gave me full access to a fridge of Starbucks caffeinated beverages, which should be against the law in this fine country.  Needless to say, my ability to type approximately 180wpm has offered me the opportunity to catch up and blog about what it’s like almost a month in employed with Delphix.

typing fast 1

In just the last two weeks, a number of conference sessions have come about and events that I plan on being part of.  Some of them are well known, some aren’t and some require a bit of promotion to make them even greater than they already are, (you don’t want to be that person that wonders why they missed out, now do you?)

RMOUG Quarterly Education Workshop

At the end of this month, on July 29th, RMOUG is having their summer QEW at the Denver Aquarium.  The summer event is our second largest event of the year, (behind February’s Training Days conference) and the planning is starting to come together, (which is good considering it’s in a couple weeks!)  The speakers are two great ones in the community, Solarwinds’ Janis Griffin and OnX’s Jim Czuprynski.  We’ll have a Women in Technology lunch and learn, (Jim’s wife, Ruth, who had a long career in technology) will be part of the round table conversation with the women in our community to discuss some great topics!  If you have family you’d like to invite, check out the opportunity for discount tickets to enjoy the aquarium post the event!  You can read the details of the event and register at RMOUG’s website.

The Bay Bridge Run

The first will be a promotion for Oracle Open World.  Every year there is a run across the bridge on September 18th and it’s a great way to get to know some of the best people in the Oracle community before we get lost amidst the Moscone mayhem.  The view is fantastic and if you’re like me and age has impacted your ability to keep up with some of those in our community that like to run 100+ miles in a single outing, you can walk the bridge as well.  If you’re interested, check out the following Facebook link and come be a part of this great event!

baybridge

During Oracle Open World, I’ll be busy Tuesday and Wednesday, (Sept. 20th and 21st) at the Children’s Museum, heading up the Oak Table World.  It’s one of those tasks that I took over for Kyle so he can focus on what he does best.  The event will be at the Children’s museum by the Moscone again and we’re close to signing on Pythian and one other vendor to sponsor the event with Delphix.  Tim will be designing the great t-shirts that are coveted each year and I’m considering scheduling a hackathon if there’s enough interest.  I’ll get the schedule posted soon and thanks for everyone’s patience!

oaktable

 

OK, time for another Starbucks, pray for my office mates… 🙂

 

Posted in DBA Life Tagged with: , ,

June 24th, 2016 by dbakevlar

I’ve been going through some SERIOUS training in just over a week.  This training has successfully navigated the “Three I’s”, as in its been Interesting, Interactive and Informative.  The offerings are very complete and the knowledge gained is limitless.

I’d also like to send a shout out to Steve Karam, Leighton Nelson and everyone else at Delphix who’s had a hand in designing the training, both for new employees and for the those working with our hands on labs.  I’ve had a chance to work with both and they’re just far above anything I’ve seen anywhere else.

The Challenge of Patching and Upgrades

Most DBAs know-  If you attempt to take a shortcut in patching or upgrading, either by not testing or hoping that your environments are the same without verifying, shortcuts can go very wrong, very quickly.
hardway

Patching is also one of the most TEDIOUS tasks required of DBAs. The demands on the IT infrastructure for downtime to apply quarterly PSU patches, (not including emergency security patches) to all the development, test, QA and production databases is a task I’ve never looked forward to.  Even when utilizing Enterprise Manager 12c Patch Plans with the DBLM management pack, you still had to hope that you checked compliance for all environments and prayed that your failure threshold wasn’t tripped, which means a large amount of your time would have to be allocated to address patching outside of just testing and building out patch plans.

This is Where Delphix Saves the Day

I bet most of you already knew you could virtualize your development and test from a single Delphix compressed copy, (referred to as a DSource.) create as many virtual copies, (referred to as VDBs) as your organization needs to have for development, testing, QA, backup and disaster recovery, (if you weren’t aware of this, you can thank me later… :))

What you may not know, (and what I learned this week) is that you can also do the following:

  • Test patches and upgrades on a VDB or a DSource to verify there aren’t any issues instead of doing a full, manual clone which is very time consuming.
  • Apply patches and upgrades to a DSource and the patch and/or upgrade all the VDBs attached to the DSource by simply performing/scheduling  a refresh.

Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 10.56.17 AM

Considering how much time and resources are saved by just eliminating such a large portion of time required for patching and upgrading, this is worth investing in Delphix just for this alone!

Want to learn more?  Check out the following links:

Testing Oracle Upgrade and Application Patching

Upgrade Oracle DSources After an Oracle Upgrade

Want to Demo Delphix? <– Click here!   

Posted in Database, DBA Life, Delphix Tagged with: , ,

June 7th, 2016 by dbakevlar

So after over two years at Oracle, I’m moving on.  Yes, for those of you who haven’t seen the tweets and the posts, you heard right.

dorothy_appaulled

OK, everyone-  cleansing breath.

I worked with great people and did some awesome things in the community, blogged everything Enterprise Manager and talked over 1/2 the Oracle community into buying and doing projects with Raspberry Pi while I was at it!

Many folks thought I was a product manager or a technical consultant, but my title was Consulting Member for the Technical Staff with the Strategic Customer Program with the Enterprise Manager and Oracle Management Cloud Group.  I know I was part of a select group at Oracle, but I believe the opportunity to work at Oracle was an important step in my career and I’d recommend it to anyone for the experience it provides.

There is a huge difference working for Oracle vs. being in the Oracle community, even as an Oracle ACE Director.  I was utterly amazed being part of the Oracle machine.  One of the most amazing experiences was observing how releases came together.   It was a complete different experience as an employee vs. a customer.  Being part of a massive undertaking such as a product release, impressively building out software to be released to its customer base is pretty astounding.  Understanding how and what it takes to move the machine and once it gets moving, how pertinent it is for anyone in its way to get out of the way is important to understanding how a successful product is created.

I learned a lot in just over two years and I have to admit-  many of the negatives that people said would be present at Oracle, I just didn’t experience.  I had great mentors and contacts inside of Oracle.  It’s easy to assimilate into a big company environment when you have people like Pete Sharman, Tyler Muth, Mary Melgaard and other’s looking out for you. I’ll be sad to leave all the great people that I worked with at Oracle, too-  Steve, Courtney, Scott, Werner, Andrew, Joe, Pramod and Will.  At the same time, I look forward to opportunities to learn new skills with the awesome folks that have so readily embraced my quirky self at my new company. I learned a great deal in my two years at Oracle and this is knowledge that I’m able to take with me as I move forward to my new adventure.

With that said, I’ve been offered an incredible opportunity to stretch my legs a bit and try something new and I am excited to move onto this new challenge.  I’ll still be speaking at conferences, but also will direct technology in a a way that should be very constructive to my technical style.

There has been a lot of rumors to where I’m off to.  Some of you have guessed correctly on where I’m going, but I know none of you guessed what I’ll be doing.  I will be focusing more on my multi-platform skills, so for those of you that thought I would be leaving all those years of experience in database and OS platforms, it’s going to be just the opposite.

I’m very excited to announce that, as of Monday, June 13th, I’m the new Technical Intelligence Manager at Delphix.

delphix

Buckle up, Baby!  This is going to be good.

Posted in DBA Life, Delphix Tagged with:

June 2nd, 2016 by dbakevlar

I know Werner DeGruyter will like the title of this post, so here’s a post dedicated to him as my last week at Oracle is off to a busy start…. 🙂

yoda

As I attempt to wrap up any open tasks at Oracle, I’m still Training Days 2017 Conference Director for RMOUG, have a planning meeting for the 800 member Girl Geek Dinner Boulder/Denver Meetup group that I’m the owner of, designing the booth and building out all the projects for the MakerFaire event at the Denver Science Museum next weekend and now have taken on the Summer Quarterly Education Workshop at the Denver Aquarium in the end of July.  This is a bit much as I start a new job for the end of June, but there are things that need to be done for community organizations to survive and often not enough people doing it.

As I know that many other user groups are in the same boat, I come to you with pleading, open arms and say to you, as part of your community, volunteer your time.  If all of us give a little, it really adds up to a lot in the end.  As attendees at conferences, events and meetups ask what happened to this or that group and wonders why they don’t have activities any longer, it seems to always boil down to commitment from it’s volunteers.  If it’s not fed and cared for by time and care, then it won’t survive.  I have this conversation at almost every user group conference and hear similar stories from meetup groups and other event groups that you might think are no where related.  It all comes back to the passion and commitment of those involved, along with the support of those that may not be giving as much, but ensure those that are, are well cared for.

So here are the rules for the survival of a group:

  1. Everyone do a little so no one is doing too much and you end up losing those valuable resources.  I see volunteer groups and board of directors that are commonly unbalanced and that is expected-  we all have lives and demands, but if it’s always like this with no check and balances, then it’s time to for people to step up and put in some time.
  2. If you aren’t doing, you don’t complain.  If you do see something that isn’t working well and want it fixed, please be prepared to volunteer some time to help out vs. volunteering others to do the work.  That’s just flaky and do you really want to be that flaky whiner at the event? 🙂
  3. Support the people who volunteer their time to your groups and defend them within an inch of your life.  Without them you don’t have a user group, you don’t have new members, you age out and your user group dies a slow, quiet death.  If you doubt me, just look at the strewn carcasses of user groups that were once impressive specimens in the event world.
  4. There is no magic formula.  What works for one group might not work for another.  There are some very impressive individuals that are working hard to create the newest, shiniest events that attract speakers, sponsors and attendees.  This is how it always will be. The groups that have been around awhile just need to keep updating with the new and improved to stay on top of the game and compete.

RMOUG has an incredible board of directors and our volunteers are SECOND to NONE!!  This has served us well all these years.  I don’t know how I would survive the demands of Training Days if it wasn’t for the volunteers and those on the board that help me when the going gets tough.  I’m quite aware of this need in other user groups as well.

So here’s the challenge for those of you out there-  Reach out to your local user group and consider volunteering a little time to one of it’s events.

  • Help with event check in.
  • Help with setup.
  • Consider sponsorship with your company.
  • Consider helping with the board, (we have members at large on our board that is a good way to test out the waters as a board member.)
  • Look at how to become a board of director.

Ask the user group or meetup what they could use help with and DO IT.

Here is the list of regional user groups from Oracle and from IOUG.  Find yours and volunteer to your community.  It’s worth your time, valuable to your career, and it’s the only way they can continue to be successful.

Posted in DBA Life, Oracle Tagged with: ,

May 11th, 2016 by dbakevlar

I fly out tomorrow for NoCOUG’s Spring Conference, which will be held on Friday, the 13th in San Jose, California. If you were thinking of attending and needed an added incentive to attend, I’ll be putting on a FOUR hour Enterprise Manager 13c hands on lab, so admit it, you’re intrigued… 🙂

friday_13th

I want to thank Iggy Fernandez, who is the heart of NoCOUG, for contacting me and asking me to do the HOL, along with the folks from Oracle ensuring that I have the environment to offer the attendees to enjoy this great event!

I’ll fly back out of San Jose on Saturday morning and then will be flying to Cleveland on Monday morning for the Great Lakes Oracle Conference, (GLOC).  I’ll have a couple presentations on Enterprise Manager 13c and will be hosting the Women in Technology lunch area with Maria Colgan and Elke Phelps!

It should be a great event-  lots of Oracle peeps, ACE and ACE Directors, along with some Oakies.. 🙂

The conference has been growing over the last few years with the great effort of the NEOOUG and their conference support team, headed up by Linda Hoover.  I know from my work on RMOUG’s Training Days, how much goes into a conference, so when we discuss user groups like NoCOUG and NEOOUG, it’s important to support your Oracle community.  It’s the only way these communities survive is with the membership and community support.  These are two groups that are well worth the effort to ensure we continue to do so.

For those that will be at these two great events in the upcoming two weeks, see you soon!

 

 

 

Posted in DBA Life, EM13c Tagged with: , ,

May 2nd, 2016 by dbakevlar

So Uwe Hesse caught my interest when he blogged about how to add your twitter handle to your time on your taskbar.  This is really cool for those of us that present, so that while we demo, you’ll see our twitter handle displayed at all times.

I did notice that his instructions, as most instructions I find for things on the Oracle side are for older versions of Windows or for Mac.  I have a Window 10 machine and yes, it’s possible, just a few steps different.

There are a number of ways to do this….most of them are long, so I’m going to try to take you through the least amount of steps in Windows 10, which for some reason, has buried time settings… 🙂

The Easy Way

Click on the Start Window and the Auto Search Function is activated.  Type in Region.

Click on the one that has the following icon:

datetime1

Click on Additional Settings at the bottom of the Region window:

datetime3

And now you will be at the same basic Time settings as you would be in Uwe’s instructional post and can changed the displayed symbol for AM and PM to your twitter handle.

datetime2

Thank you for sharing this with us, Uwe! 🙂

Twitter_taskbar

 

 

 

 

Posted in DBA Life

April 11th, 2016 by dbakevlar

Becoming a mentor was not a direct path for me.  Even though I inspired people with my perseverance and common sense, I had no inclinations for a corner office position, (I often joke about passing up the corner offices in a fight to get to the server room) and this is often a trait that is expected for someone who is titled with “Mentor.”

cusack_gpb

In the five years in an official mentoring capacity, I’ve learned as much as I feel I’ve imparted among those I’ve mentored.  I now find others asking me for advice on how to become a mentor or how to mentor more effectively and I do have some advice on that topic I’d like to share.

Becoming a Mentor

As I mentor both men and women, I can verify that each gender commonly requires different things in a mentor.  Men will often want to know WHAT they can do to attain success.  They are looking for contacts, a network of opportunities and examples they can duplicate.  The guys rarely want anything than some quick advice and definitely don’t want to talk to other men that are being mentored by me… 🙂

Women often look to me for options to overcome cultural challenges that are hindering them from reaching their full potential.  As they show ambition and attempt to make their mark, they will be faced with cultural bias that requires some careful maneuvering to successfully navigate and having not just a mentor, but a network of women who may have successful ways to work through these challenges is very beneficial.  Often times they are the only women in their department, let alone their team and to have another woman who understands the unique world we work in makes a huge difference.  Due to this, there is often small email groups, lunchs and other opportunities where the women meet each other.

Having other women to help them negotiate compensation or offers provides great value, too.  We often hear how women aren’t very good at this, but watch out if you ask a woman to review or negotiate for another woman.  I can tell you that I wouldn’t be in the position I am today without the support of my own women mentors who reviewed my own opportunities, offering their insight where I might have shorted myself.

One of the most important things a mentor needs to remember is that they are there to provide advice that is in the individual’s best interest. Its my opinion that some of the biggest waste of time is spent on people telling others how to do something that only benefits the person speaking.  If you’re mentoring because it gets you ahead, you’re doing it wrong.

Who to Mentor

This is something I’ve had to ponder quite a lot lately.  I’ve mentored a lot of people over the years- locally, nationally and internationally.  I don’t rate success on what the industry may, but on the professional satisfaction of those I mentor.  If they are happy with their career and the path they’ve chosen, then I’ve done my part.  I’ve also felt what the industry may see as some of my greatest successes, if you were to ask me, I might consider my biggest failures.  At one time, potential candidates for mentoring were those that were “hungry” for opportunities.  This often equated to ambition, but what I found is that ambition without a strong sense of self is a penchant for disaster.

With ambition and so many opportunities to make success easily reachable, success can come very quickly.  The individual you mentor must have a strong sense of self to be gracious, accept their failures without blame and to not be overwhelmed by what they’ve achieved.  They must be responsible for their own actions, do the right thing, even when it might not be the easy path.  Above all, they must be fair to others and honest with themselves.

In my long history of mentoring, I’ve only had to remove myself as the mentor to two individuals and these were painful decisions.  Both individuals have immense potential and I still believe in them and their futures.  The harm to others to achieve what they desired wasn’t worthy of who they are or the people or organizations harmed by their choices.  The most damage be their choices was to their self-esteem. They respect themselves less than they did before they approached you for mentoring.  I have wrestled with the idea that I should stick by them when they went through their first challenges with this type of situation, but found that by doing so, I only “enabled” the situation, making them often feel it was more acceptable.

These tough decisions are part of being a mentor, too.

Benefits

The biggest benefit of having a mentor, no matter if you’re a man or a woman, is that they save you valuable time by providing guidance, information and access to opportunities that you might not have been able to achieve on your own.  Our friends and family rarely even understand what we do for a living, (which is why while everyone else is enjoying the holiday meal, we’re relegated to fixing Uncle Edgar’s laptop that he ran over with his car) and so mentors in technology really do make a huge difference.

I hope other’s take this opportunity to consider reaching out to someone as a mentor or consider mentoring others.  We can accomplish so much more when we all work together.

With that, I leave you with my greatest mentor, the superhero corgi! 🙂

corgi_hero

 

 

Posted in DBA Life Tagged with: ,

March 31st, 2016 by dbakevlar

Since the introduction of Enterprise Manager 12c, folks have been asking for a list of best practices.  I know a lot of you have been waiting for this post!

day

1.Use previously deployed, older hardware for your Enterprise Manager deployment on 13c.

Enterprise Manager is a simple, single service system.  There is no need for adequate resources and ability to scale.  In fact, I’ll soon be posting on my blog about building an EM13c on a Raspberry Pi 3.

2. Please feel free to add new schemas, objects and ETL’s to the Oracle Management Repository, (OMR.)

This database doesn’t have enough to do with metric collections, data rollup, plugin, metric extensions and notifications.

3. Turn on the standard statistics jobs and baseline collection jobs on the OMR.

The OMR has its own version of the stats job, but running two jobs should make it run even better and even though baselines aren’t used, why not collect them, just in case?

4. Set the EM13c to autostart, but set the listener to stay down.

The Oracle Management Service, (OMS) shouldn’t require the listener to connect to the OMR when starting, after all.

5.  If there is a lot of garbage collection, just add more memory to the java heap.

If we give it more memory, then it will have less to clean up, right?  More is better and there isn’t any way to find out what it should be set to anyway.

6. If you want to use the AWR Warehouse, you should use the OMR database for the AWR repository, too.

It shouldn’t make a difference to network traffic, datapump loading or resource workloads if they share a box.  These two databases should work flawlessly on the same hardware, not to worry about network traffic, etc.

7.  If you have a lot of backlog for job processing on your EM13c, you should trim down the worker threads.

Serializing jobs always speeds up the loading of data.

8. Sizing an Enterprise Manager EM13c is a simple mathematical process, which I’ve displayed below:

math

(If I didn’t mention it earlier, there will be a quiz at the end of this post…)

9.  Never apply patches to the Enterprise Manager tiers or agents.

Each release is pristine and bugs don’t exist.  It will only require more work in the way of applying these patches and downtime to your EM13c environment.

10.  Patch any host, database or agent monitored by the Enterprise Manager manually.

Patch plans and automation of patching and provisioning is a terrible idea and the only way a DBA can assure if something is done right is if they do it manually themselves.  Who needs a good night’s sleep anyway?

 

 

Posted in DBA Life, DBA Rants Tagged with:

March 28th, 2016 by dbakevlar

Even though I didn’t have the “official” prerequisite classes of HTML and CSS for the JavaScript class offered by sister Meetup group, Girls Develop it, I decided on Friday that I wanted to take the weekend class and signed up.

The class is held at the Turing Development school and it was a great downtown location.  Very centralized, no matter if you’re North, South, East or West of the city and the venue is a school, so it’s set up with plenty of power, WiFi and projector with multiple screens.  It had started another spring time snow, so I was one of the first ones in the class that morning, but we quickly got situated-  about 25 female students all there to learn JavaScript!  I don’t think I’ve seen that many women in one technical class in my life and no matter how much I love hanging out with the guys that I do in the Oracle realm, this was a refreshing change.  The room was filled with women of all ages, all walks of life and no, I was not the only woman in the room with brightly colored streaks in her hair, tattoos or multiple piercings.

yes

Now if you haven’t already done so, I recommend joining Meetup and checking out the groups that are in your area of interest.  I run three groups, (RMOUG Women in Technology, Raspberry Pi and STEM and Girl Geek Dinners of Boulder/Denver)  I’m also part of a number of other groups, including the Big Data, Women who Code and Girls Who Develop It Meetup, which this one day class was offered by.  At $80, it was a great opportunity to dig into a new language and gain a strong introduction to a computer language, even if you didn’t have any previous experience.

Through the day, we learned how to build out a main page, test code through the console log, incorporate java script into our pages and best practices of beginning Java Script.

Now there are two things I will share with you that I feel are great tips from this class that are available to everyone.  It’s two sites for opportunities to continue with your web design/JavaScript education and they are:

  1.  CodePen–  This site demonstrates different examples of webcode, broken down between HTML, CSS and JavaScript, (any combination of 1,2 or all 3…) and you can make changes to the code to see how it impacts the outcome of the graphics and framework.  It really puts how these three interact to build out impressive web designs and where you would use one over another.
  2. Exercism–  This site gives you real world coding problems, allows you to code a solution, submit the solution for valuable feedback.  It’s important to use what you learn every day to improve upon it.  This site gives that opportunity to you.

 

Posted in DBA Life, Oracle, WIT Tagged with: ,

March 16th, 2016 by dbakevlar

Last night I attended our RMOUG WIT’s movie night.  We partnered with Regis and the choice in movie has received a lot of great reviews, titled, Code-  Debugging the Gender Gap.  The movie resonated with me profoundly, as I was able to connect with not just the women involved in the interviews, but the girls who reminded me of myself when I was young. There were a number of initiatives that made me proud to be part of the IT industry and opportunities still needing our contribution towards change.

Once the movie was over, we held a short WIT panel session.  I was joined by Sharisse Hawkins, Terry Morreale and hosted by Sharri Plantz-Masters from Regis.  I had way too much caffeine before being put center stage and regretted it immediately as I spoke way too much during the panel discussion.  The women who joined me on this panel had impressive credentials and I was terribly disappointed that I didn’t get to learn more about them during this short session.

The interaction with the audience was fantastic and there were a number of young women who attended that are planning on a career in technology.  I was very happy to meet many of them after the panel and impressed at their energy and intelligence.

Next time, though, I bring my time-out muzzle to keep my contributions to a controlled amount… 🙂

Thanks to everyone that attended the event and if you’re interested in future events, stay tuned to RMOUG’s website and the Girl Geek Dinner’s Meetup. We’re about to get planning under way and we’ll be having some great events for everyone to join!

Posted in DBA Life Tagged with: , ,

March 4th, 2016 by dbakevlar

I fly out on Sunday for HotSos and am looking forward to giving a joint keynote with Jeff Smith, as well as giving two brand new sessions on Enterprise Manager New Features.  IOUG’s Collaborate is just a month afterwards, so the spring conference chaos is officially under way.

hotsos16

With running the RMOUG conference, Feb. 9th-11th, I think you can imagine what my response was like when I realized how much content I had to produce for HotSos’ two sessions and then another four for Collaborate, plus a Hands on Lab.

babyscared

As focused as I’ve been on day job demands for a new product, Oracle Management Cloud, which I’m sure you’ve heard of as it goes through trials, I found myself furiously building out everything I needed for my Enterprise Manager 13c environment.  At the same time, we needed to build and test out the HOL container environment and then Brian Spendolini was kind enough to give me access to the Oracle Public Cloud to test out the new Database as a Service with Hybrid Cloud offering.

I know all of it is going to be awesome, but my brain works like a McDonalds with 256 open drive thrus, so until it comes together at the end, I’m sure it looks pretty chaotic.

mcdonalds

With that said, everything is starting to come together, first with HotSos and then with Collaborate, really well.

HotSos Symposium 2016

This will be my fourth year presenting at HotSos Symposium and where other conferences may have mixed content, this is all about performance.  It’s my favorite topic and I really get to discuss the features that I love-  AWR, ASH, EM Metrics, SQL Monitor, AWR Warehouse.  It’s all technical, all the time and I really enjoy the personal feel of the conference that the HotSos group put into it, as well as the quality of the attendees that are there with such a focused objective on what they want to learn.

That Jeff and I are going to do our keynote on Social Media at HotSos really demonstrates the importance of it’s value to a techie career.  Social Media is assumed to be natural to those that are technically fluent and to be honest, it can be a very foreign concept.  Hopefully those in attendance will gain value in professional branding and how it can further their career.

IOUG Collaborate 2016

Collaborate is another conference where I enjoy speaking at immensely.  The session attendance is high, allowing you to reach a large user base and the locations often change from year to year, offering you some place new to visit.  The venue this year is in Las Vegas at the Mandalay.  There’s so much to do during the event that its almost impossible for you to go outside or do something outside the hotel, ( can you call these monstrosities in Las Vegas just a “hotel”? :))  and I know I only went outside once back in 2014 after arriving.

collab

Joe Diemer did a great job putting together a page to locate all the great Enterprise Manager and Oracle Management Cloud content at Collaborate this year.  Make sure to bookmark this and use those links to fulfill your Collaborate scheduler so you don’t miss out on any of it!  This includes incredible presenters and I know I’ll be using it to try and see sessions for a change!

Along with my four technical sessions, I’ll be doing a great HOL with Courtney Llamas and Werner DeGruyter.  We’re updating last year’s session, (OK, we’re pretty much writing a whole new HOL…) to EM13c and we’re going to cover all the latest and coolest new features, so don’t miss out on this great pre-conference hands on lab!

Hopefully I’ll see you either this next week at HotSos or in April at Collaborate!

 

 

Posted in DBA Life, Oracle Tagged with: , , ,

February 22nd, 2016 by dbakevlar

I’ve been feeling quite amorous about the camera features on my Samsung Galaxy 6 Edge phone, but noticed that it wasn’t taking as automatically impressive pictures as usual and sometimes, I even had to focus, (the horror!) I turned the camera over and could see a hairline crack inside the camera lens.  It was a really odd place to have damage, as the exterior cover to the lens was fine.  The camera is incredibly good, as even can be seen here in a picture that had the quality sucked out of it on Facebook from our trip to Mexico a month ago-

crab

Lovathon T-Mobile

Due to the odd crack, I brought it into T-Mobile and as wonderful as they are to their customers, (I’ve been with them for about ten years now….)  they found that the best approach was just to switch my phone out on my jump program, which also allowed me to upgrade….which also resulted in my monthly payment to go down, (nicest run-on sentence ever…:)) I had admitted to myself that I was missing my larger screen of my two previous Note phones and decided to go to the Galaxy 6 Edge +, which combined the best of both worlds in the Edge and the Note.

thumb1_

Why did I want the bigger screen?  I am just going to admit this-  I’m getting old.  I refuse to squint at a screen and try to read tiny text and the screen was just too small for the text size I preferred for comfortable reading of email, texts and such.  The 5.7″ screen on the Edge +, (1/2 inch larger than the Edge) allowed me to set the font size up to a much larger version and use the “Gothic Bold” font in a way that doesn’t overlap or wrap in a way that is not aesthetically pleasing.

The screen on the Edge series is just gorgeous.  There’s something about the Super AMOLED screen and the curved edge.  The camera just can’t seem to take a bad picture and it’s incredibly responsive to touch.

itssobeautiful

Cover It Up

Funniest thing I had to get used to was how slim it is.  I just couldn’t adjust to the first Edge’s thin profile and had to buy a robust phone case that gave the phone more weight and “substance”.  I really appreciate the cases that protect the corners and sides, but add enough to the thickness that I don’t feel like I’m about to slip between my fingers at any minute.  I’ve had great luck with Caseology and Verus combination ones that have thick rubber interiors with hard plastic shells that can be seen on mine here:

20160222_090917

And the back of the case has a nice grip to it, so you don’t have to worry about dropping it or having it slide off of a smooth surface:

20160222_090935

The Charge Pad

The last addition is the most important to my smartphone setup.  I use my phone a lot and one of the benefits of going to the Edge + was the extended battery life.  I got about 1 1/2 days on my standard Galaxy Edge.  That’s considerable vs. what most people receive in battery life, but the larger battery is a key enhancement in the Edge +.

Most people are aware that very few new phones have replaceable batteries.  We are switching out our phones more often and the new “sealed” designs protect from water damage and other issues more than the previous with a separate battery.

Even though LiOn batteries are getting more efficient with charging and have less issues than the previous ones, they can be impacted by over and continual charging.  The way to work around this is to get a charge pad for your phone and I did invest in a Black Sapphire charge pad for mine.

chrgpad

The charge pad only charges to 100% and then the QI Inductive technology goes into a sleep mode, saving from over-charge.  I don’t have to take the case off or anything, just place the phone down on it and I see a circular print across the screen and the charge signal at the upper right comes on.  The pad glows blue to tell me it’s charging and it glows green when it’s complete.

I’ve used Samsung products for quite some time now.  Everything from the Samsung Galaxy 3 Mini, (which I had to purchase out of Canada) to my Tab S2 tablet and most recent purchases discussed here.  I really love their products and nothing against Mac iphones or iPads, I just am happier with the Android OS overall and Samsung makes some seriously beautiful hardware to boot.

Now if they keep going in the direction they are with the Samsung Gear, we might be able to talk me out of my Moto360 smartwatch…. 🙂

Posted in DBA Life Tagged with: , ,

February 19th, 2016 by dbakevlar

I’m a Leaf on the Wind, Watch How I Soar.

This is one of my favorite lines from the movie Serenity.

tumblr_m71006H8hV1qir083o1_500

Without Alan Tudyk’s character dying and all at the end of this, (sorry if I ruined the movie for anyone…) this is how a DBA should be in the database environment-  skilled, reliable and maybe a little off our rockers. Our job is to protect the data, the database and all of the database.

With that said, I’m going to list my Ten Rules of Database Administration.

  1. Fixing a performance problem with hardware is the best way to guarantee the return of the problem in the near future.
  2. A Database Administrator is only as good as their last backup, (or database image, clone, flashback and other redundancy.)  It’s the only protection from ID10T errors- our own and others.
  3. The best performing database is one that has no users.  The best performing query is one that doesn’t have to be executed.
  4. Optimize what annoys the user vs. what annoys you and you’ll never have to worry about your job.
  5. Never assume, always research and double-check/triple-check your findings.  Data is the savior of the DBA.
  6. Performance issues are rarely simple.  If they were simple, the user could fix them and we’d be out of a job.
  7. If a database is up and running, then something has changed.  Don’t ever accept the answer that nothing’s changed.  They’d have to be using paper and pen instead of the database.
  8. A developer’s goal is to have an application or procedure complete requirements. Your job is to make sure the code they produce does so without risk to data, database and does so efficiently.
  9. You can’t do your job as well as you can if you understand what the application developer, user and business does.
  10. The database is always guilty until proven innocent and by the way, you only have access to 1/2 the case evidence.  You’re it’s attorney-  Congratulations.

Happy Friday Folks!

 

 

 

Posted in Database, DBA Life Tagged with: , ,

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