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  1. #1
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    Unanswered: New to DBs, seeking advice

    Hello all,

    I'm not 100% sure this is the appropriate forum for this, if not, please forgive me.

    I just got done with a bachelor's in business, but now I want to go heavily into computers, and my current thinking is that I would like to learn Oracle. Now it's probably worth noting that all I have had is a couple Access classes, and so you see I am quite ignorant about the entire matter, but I'm trying to learn. No SQL, no networking, nothing. Just call me clueless.

    If anyone could give some advice on where to begin, what to learn first, etc, I would greatly appreciate it. From what I've seen and been told, I'm thinking about going for DBO first, then moving up from there. But I don't know what pre-reqs (if any) I need to learn, how to get a copy of the software I need to practice, and on and on.

    Any advice is great. =)

  2. #2
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    Nov 2002
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    Hi Dan,

    The best advice I can give you is to read, asking is also good but reading comes first.

    You ask about where to download software to play with, you may be surprised to learn that www.oracle.com has exactly that. It also has all of the docs available.

    Anacedent (a knowledgable chap on here) often offers very good advice - "read the concepts guide". It really is a good place to start. I don't mean to sound unhelpful, in fact, quite the contrary. I haven't met a good IT guy who can't read (regardless of the specific product discipline) :-)

    Hint: on oracle.com check out the "Oracle Technology Network / OTN".

    Good Luck!,
    Bill
    Please don't email me directly with questions. I've probably just got home from the pub and cannot guarantee the sanity of my answers. In fact, I can't believe I actually made it home.

  3. #3
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    Dec 2003
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    10

    Re: New to DBs, seeking advice

    Hi Dan,

    Good to know that u r interested in Oracle.

    To start of with go for the concepts, it is always better to have a fair idea about the basic concepts before going into fundas.

    After that get thorough knowledge in SQL.

    There is no better resource than the Oracle Technology Network(OTN). Register there.

  4. #4
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    Dec 2003
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    Oklahoma, USA
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    Hey Dan!

    Great to hear you are wanting to learn more about Oracle.

    I would echo what the others have said about reading and downloading. Since you are just starting out, I would also suggest you looking into the "Oracle 101" books. They are reasonably priced on amazon.com -- less than $30US each.

    Start with the Oracle DBA 101 -- Marlene Theriault is quite good at explaining things clearly and the book is not a boring tech manual from what I hear. Even with her style, Ms. Theriault is quite thorough on the subject of Oracle and what the job of a DBA is all about. Then go through Oracle PL/SQL 101 -- this book will get a little more technical and is a little more "how to" than the other.

    Best of luck in your pursuit and come back here often to ask questions... I've always found lots of DBA's here willing to help.

    JoeB

  5. #5
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    Sep 2003
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    Washington, DC
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    Hi Dan,

    A certified (8i) DBA myself, I agree with the advice given so far. If you have to purchase 3rd-party (or Oracle Press) books, the best source, in my opinion, is bookpool.com. Much better prices than amazon, and they often have sales. Get on their e-mail list (they send e-mails very infrequently).

    But honestly, the best books are the Oracle documentation, and it's free on otn.oracle.com. They are available in both HTML and pdf (my favorite) format. Yes, the documentation really is very good.

    You can also download a version of Oracle you can load on your PC. I think the one you want is Personal Oracle, but I'm not sure, as I've never used it. Read the Concepts guide (for Oracle Server 9i) first, then use the Installation Guide to guide you through the installation. Use the administration guide (or the administration guide for Windows) to create your first database and go deeper into your understanding of how Oracle works.

    One of the best DBA's I've worked with had an English degree, so don't worry about your business background. Yes, a CS or MIS degree would better prepare you, but have already demonstrated a capacity to learn by graduating from college. Now go learn Oracle!

    Regards,
    Dave

  6. #6
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    Dec 2003
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    Greenville, SC
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    Thanks all for the feedback. Did a bit of calling today and have a few supplemental questions, mostly on one topic.

    I called a tech school in Atlanta (CED Solutions) and spoke to a guy that gave me lots of info. I told him of my non-existent background in DBs, but he was still convinced that if I studied at home for "about an hour and a half each night" for about a month, then went through their 14 day boot camp, that I could find myself becoming a certified DBA after it was all over.

    Is this a good idea? Is it worth the cost? ($8500 ugh) Does this kind of thing qualify for student loans? For those that know the region, are there any better places to go for this in Atlanta or Charlotte?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    Keep in mind that the COURSE is probably CERTIFIED by Oracle, but YOU would not be certified by Oracle until after you took/[assed all the tests. This is a common misconception about certification corses.


    I took night-classes (3 times a week) for 8 months to learn the BASICS of Oracle administration and scripting. They also had day-classes that lasted maybe 4-6 weeks similar to what you mention below.

    I would not recommend doing any kind of 2-6 week course. The amount of material you would need to absorb would be tremendous and could discourage you and would definitely be overwhelming.

    I was always happy that I never took the day classes because I don't think I would have been able to keep up. You need a day or two just to think and learn the concepts of what you learned in class.

    For me, the scripting part was very easy and the administration part started to get pretty complicated. This is coming from someone who was easily one of the top 3 students (out of 12) in the class. The others below me had a very difficult time for various reasons.

    Even after the class, it would have been fairly difficult to pass the certification tests only because of the lack of practical knowledge and real work experience.

    If they offer night-courses that span a longer amount of time than 14 days then I would recommend trying that. This way you can set up Oracle on your PC, and practice everything you are learning (and maybe get ahead?) as the class progresses.

    I paid about the same amount you mention 5 years ago and then got a jr. Oracle DBA position fairly quickly after the classes were over. However, the market was A LOT different 5 years ago than it is today.

    Oh, yes, I managed to get a student loan for the costs (which I am still paying! ugh!).

    Originally posted by Dan8
    I called a tech school in Atlanta (CED Solutions) and spoke to a guy that gave me lots of info. I told him of my non-existent background in DBs, but he was still convinced that if I studied at home for "about an hour and a half each night" for about a month, then went through their 14 day boot camp, that I could find myself becoming a certified DBA after it was all over.
    - The_Duck
    you can lead someone to something but they will never learn anything ...

  8. #8
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    Sep 2003
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    Washington, DC
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    Some students didn't do too well in some of the classes I took (and later taught) because they were not proficient in UNIX commands. I took the classes at Oracle Corporation, and I have taught two courses for employees at my company, and in both environments, the classrooms/labs were 100% UNIX. You won't need to know shell scripting for the classes, but you will need to know how to read, edit, and move files around. If you had to use "telnet" to access your e-mail in college (as I did), then you are already familiar with the UNIX environment.

  9. #9
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    Nov 2003
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    Bangalore, INDIA
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    Thumbs up

    Hi,

    Its good to hear that you have decided to learn Oracle. Start with SQL & Pl\Sql. Get some DBMS books & try to get the basic concepts of Database. Once you are confident with SQl & Pl/Sql , you can decide whether to go with DBA or Application Developer.
    SATHISH .

  10. #10
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    I agree that SQL is probably the most basic component and possibly the easiest learn. You also get immediate feedback for your efforts. I would alos recommend the 101 books. I have never read them, but the Oracle doc and the their web site in general can be a little overwhelming (even after 8 years experience :-) ). Do download personal Oracle and signup for a OTN (Oracle Technology Network. otn.oracle.com) account [they are free]. You can then sign up for e-mail blasts and such and class/seminar offerings. Another thing to do is join/attend your local Oracle Users Group. The OTN site has a listing. Look under "Events and User Group Meetings". I am always a little leery of people who come out of "Boot Camps" professing to be experts. Certification is not required. (I do not want to start a religious war here, just my experience). You can work with Oracle quite nicely without it. There is a lot to absorb, better to get experience before going that route. I feel you will get more out of the cert study with experience. If certification is something you feel strongly about it will not hurt.

    On an unrelated note: Anacedent does appear to be knowledgeable and helpful. __She__ however probably never has been called a "chap". [For the life of me, is there a feminine version of "chap"?]

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    Originally posted by Todd Barkus
    On an unrelated note: Anacedent does appear to be knowledgeable and helpful. __She__ however probably never has been called a "chap". [For the life of me, is there a feminine version of "chap"?]
    Anacedent is a female?!
    Whoa ...
    - The_Duck
    you can lead someone to something but they will never learn anything ...

  12. #12
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    That is my impression based on her name.

    BTW: My English friend says that there is no feminine for "Chap". He also says "chap" is antiquated.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
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    Greenville, SC (USA)
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    Dan
    I am in Greenville SC also ... I definitely agree with most of the advise recommended so far. Before going to Hot lanta, look local... There is a class that is given here from some folks that work for a local company.
    They now have their Oracle certifications for instructions.

    We have a few Oracle GURUS locally... One of which was Oracle's
    guru in Data Warehousing ...

    The concepts manual is a great place to start reading and understanding the language and ideas behind Oracle. Once you have a basic understanding, get a copy of Oracle and PLAY !!!

    Then you will have an idea of which of the classes you need to invest in.

    HTH
    Gregg

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