Sunday, July 29, 2007

Learn Oracle - Part 1: Getting Started

Probably the most popular question I am asked is something along the lines of, "I just graduated college and want to learn Oracle. How can I do that?" Sometimes, it may be, "I have worked as a functional on an Oracle Applications implementation and want to learn technical." The question that some times frightens me is, "I heard I can make a lot of money with Oracle. I want to be a DBA or developer, which ever makes more money."

Ok. So I am going to make the assumption since you are reading this that you want to learn Oracle. This series will get you started. First, let's cover your motivations.

  • You want to be rich and/or famous - Become an actor, football player or rapper.
  • You have a technical background and want to expand into Oracle and/or databases in general - Excellent! This article is for you.
  • You have a business background or are a relative computer newbie and want to learn Oracle - Excellent! This article is for you.
Step 1

Get thee to OTN! The Oracle Technology Network is mandatory for anyone wanting to learn about Oracle. You are required to complete a registration to access many areas but it is completely free and it well worth the cost. As a beginner, you will be expected to spend a lot of time at OTN.

Step 2

Get familiar with some forums:

Step 3

Find the email lists. I don't recommend that you subscribe to every list to start and I especially don't recommend that you start posting. Subscribe to a couple of lists, filter them to a folder in your email software and spend some time each day just reading them. You will pick up information by osmosis, learn how to ask questions (and how not to), and get familiar with the names of people who regularly post good information.
  • ODTUG Mail Lists - Fairly good selection of lists
  • ITToolbox Groups - Ok Forums but not my favorite
  • Oracle News Groups - Look for high volume groups. Maintain a thick skin if you plan to post. Remember that people can be jerks and it usually has to do with their issues and not with you. and are the two usenet groups I read most often.
Now you know where to get the documentation and where you can find information. In the next entry in this series, I will cover some blogs that I consider exceptional and we will finally get to the software side of Oracle.