I have over 25 years
of full-time experience as a DBA, and I am greatly concerned that in
today’s connected world, marginal technicians from all over the globe
are appointing themselves as “Oracle Experts”, cluttering the Internet
with dangerous and misleading Oracle information.
Many of these posers
are foreigners who use Oracle software exclusively on their PC’s
without the benefit of any on the job experience. At first
blush, you might think that these people are dishonest because of the
well-documented cases of
dishonest posers who pretend to be distinguished scientists to get
a U.S. Visa, but not all fake Oracle experts are willfully dishonest.
The old saying goes “You
don’t know what you don’t know”, and many of these fake Oracle
experts are not aware that they are imposters. I have
encountered self-proclaimed Oracle experts who truly believe that
Oracle is a trade, that you don’t need a college degree, and that no
experience is required to become an Oracle expert!
It’s just like this
take-off from the popular movie “The Sixth Sense”:
problem is especially true in the Oracle world, where many foreign
neophytes truly believe that they are true experts!
It’s like the Chess
analogy. People who are not aware of the depth of the game will
learn how the Chess pieces move and declare themselves Chess Masters,
totally unaware of what they do not know!
In the computer
industry, this phenomenon is called “The
Dilbert Principle”, and there have been studies titled “Unskilled
and unaware of it”:
“The more incompetent someone is in
a particular area, the less qualified that person is to assess
anyone’s skill in that space, including their own. When one fails
to recognize that he or she has performed poorly, the individual
is left assuming that they have performed well.
As a result, the incompetent will
tend to grossly overestimate their skills and abilities.”
It’s usually easy to
spot a poser:
Oracle impostors will purchase vanity accolades from the
International Biographical Centre in England or
American Biographical Institute in Raleigh.
Obsession with Science:
may pretend to be scientists in order to get a Visa. They will sometimes come-up with ridiculous titles like
All real Oracle experts are proud of their accomplishments and
they proudly display their resume. In contrast, a poser will take
great pains to hide their true qualifications and credentials,
lest they be exposed and imprisoned.
It took me many years
of publishing before I was considered an expert. I started by
publishing articles in magazines, giving presentations and publishing
whitepapers at conferences, and ultimately writing books for Oracle
Press. There are no shortcuts to expertise; it takes many years
of real hands-on job experience to truly master Oracle database
See here for my full
becoming an Oracle expert, my guidelines for
evaluating the credibility of Oracle information on the web and my
identifying Oracle posers.