Each year, the Oracle WTF organisation celebrates its anniversary by inviting a fellow Oracle professional to share an evening of fine Eastern European lager and disappointing bar snacks in a pub where you can't hear each other properly, and this year it was the turn of former newbie (but now of course senior expert) DBA Lisa Dobson.
Actually that's not quite true - I realised today it was just over a year ago that we started the blog, and the other evening some of us met up with Lisa who happened to be in town, and if I'd thought of this a bit earlier I could probably have pretended it was all planned. Anyway it was nice meeting Lisa, and we enjoyed the story about the colleague who accidentally deleted the entire production server, as luck would have it a week after the server room air conditioning took out the only other server by dripping a surprisingly large amount of water into it. That rather outdid my story about the day we turned up for work at a client's site and found nobody could log in, because as it happened someone had stolen the servers during the night. Or the other one, if I'd remembered to tell it, about the high street retail chain whose backup system involved a PC and a timer plug. (I shouldn't laugh - it actually worked quite well.) It was also reassuring to hear we are not the only ones who don't understand a single bloody word of those "Oracle" blogs about installing a Java framework in JDeveloper to implement service-oriented BPEL with a right-click and some XML. Umm, neat.
It seems we're also not the only ones to have been shocked and saddened by Doug Burns' recent senseless killing spree. This monster must be stopped. (...is probably what Doug said as he reached for his copy of "Expert One-On-One Oracle").
Anyway, one year, 63 posts, and some lessons learned:
- Post one of Tom Kyte's pet hates like WHEN OTHERS THEN NULL (or WHEN OTHERS THEN DBMS_OUTPUT, which isn't much better quite frankly) for a mention on his blog and a surefire thousand hits. We need one about IM Speak now b/c im sure u will C loadsa hits ;-)
- Post something involving security for a mention on Pete Finnigan's site. We also get a steady stream of visitors googling for "forgot system password +oracle", "how to get password of a user in oracle" and so on, and being directed to Umm, I Forgot My Password, part 2. (In future just put it on a Post-It under your keyboard like everyone else.)
- Titles involving common Oracle error codes seem to do well. A lot of visitors come here from a Google search for SP2-0552 (guys, you have a variable with a colon in front of it somewhere). We need some posts about ORA-0600 or TNSNAMES.
- A lot of people seem to be searching for an explanation of joins and end up at our Joins Explained, heaven help them, where a Mr Sanders Kaufman explains things like "Left Joins are joined on the left columns of two tables. Right Joins are joined on the right columns of two tables." I'm glad we got that cleared up.
- Google Analytics Rock. So (while we're at it) do Statcounter, Feedburner and CoComment.
We were recently offered some sponsorship by price comparison website Shopzilla (or rather, they emailed me a week ago and I remembered it in the pub). The consensus among those present was that we should not accept it, although personally I think all that would change if we could get The Daily WTF's Beanbag Girl.
We were also kindly offered a spot on Pythian Group's Logfile Of The Vanities or whatever it's called (or rather, they emailed me a month ago and I seem to have deleted the message, sorry guys, meant to get back to you) but I didn't take them up on it, partly because there didn't seem much point in writing a piece telling people about Oracle blogs they already read (surely?) via blogs.oracle.com, and also because it's explicitly for DBAs, and with the possible exception of Padders we are all developers (even though these days "developer" is often assumed to mean someone who is into aspect-oriented JDeveloper BPEL plug-ins). Our main thing is SQL, PL/SQL and data modelling, and AFAIK none of those have much to do with the DBA role. In fact, thinking about it I'm not sure why they asked. And is that Pie-thian as in Pythagoras and Python, or Pith-ian as in Gryffindor and Slytherin, anyway?