>> 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.
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?'
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.