The Oracle community is concerned about an
influx of "Oracle scientists", foreigners who claim that Oracle software is
somehow a science. I know that it sounds ludicrous, but it's true, there
are people who don't understand that Oracle is a software package, written by
software engineers. Further, the Oracle community is concerned because
many of these people who self-proclaim themselves as Oracle "scientists" have no
background nor training in science, and many of them refuse to disclose their
experience with Oracle. Remember, a real Oracle expert is proud of their
experience and credentials while posers go to great lengths to hide their lack
of Oracle expertise.
Back when I was a student,
the web was the exclusive bastion of students, professors, and
scientists. It was customary to sign your messages with your
qualifications, so everyone knew if they were talking to a Professor
Emeritus or some pesky research assistant. In scientific discourse,
the opinion of someone with a Masters Degree from M.I.T. generally had more
than a message from someone with a B.S. from an unknown Indian
Insist on knowing the qualifications of any
The opening-up of
the web has made searching for information
dangerous, and today you must find-out the qualifications of
anyone who publishes technical advice. In-person, when I'm talking to Dr. Jones I know
that he has a doctoral degree, and anyone who proclaims that they are an
Attorney or professional Engineer, must, by law, have the appropriate college
degrees and state licenses. But on the web, we don't know
anything, especially with anonymous "experts".
What about someone who says they are
a scientist? Does that tell us anything?
Some folks caution
Oracle professionals against relying on people who tell you they're
experts or people that published authors. I wholeheartedly
agree, you need to "trust your source" and verify their academic,
scientific and research credentials!
For Oracle, you
need to check that anyone who grants themselves the title of
"scientist" possesses the basic qualifications, usually an advanced
college degree in a scientific discipline. Regardless of
labels, some Oracle professionals disagree about the pragmatic
applying scientific principles to a software package:
"The scientific minutiae,
however "true" they might be, would merely confuse; the bold,
sweeping statement, however simplistic, will nevertheless
explain, despite the bold, sweeping statement not being
I simplify like that every time I'm in the
training room, and most times I post to c.d.o.s: but it is
clearly incompatible with the pure science of Oracle espoused by
the Oak Table.
There is also
a danger that one gets so addicted to that sort of science that
one forgets that it is, of itself, of practical relevance to a
miniscule number of people"
noted a disturbing tendency of some Oracle "experts" to hide their background
qualifications. Also, many of the people claiming to be Oracle
scientists don't seem to understand some
fundamental scientific concepts.
Who goes there?
Whenever I engage an alleged scientist or
expert in a discussion, the first thing I do is Google their
academic and research background. This gives me important insights
into their mind-set, areas of computer science research, and their
overall qualifications. In my experience, all real scientists
publish their academic qualifications, scientific research and
whitepapers, and university teaching experience. BTW, here is the
Google syntax that I've automated (using the
Google API) to quickly see a resume or C.V.:
Knowing the qualifications of those who
proclaim to be credible Oracle experts is very important. In this world
of fakers and posers, all Oracle professionals need to have strong
BS radar and a quick Google search can tell you how much weight to
give to the assertions of any Oracle scientist. Personally, I
check for these qualifications:
Experience at Oracle corporation
this person intimately involved with the internal machinations
of Oracle at Redwood? Nobody knows Oracle like the
folks who built and maintain it (especially if they have source
Computer Science Background - What
is their academic CS background? Were they good enough to get
into a respected university science program? Were they able to
compete effectively for entrance into a competitive graduate
school? Does the Oracle expert have a Masters or Doctorate
Computer Science Research
quickly check the
ACM and IEEE archives to locate all research in any
scientific journals, and use Google to find all presentations
and whitepapers at computer science conventions.
Ceteris paribus, I'm much more
inclined to listen to Oracle professionals who publish their
credentials. Here is just a small sample of the stellar
qualifications of some Oracle professionals:
hopeful that all self-professed Oracle scientists and experts will
start publishing their academic and scientific qualifications (degrees,
scientific research, achievements & awards, &c) so that the Oracle community can give them
the respect and credence that they deserve.
Nicely put, Don.
Well . . . I saw myself in your
article - especially with regards to the thing about being an
engineer. I learned something. As much as I give credit to those
with college degrees I'm not willing to take from those without. I
work with a degree holding "senior" dba. My feeling is when he got
his degree he was put into the mindset of "I'm finished", "I got
it", "now I'm done".
I have to work with this guy every
day who does absolutely no proactive reading or research and is
still stuck on 8.1.7 technology. When he has a question about 9i or
10g he, "the senior dba", comes and asks me. I am in charge of
maintaining our disaster recovery site because I "Read the F**king
Manual". He was still using a technique used with version 7.3. I know there are many who don't take this "back seat" to learning after obtaining a degree (just like you, Mike Ault, Col John, and others you have mentioned). One the reasons I spend so much time on the forums learning and trying to participate is to compensate for the lack of mentorship I receive at work.
I would expect good leadership
would see that as a sign of a self starter. Someone who can see
where there is a need, learn it, and implement it. A college degree
does not guarantee that, although it does give someone the edge over
someone like me. It sounds more like a union workplace. The one with
the seniority gets the promotion - qualified or not - over the less
senior person who might really know his stuff.
I've been in this debate before about degrees and all I really have
come up with is that I really do wish I would have completed my
degree. And even without a degree I'd still hire people like Bill
Gates, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, and Dave Thomas (the founder of
Wendy's who got his GED at the age of 59).
I agree with you about credentials and the paper degree. I'm not,
however, willing to discount the efforts of someone without the
Kent Crotty - Oracle
I would have to agree with
Don. To lend any legitimacy to arguments made by any
scientist, that individual must have the backing of research
and qualifications. The very definition of the word demands
This new Internet world
also demands it. The Internet provides us the ability to
quickly communicate over vast distances with scientists we
possibly will never meet face-to-face. In order to trust or
believe in the arguments set forth by a proclaimed scientist,
that scientist must also be able to present credentials.
Credence for scientist can only be found through published
qualifications, research or achievements. The scientist must
present these on the Internet for all to see.
myself, do not proclaim to be a scientist but I do feel that I
am educated and experienced. I present my credentials through
my resume`. Shouldn't scientists do the same? Presently I am
working towards becoming a scientist an Oracle scientist.
When I want to be called a scientist, I will publish my
credentials in order to legitimize myself and the place that I
will publish is on the Internet for all to see.
Harrison Conway - New York
When I started reading this I though it was another of your
funny jokes. The idea of someone who thinks their usage
of a software package warrants them being called a scientist is
ridiculous. Maybe I'm a Quicken Engineer and I didn't even
Did you see the lawsuit against
Microsoft for creating the title of Microsoft Certified System
Engineers? A Microsoft Engineer is as stupid as an Oracle
No, I did not know about that
The OIQ had charged Microsoft Canada for
knowingly causing a person who is not a member of the Ordre des
ingnieurs du Qubec, by authorization or encouragement, to use
the title of engineer, thereby committing an offense under
section 188.1 of the Professional Code, R.S.Q., c. C-26.
Complicating the software-licensing
controversy is the fight between the national licensing boards
and industry over the proliferation of "certified engineers."
Microsoft and Novell, in particular, have been promoting
training programs that "graduate" Microsoft-certified or
The State of Delaware, according to IEEE-USA,
is eyeing a lawsuit to stop the use of the word "engineer" in
those titles. Indeed, Novell and the state of Nevada licensing
board have gone to court over Novell's use of the word
"engineer" to describe trainees who may or may not have an
Edward Stoever - California
I wanted to post a response, but I am still
thinking of what to say! My father is a retired superior court
judge. He has a certain public image, which is incredible. Then,
those of us who love him the most know his private, human side,
which is a little different.
To me, you are a lot like my father in that way. Since the time
I first heard of you, I have seen your public image: suits,
ties, lots of books with excellent information, supporting
others who are moving up in their careers.
You have done an amazing job with your career
and your public image. I am still very much in awe.
I took a look at your redneck page the other
day. It's nice to know you have a humorous personal and
private side. It makes getting to know you more interesting and
fun. Just don't let the cat out of the bag.
Bipul Kumar - London
How is the response of your "Predictive modeling
challenge"? From the Statistics perspective, it will be very
interesting. I think Tom went a bit too far in criticizing the
idea on his forum.